An exploration of the UK unpaid carer's world

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My wife (TDH) and I had been looked after by GP1 since 2014 when we moved to this area.  TDH received chemotherapy in 2000 and a component of the treatment affected her feet to the extent of needing a wheelchair.  Her condition declined and, since 2002,  I have been her full time unpaid carer.  More on my wife's condition can be seen in the dosage column here.   It gives an overview of the ailments.  More on my experience as a carer at Item 6 here.   


In July 2014, I went to GP2 under the banner "I am at the end of my tether".   This was referred to in 5 here but the focus was the rest of the doc.  TDH was up four to five times every night.  She had difficulty getting to sleep before the first trip and after it and subsequent trips.  I was losing a lot of sleep with this and all the other TDH worries.  Add the usual range of carer problems like dealing with other medical professionals, healthcare professionals, healthcare operatives, governmental provision.

I had sent a 6 page doc to GP1 in Oct 2013  here  but it had no effect on the situation.  Early in July 2014, two District Nurses called on a routine visit.  I asked them to look at TDH's legs and feet.  It was necessary to call GP2.  He dealt with that matter but started asking wider questions about TDH's health.  He had picked up anxiety issues along with current physical-health issues.  He was at the house for 45 minutes.

GP2 spent an hour with me (later in July) looking at all the angles.  We concluded that TDH and our elder daughter would come to the surgery.  A further 50 minutes was taken up with discussion.  Two weeks later, TDH and I were back in the surgery with him and almost another hour was given by GP2.    Since then, he and I have talked on the phone about TDH at various times probably reaching a total of forty minutes.  More recently, he has given me almost an hour again looking at wider issues and the TDH future.

One of the most impressive aspects of GP2 is that one feels he is listening to every aspect of what one says.  He asks questions which get to the central issues.  He gives the right advice at the right time.  If the resultant prescription is not quite right, it is changed immediately without any fuss.  He has reviewed all TDH medication (15 items) and has re-written the on-packet instructions so that TDH knows when to take what and the reason for taking it.

When one is an observer in the situation, such aspects involving attention to detail are even more noticeable.  While GP2 was diagnosing my wife's health on two separate occasions, I felt as if could almost hear him processing the information coming to him.  My wife was very confused and he helped her to express herself to good effect.

When he is listening and discussing, although seated, it's as if he is a runner on the starting block.  His head is well forward, (obviously, as it were, his ears are fully open) and his posture is indicative of giving the listener his full attention.  

He is fully patient, he doesn't blind one with medical terminology and he explains all aspects of what he thinks and what the plan is for the future.

No. 4 within a doc sent to GP2 after TDH and I visited him and then my follow-up visit in July is repeated now:

4  Frustrated reaction

It is good that TDH is not in need of a CPN.  It is good re pills which will reduce the WC nightime routine.  TDH’s sleep-level adds to her anxiety situation.  At times, it’s as if she decides that if she can’t sleep, I won’t either.  Occasionally, she indulges in bright-torch coverage of the ceiling supported by loud comment every 20 minutes until I react in anger.  My sleep level leaves me exhausted and hyper-reactive during the day  We now occasionally argue. Sometimes when I am concentrating on a document etc, she decides to sing loudly.  I can see that she needs to react in some way but needs help.  

source here.  

GP2's immediate reaction was a phone call to my mobile saying that mood pills would be available the same day.  Within two weeks, they started to take effect.  Four weeks had been suggested.  TDH was soon on an even keel.

Other outcomes of the TDH sessions with GP2 include 1) a brain scan, 2) a blood test, and 3) an appointment at the memory clinic.   1 and 3 had me chasing them for far too long and I spoke to him about 3 recently.  Within two days, a letter arrived.  


pagetop here