told her!

Afternoon pals!

Just been for an assessment prior to having toenail surgery. I came out in tears and was made to feel very unimportant and a nuisance time waster!

Well guys, you know me well enough to wonder what happened and that I am not a problem patient…Yorkshire lass or not!

After several years of putting off the advised surgery, I finally agreed to it and today was my pre- op assessment.

I got there in good time and was a tad taken aback not to see my usual podiatrist. It was a woman I had never seen. Not to let that be a problem, I asked if I was still having the assessment. Yes, I was…fine!

As I wheeled into the room, this woman looked at the couch, then at me, as if she expected me to get onto it.

I said I can’t get out of my chair without a hoist. She said, ‘Well how am I supposed to know that?’

I thought to myself, ‘Aye up! This is a clever piece!’ I said, ‘Hasn’t Debbie told you, or isn’t it in my notes?,’

She said she hasn’t had time to speak to Debbie or read my notes. Then she said ,‘Why are you in a wheelchair?’

I felt like saying, ‘Cos I’m too chuffin idle to walk!’ But no, that wouldn’t help matters! I was told I would be asked questions re health and a Doppler test would be done. She asked if I needed my nails looking at and I said yes, as one was very sore again. She took my shoes and six off, clipped the sore nail, it chuffin hurt and my toe jumped.

Now like most of you, I have no control over my legs or feet movements. She seemed annoyed when I said ouch!

Then I asked if she could pack the corner. She said she didn’t believe in packing, but if I wanted it packed she would do it.

She followed that with replacing my shoes and sox. I asked what about the Doppler test. She said, Oh I forgot. Thank you for reminding me.’

Now she did the tops of my feet and got a satisfactory 3 reading. Then she did the sides and took a while to find a pulse! When she finally did, the reading was a 1! She said that wasn’t good. I asked her to elaborate as I was concerned.

She said it might mean I couldn’t have surgery as it may not heal well. She said she would speak to the surgeon and ring me tomorrow. She added that my 20 mins was up and she had other patients to see and didn’t have time to book me in, for surgery. She said she would ring me in the morning at 9. She added that that was the only available time she could ring, as she was so busy. Fine by me.

I left. But I had tears in my eyes and a tight throat. Hubby called her a cowbag when I told him how shed spoken and treated me.

Once I’d composed myself, I decided to ring my district nurse and as she has previously done a Doppler test, ask for her thoughts.

Nurse was on the phone and would return my call. When the phone rang, I expected it to be nurse. But no, it was this podiatrist person, Caroline. She told me she had booked my surgery for 27th May.

I hesitated and decided I would tell her how she made me feel…unimportant, a nuisance, that my fears and questions were dismissed. And that after 12 yrs in a wheelchair, I didn’t feel it welcome to be asked, yet again, why I was in my chair!

She said she was sorry, but I was quite welcome to report her! She said her managers should know patients feel rushed. I said it wasn’t so much being rushed, as feeling that my questions and condition were not dealt with in a polite and adequate manner.

Again she apologised and mentioned my reporting her. I said I didn’t feel that necessary, as she had apologised, but suggested she think differently about how to treat patients in future. I told her my life was difficult enough without being made to feel a pest. I said I don’t want sympathy, but I would like empathy and understanding.

I then asked if she felt she had the Doppler test correctly, as she had rushed it, after forgetting to do it at all!

Mmm, that one brought a gasp ,‘Of course I did it properly!’

She said I should discuss the safety of the op with the surgeon BEFORE he begins surgery! Huh!

So there you go guys. I got my apology and had my say.

Then nurse rang and I told her everything. She was pleased I’d got my apology and if the Doppler reading was so low, then be cautious about having the surgery!

What do you reckon?

Phew! Knackered now!


hi poll

that podiatrist needed to meet someone like you. well done for telling her how she had made you feel.

you gave her a free piece of professional development!

you’d think that any medical professional would take a couple of minutes to read a patient’s notes.

just wait for the doppler and results.

it could be fine and if it’s not, then discuss it with your surgeon.

have a good rest

carole x

I do know nurses and doctors have a hard time of it but some do not help themselves in any way. Well done Poll for telling her off and putting her straight. It seems like she didn’t care if she got reported or not - very strange.

As carole says - wait for your results and see what the surgeon says.

Take care of yourself hun and let your wee bundle of Sophie fluff lift your spirits


JBK xx

Oh dear, Poll!

That wasn’t very nice at all (her, not you).

But I think you did the right thing not to escalate it, since you’ve already had it out with her and she apologised.

Although I’m not positive whether she might have wanted you to report her, as a way of highlighting the workload issue. It’s funny how these issues have a way of getting no priority if the employee complains, but do as soon as a customer/patient complains!

I might have asked her outright: “Do you want me to report it? Will it get you in trouble, or help highlight a workload issue?”

It seems “lack of time” was cited several times as the reason for various things, so that might well have been genuine.

Hmmm. If the purpose of the assessment was to check you’re OK for surgery, and the results indicated you’re not, what is the point of having had it, if you decide to press ahead anyway? Presumably it’s not your sole (no pun intended!) decision, as won’t the doppler results be passed to the surgeon, for him to decide? I wouldn’t really expect it to be up to the patient what’s safe or not - how can you possibly have the knowledge to make that decision? All you know is that it wasn’t great, but you don’t know whether that’s a: “not great” as in: “he’d probably refuse to do it anyway”, or: “not great”, as in: “he’ll still do it, but there are additional risks he’ll need to discuss with you.”

If you have concerns the test was too rushed to be accurate, perhaps you can get a second opinion - e.g. from the district nurse who’s done it in the past?

I know they’ll be overworked too, and she might feel it’s outside her remit, but at least she sounded sympathetic. If you explain you have doubts about the test, because it was so rushed, perhaps she might redo it for you?

I must admit, I always had doubts about the validity of my VEP tests, because halfway through, some of the electrodes fell off (I have very thick, frizzy hair, so it was hard to expose enough scalp to attach them properly).

As I was left alone in the room with the door shut, and not given a help button or anything, I had no way to alert them some of the electrodes had fallen on the floor, but assumed that if they were monitoring, they’d be able to see the change in received signal.

So when they came back in, I pointed out some of the electrodes fell off, and they said: “Oh, that doesn’t matter!”

What else were they going to say? You can bet it wouldn’t be: “We’ll have to start again”, as the test took over an hour.

So I’ve always wondered if all we proved was the carpet didn’t have optic neuritis, and nothing about whether I did. They obviously wouldn’t tell my neuro the test was void because the electrodes fell off, so the simplest thing would be to say my results came back normal. Of course, I’ve absolutely no proof that’s what was done - maybe they got enough results from the part before the electrodes fell off. I also don’t know how much of a medical risk it would be to say a patient’s VEPs were fine, if you don’t actually know that. If they’re ONLY used to test for MS, they may have reasoned: “Well, if it is, they’ll still find out in the end anyway” (which they did). But if it’s used to test for anything more sinister (Haha - what’s more sinister than MS - but I’m sure there are things), it could be very dangerous to say a test was “normal”, when you don’t know for sure, because it wasn’t administered correctly. Ho hum.

I certainly agree you need to speak to the surgeon before surgery - and ideally, I don’t mean the morning you’re supposed to be having it! He might say there’s no way he’d do it in those circumstances, and you’ll have had a complete wasted trip (I know a wasted trip is a much bigger palaver for you than it is for me - but I’d be pretty upset about it). What is your GP’s role? Aren’t they supposed to coordinate all this, so you shouldn’t turn up to find the surgeon didn’t know your doppler results, and refuses to do it? Someone must be responsible for informing him - and I doubt it’s you!

I know that luckily, you’ve got your wits about you, and would be able to raise it if nobody else had, but the patient is not supposed to be the primary conduit of important information. What if they didn’t understand why they had a doppler test, or that the results were iffy?



Oh Poll. That’s terrible. It must have said in your notes why you use a chair. How dare she.

Just think how many people you have helped by telling her how she made you feel. Well done sweets.

Now go and cuddle up to little Sophie.

Shazzie xx

Thanks guys. I always get the support I need from you.

Tina, I had to laugh when you said the carpet’ s VEP test might’ve been OK!!

I’ve calmed down now.

I think the only reason that pod person wanted reporting was so her manager would see there isn’t enough time allocated for each patient. But that wouldn’t have been my reason for reporting her. It was her unprofessional manner.

Nite nite friends!

Luvya, pollx

Well done Poll for telling her how she made you feel, lack of time is no excuse for bad manners and insensitivity.

Jan x

Well done for telling her but such a pain to go thru all that!

Sonia x

good on ya Poll,there should be more Polls … the world would be a better place.

J x

Well done Poll - you certainly did the right thing. And hopefully helped other patients who have to see her. l know how your toes do seem to have a life of their own - mine are the same. Especially, when they are trying to cut back the ingrowing nail.

l now try to do my own. Soak my feet for a while before attempting it - then l use some ‘tools’ l bought from Amazon. So far it has worked. l have a bottle of nail softener - so use this for a few days before attempting the operation. l have been taking lots of Biotin for 4 weeks. And my nails are growing at such a pace - so is my hair. Skin looks pumped up [thats what a friend told me yesterday] Certainly, the rough dry patches have gone.

Last time l went to outpatients - they gave me a questionaire to fill in before leaving - asking all about the way l was treated by the doctor. l gave him top marks. Going again this afternoon - so hope he saw what l wrote. The receptionist at this orthpaedic clinic is also very pleasant and helpful - so are the radiologists. Not the same everywhere l am afraid.

funny when i was reading your first mail thought she doesn’t get it , she didn’t see that ok she was busy but that doesn’t give her the excuse to take it out on you



As l struggled into the hospital - armed with my trusty rollator - my consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon - walked past me. He recognised me from the back. [my mop of blonde curly hair] - and he was so friendly - said he would be seeing me in a few minutes. Of course, he strode off and was soon out of sight. The staff in this department are so kind and helpful - none of this ‘The computer says no’ - which l have experienced elsewhere.