“YOU are JUST A WOMAN!”

 

What, no loading dose?
I have been helping someone in the county of Lincolnshire to access treatment and I can say with all honesty that it is THE most difficult and frustrating case I have ever taken on.

I have been told on two separate occasions that GP’s in this area don’t give loading doses as there is “no benefit to patients“. Once by a Practice Manager and once by a female District Nurse. Both are seemingly embarrassed about having told me this apparently ‘privelidged information’ about a certain (and hopefully small) group of GP’s.

The Practice Manager now denies saying it and the District Nurse’s superiors also deny it happens and yet the patient still remains ‘unloaded’.

Persistence…
I continue to dig around to get to the truth about this bizarre situation, so if you live in Lincolnshire and have not received your loading dose either, please consider getting in touch and giving me the name of your Practice and GP so that together we can make a change. (This goes for anywhere else in the UK too).

I have reminded the Practice of NICE Guidance. This states that a loading dose of 6 injections should be given and that this every other day frequency should be continued for those with neurological symptoms. This regime exists so that the patient has the best chance of recovery.

My help, or interference as this Practice sees it, is unwelcome and has fallen on deaf ears. Imagine a drawbridge being pulled up and port cullis being heavily dropped. This is arrogance, ignorance and stubbornness at an unprecedented level.

The Clinical Lead at the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group), who is also a GP has said “the Practice were likely right in regards to their cautious approach” – Shocking! This wet comment smacks of a doctor not wanting to go against a peer rather than making sure (as they should do) that the patient’s needs are at the heart of the matter.

I won’t give up on this patient or on the wider situation, but my persistence causes some health professionals I’m dealing with to become angry …….

Belittling behaviour…
When I explained about the pointlessness of just one B12 injection for someone so severely affected the disgruntled District Nurse I mention above, loudly told me, “YOU ARE JUST A WOMAN!”  (I know, a shocking lack of sisterhood!)

So I agreed with her. Obviously it was meant as an insult, but agreeing with someone when they’re insulting you has a miraculous effect. It completely takes the wind out of the sails.

Essentially her statement was correct, I am just a woman;

Just a woman who cares 

Just a woman who wants to make change

But what the nurses statement was really saying was;

“you are ONLY a woman, you are not a nurse like me or a doctor, how can you know all these things and I don’t? How dare you make me feel inadequate?”

I understand her frustration. I understand her annoyance at not knowing about B12 deficiency, I’d be annoyed too…..she was however shouting at the wrong person, perhaps she should have been asking others around her why she hadn’t been taught more about this vitamin than how to give B12 injections.

It’s a fact that most people with B12 deficiency know more about their condition, how it affects them and how it should be treated than their doctor or nurse does. Wouldn’t it be lovely if this truth could be embraced and the patient’s knowledge tapped without the healthcare professional feeling inferior?

The reason that my site and others like it exist is because the teaching of B12 deficiency for those who need it is far too sparse and this needs to change.

Best wishes Tracey

www.b12deficiency.info

If you are a health professional and you and your colleagues want to learn more about B12 deficiency please click here.

If you are experiencing problems with accessing treatment;

For testimonials please click here.

Please note that the NICE link is unavailable outside of the UK.

 

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5 thoughts on ““YOU are JUST A WOMAN!”

  1. I was diagnosed in Lincolnshire back in 2009 with a level of 85ng/L when I was 17, I was treated with antidepressants and advice to buy OTC vitamins, despite no dietary reason for deficiency and a family history of pernicious anaemia . For 8 years I then I had levels that zigzagged between 120-224 (whilst on 1200mcg oral b12), doctors insisted that low b12 was just my normal or that my levels were fine because I’d survived on less. Formal treatment plans included offers of more antidepressants and advice to nap less and exercise more and my b12 was frequently labelled satisfactory with lab advice to retest or treat ignored and not passed on to me.

    A formal complaint concluded that my treatment was perfectly acceptable and inline with guidelines. They did not answer WHY I was not offered injections or offered further testing if there was doubt over diagnosis (e.g. homocysteine, MMA). When I finally won my battle to get injections at 25 (b12=127ng/L) and asked for more frequent injections in line with BNF for neuro symptoms (I was awaiting a neurologist referral so they obviously believed I was having neurological symptoms) a haematologist wrote that the sense of wellbeing from b12 injections is addictive, and reduced my injections from 2 to 3 monthly. When I complained he was unaware that the BNF allowed more frequent injections than 3 monthly.

  2. You are not only “just” a woman, You ARE compassionate and caring beyond words and have taken so much time in your life to aid others. I seriously can’t live without your help. And I live in the USA. The information you provide is top notch. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being “just a woman” And a terrific one at that! I have really missed the blog posts… So thank you for this. Sending Hugs from across the sea!

    • Dear Wendy, thank you for your lovely and very kind comment and for the hugs from across the sea, it’s very much appreciated!
      I have been very sparse with my blogging over the past few months but endeavour to correct this!
      My best wishes to a fellow compassionate and caring woman x

  3. Hi Tracy,
    Couldn’t agree more. When I was trying to get injections, (I had neurological symptoms) and hadn’t yet had loading doses, I kept repeating “BMA, paragraph 9.1.2”, almost like a mantra when I was told I didn’t need them, and certainly would NEVER be given every-other-day injections “as three-monthly is plenty”.
    At one stage, my GP asked me if I thought I knew more about B12 than she did. I didn’t answer her but we both just stared at each other.
    It was the neurologist who tested IF and instigated every-other-day injections, which my GP stopped, twice. He had to write to insist that the regime was continued indefinitely.
    Such a terrible ordeal, especially when so unwell.

    KH.

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