Whatever must the french think of us?

Something to make you smile.

Just noticed on a pack of McVitie's digestive biscuits bought from Lidl the following phrase in french:

"It rains so much in England that the english pounce on their McVitie's to confort themselves."

Strange - it was sunny when I bought them.

Certainly not Doreen, if you have had endo you will know that!
It was the GP who failed to diagnose it and thought that if I saw a psychiatrist they could then rule out a psychological cause for my pain.
An appalling state of affairs really. Your experience also shows how difficult it was to get a diagnosis.
I spent three years on the Endometriosis Society helpline and the terrible stories I listened to from women who had failed to obtain a diagnosis and to conceive children, was very hard to take.

We have just got a new doctor in our village- he's taken up an office in a converted butcher shop! He's rumanian. To get him here the council paid his removal expenses, house rental for a year, I don't know about shop rental but 60k euros of refurbishment. The commune is 800 in size but many already use a doctor practice (three doctors including a lady) in the next village. Apparently he has a target 8 patients a day 5 days a week. We'll see if it works, but the cost to those who probably won't use him (at least a third of the population) is really looking remarkably high and risky. Mind you a nasho GP in the UK earns about 100k GBP I believe!!

How they stay focussed is a good question. All I can say is bl**dy governments do not do enough to support medical services anywhere at present.

A few might well be maires but my doc is there six days a week from 0830 to whenever he finishes. I once, unwisely, had a 1900 appointment and got in a bit after 2100. The secretary says it is always that way and the three docs there should look after their own health, no extra bucks there. No time for anything else either, certainly not being a maire.


nowt wrong with mini pork pies and scotch eggs. Scotch egg and beans yum.

But Brian you are absolutely able to look after yourself and have the confidence to stand your ground. My concerns are more for those who are cowered by medical professionals. It's not only in France either, a friend popped over for coffee last week and told me a convoluted tale of problems with a leg for 36 years due to a pregnancy DVT; she is still being fobbed off by medics here (UK) eventually her husband insisted they pay for a private consultation and treatment, this time she has had unnecessary treatment that has left her worse off than she was before! seems we all need a medical degree to take care of our interests.

Except Carol, and I have said this to you before, if you say 'No' and demand to be told. Then take it a step forward and demand to discuss medical matters concerning your own health. 10 days ago when I asked my GP here whether he had received the letter and report from my cardiologist, he brought it up on screen and read it out. Then he read the most recent things from both my neurologist and the sleep specialist. I only wanted to confirm that he knew about me no longer having one of my medications since December. I was only really there for my new three month's worth of prescriptions. He then discussed what the combination of the three things told him with me. A five minute maximum appointment became 45 minutes. Each of the specialists also discusses what I have just been told. They are also so used to me, and often Anto as well, that they are usually prepared for my questions.

As I commented on my pal's three non-diagnoses from his former GP yesterday, he was told by another that he would be entitled to complain to the medical authorities. It is essentially just the same as the UK ultimately. The one big problem is that it is usually better to see the doc early, since here they too work all hours, through lunch and basically get home to eat and sleep. All of the complaints about too few practitioners and terrible working conditions goes for here too. Sure, some of them are miserable sods who wish it was 1814 and not 2014 when people knew their place, but it is not and it is also up to patients to actively make sure their doctors know it with the same sympathy as UK GPs and many other medical people quite rightly demand.

Very true Vero, and I think the treatment of dementia is often more enterprising in France than the UK where either the same drugs are wheeled out (those that are passed by NICE for reasons of being not too expensive!) or drugs are avoided entirely. Dementia and elderly care are often not the areas of expertise by British GPs through choice, and the NHS isnt exactly leading the field with dementia treatments.

There is the Expert Patient protocol though in the UK which acknowledges that the patient knows their bodies better than anyone, including the medical staff. The patient is therefore part of the team deciding on the best course of treatment. I think that is an area untapped in France, where there is still the remnants of the attitude that 'I am the doctor therefore I know better'! my husband, also a doctor was rather taken aback by the attitude of our French GP who doesnt wish to discuss my husbands health issues with him, he just wishes to be the one to decide the course of treatment. For Brits its very similar to what we received in the 50s and 60s. Patients in the UK are much more demanding in terms of equal input now.

Antidepressants depending on their composition can be very useful in treating dementia - they certainly were for my mother who has Pick's disease, especially in the early stages. See quote below from the Alzheimer Society website.

Research suggests that drugs developed to treat depression (antidepressants) can also be an effective treatment for behavioural and psychological symptoms in dementia. Specifically, studies have shown that the antidepressant drugs sertraline and citalopram may help reduce agitation. Antidepressants may also treat apathy (when a person shows a general lack of interest and motivation), which is thought to be the most common behavioural change seen in people with Alzheimer's disease. In addition to this, some psychotic symptoms may respond to the use of antidepressants.

I’m sure that the listening needs to be on both sides. I have had a lot of trouble with doctors, especially when I was young and had undiagnosed food intolerance.
It’s not just listening, it’s actually taking you seriously that is the problem.
I also had endometriosis and was just diagnosed by a specialist in time for me to cancel the psychiatrist’s appointment made for me made by my then GP.

After having a mastectomy I had problems with my medication and my oncologist prescribed anti-depressants. He said that I would not have any problems, but they made my life hell.
I also turned up for an appointment and he was shouting at his nurses.
When I told my surgeon that I would not see this man again, she wrote to him ,not complaining about this behaviour, but saying that it was easier for mt to go to her hospital than his.
This man worked out of the Nuffield hospital in Cheltenham.
I had also been misdiagnosed by two of the GP’s in my practice and when I said that I had actually asked to be investigated surgically, my own GP said that there was no mention of my request in my notes.
So, Doreen, even in the UK they do not listen, and the patient’s input or requests are not noted.
It is little wonder that the NHS is trying to change its culture.
Fortunately we now have an excellent GP here in Cluny, he speaks excellent English and has worked in the USA for several years and we are involved in all of our treatments and cannot praise him highly enough.
I amsure that a strong lady like yourself will not be put down by such an ignorant person.
You are doing so well, keep it up.

It really does depend on the luck of the draw, doesn't it. When I mentioned en passant to my new, young and very dedicated GP that I had a bit of stomach pain last June it hadn't crossed my mind that I might have cancer. After all, it was just a little stomach ache. But it clearly had crossed her mind and I was with a specialist days later and in a matter of a couple of weeks the cancerous section of colon had been removed. Now had this happened only a few months ago when my old, retirement-age doctor was still working I suspect he would have given me a few indigestion tablets and sent me on my way, leaving the cancer to develop undetected. As it is, it was caught very, very early and my chances of survival have to be immensely improved. As I said, just the luck of the draw.

The problem with assessments of things like dementia is as you have said, it's impossible to get a clear idea of whether someone is in the early stages in so short a time. I remember a very old friend asking us what we thought of his wife's mental state. We had just spent three or four hours with them, she cooked us lunch and we chatted about old times and more recent events. We noticed absolutely nothing. But he assured us, and he was right, that she was losing her mind. On the other hand we had no problem convincing the staff at my mother-in-law's retirement home when she started mistaking my wife for someone she had known as a girl and thought I was the cook! They saw her all day so they had noticed for themselves.

I don't know what the answer is apart from keeping going back to your GP and pestering him/her until you get taken seriously.

"Strange - it was sunny when I bought them." = :-)


I love telling them about eating large plates of fried beetles in Viet Nam and how the people there consider eating snails repulsive ;-) So much for their heritage of cuisine in former colonies...

We are taking friends to the White Lion at Wherwell, near Andover on Friday. Heard the menu and food outstanding....will let you know!

That new restaurant sounds fab. I like plenty of restaurants round here in Brittany but they tend to stick to the same stuff. The French are really quite resistant to innovation and variety in food. I did manage to find a superb creperie recently and one crepe I had was a divine egg and truffle, washed down with some artisan cider.Most creperies stick to the basics. I do know that many country restaurants and pubs in England offer really nice food at approachable prices. You don't always want a four course menu du jour at 12 euros.

That good butcher on the Bridge in Newbury.....Griffins.....has opened a restaurant....specifically a steak restaurant...diagram of the cow and the various cuts of meat noted in the menu...you order your steak by weight...so huge or tiny...T bone, Sirloin, Fillet, rump etc...choice is yours...also all manner of other beefy treats...cow cheeks, tongue, oxtail etc. Most other meats, pork, ham, lamb, fowl...plus game...plus vegetarian and vegan dishes....stunning food....treated my son and his partner recently....best meat we had eaten in yonks...and not expensive...