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"Was told to take ibuprofen for carpal tunnel..."

About: Carrington House Surgery

I started to experience numbness, pain and swelling in my arm and hand in early May 2017, to the point that I couldn't even twist a key in a lock with that hand, or flush a toilet. I was in tears most evenings. The doctor I saw diagnosed me with carpal tunnel and told me to buy a splint and take ibuprofen or naproxen for 6 weeks, and if it was still a problem to come back. She asked me if I had asthma, and I said yes, but it was mild. I hadn't had to use a preventative inhaler since 2010. I was happy with this appointment.

6 weeks later, it was clear the carpal tunnel syndrome was still a problem. I went back to the doctors, but couldn't get an appointment with the same one. I was instructed to "Just keep taking ibuprofen and wearing the splint". Over the next year, I had quite a few appointments regarding various things, but at EVERY single one of them, I mentioned the carpal tunnel pain. It was getting worse and worse, to the point I'd not even been able to work some days. One doctor, who I won't name, even said, "Have you tried taking ibuprofen?" and when I said, "Yes, it's not been working, I've been taking it since May." She rolled her eyes and said, "Just take ibuprofen." As if she hadn't heard me. The second to last appointment that I mentioned the pain, I was told to, "Just lose weight and it'll go away on its own." Well, I have. I've lost 10KG and the carpal tunnel syndrome is clearly here to stay. Weight was not a factor mentioned in previous appointments.

It took until April 2018 for somebody to listen to me. But rather than there be pain relief, there was more a question of whether it was even the right diagnosis. Not a single doctor in between May 2017 and April 2018 had even taken time to look at my arm, so I didn't even know there could be reason to doubt diagnosis. I really do appreciate the doctor that finally did listen to me.

In June, I went to the asthma clinic because my asthma has been so bad. I was using the blue inhaler three times a day, which was partially due to high pollen count, but my quality of breathing for the past 6 months or so hadn't been amazing. I told them I'd been taking ibuprofen. The asthma nurse said I should never have been instructed to take it for so long. I'm now having to use a preventative inhaler for the first time in 8 years. The asthma nurse said I wasn't even down as having asthma. Considering I've been coming to this surgery for 6 years, and I have definitely gone to the surgery for the ventolin inhalers over that time, it should have been on my record. Not to mention the countless times I was asked if I had asthma. I didn't know that ibuprofen could worsen asthma. I had no idea, and now it has. And, 15 months since the diagnosis of carpal tunnel syndrome I still have no diagnosis, and no adequate form of pain relief - I tried co-codamol but had an allergic reaction.

It was only June 2018 that I was given a physio for the CTS. I should have been referred by the second appointment. logo
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Response from Carrington House Surgery 3 years ago
Carrington House Surgery
Submitted on 16/08/2018 at 09:32
Published on on 18/08/2018 at 03:42

We are very sorry to hear of all the problems you have faced.

To enable us to investigate the situation and resolve it please can you resend this with your details to the surgery either by post or email

NHS Choices is a feedback tool and anonymised it is not the forum for complaints.

We look forward to hearing from you.

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