Hub has had a big lump on the back of his neck for some years now. It’s grown and grown but every time a doctor checks it, Hub is told that it’s a harmless sebaceous cyst and nothing to worry about.

Well times have changed … recently it started getting redder and redder until it is now positively purple. And then it started hurting, so he can’t fasten his shirt collars, can’t lean back in a chair and can’t lie on his back in bed.

So we’re trying to get it sorted. It took 6 goes before our doctor’s surgery finally answered. Then they have this irritating system whereby they will not give you a straightforward appointment, they always have to ring you back. This can take 24-48 hours.

So we started ringing them, until they replied.

Another oddity with our practice is that we have never seen a doctor. We know there is one, but we always see the Senior Nurse Practitioners. They are good, but they aren’t doctors. And this time, having seen the SNP 2 weeks ago, and taken all her antibiotics, and still not any better, Hub asked to see a doctor.

He could see a skin specialist in 2 weeks.


Funnily enough, they managed to find him an appointment – this afternoon!

Apparently, it’s a sebaceous cyst that has become infected, and needs incising.

Ah, you’ll have to go to this other practice and see this dermatologist … in 2 weeks’ time.


Doc will see what she can do …

… meanwhile we will ring and ring until something happens. >:-[

(We’re due to go on our celebratory ruby wedding trip to Italy early in May – don’t want to go having just had an incision – what if there are complications???)

Silver lining: Hub always snores when he sleeps on his back. At least at present I am getting quieter nights…



36 thoughts on “THE FEARSOME LUMP

  1. I am shocked at your doctor’s practice. I feel we are very spoilt here in comparison. Doesn’t sound right at all…. I don’t suppose you have any other doctor’s you could go to?

    Well I’m glad you have finally got some action organised…. I just cannot believe they were so difficult to get hold of and so on. sounds like something that should have been dealt with straight off without you haveing to jump through all those hoops.

    Blimey…. must just be very very lucky with my doctors and my parents’ doctors…. I am really shocked at your experience. 😦

    Good luck to your Hub… though I guess when the snoring starts again……………. πŸ˜‰


  2. I have to wait for a month for a blood test. I really think that the goverments idea of improving matters by giving doctors full control is all wrong, doctors should be there to give there full attention to the care of patiance it cant possibly improve matters giving them all that responsibility it should not be theres. Hope hubby gets dealt with soon.xx


    1. Doctors seem to be divided about it – so how can anyone decide what’s right???

      Thanks, Aven. Hub is feeling a bit better on the new antibiotics but he’ll probably go to A&E at the end of the week to get it lanced. 88|


      1. Yesterday i had a letter to tell me i have been wrote of over my ovarian cyst which is all very well but at one time a check would have been carried out every six months to make sure it didnt turn nasty as ovarian cancer is hard to discover until its too late. xx


  3. Very worrying indeed. I am reminded of my doctor who diagnosed everything in a flash, till I brought his infamous words, ‘Only old age’ to an end once and for all.

    He has never uttered those meaningless words in my hearing again.


    1. Good for you, Skip. My Dad was getting all his aches and pains written off as ‘old age’. That way his cancer wasn’t diagnosed until it had spread everywhere. Fortunately for all of us he then had a carer who fought for him and refused to accept that attitude in the medical profession! Dad’s quality of life improved immensely as a result.

      We need more doctors willing to specialise in treatment for older people.


  4. It’s unfortunate that you have to be persistent with these people to get a service you’re entitled to. What happens to the meek and the mild who aren’t very assertive?
    Hope Hub gets it all sorted.


    1. Indeed – a very good question. Thanks, Athel. He’s been given more antibiotics and will take himself to casualty if he can’t see the dermatologist this week!


  5. Interestingly my husband had one of these cysts on his back, which had to be lanced every now and then….They look horrible, but are in fact harmless, however, being infected is not a good idea.
    Hope you get it all sorted soon so that you can begin to look forward to your Ruby Wedding celebrations:)x


    1. Thanks, Janet. We learn something every day, do we not! With Easter coming up, one of our busiest times of the year, Hub is anxious not to be in too much discomfort.


  6. I am amazed at the games your practice plays to keep patients away! Are they all like that in your area? As MM says, there have to be urgent slots and when something is urgent, saying it is, and insisting on seeing a doctor is the only way, it seems. It might be easier to present yourselves at A & E. I really do hope you are on the way to comfort very soon.

    Years ago, I had to sort out an emergency appointment at a GP practice for my mother, who lived 800 miles away from where I lived. She’d called me on a Friday night, when her surgery was closed, telling me of her problem and that she’d been given an appointment for two weeks hence. Worried for my mother, I checked all weekend with her. First thing Monday, I called her surgery, with her permission. A certain amount of security was checked upon. The the receptionist expressed horror that I was under the impression, and so was my mother that something that might be very urgent, (no medical details of consequence given) would have to wait two weeks. I was given an appointment for 11am that day and with a doctor of the gender my mother preferred.

    To cut a long story short, my mother became an urgent admission to hospital, where she stayed for ten days, being sorted.

    Part of this story’s difficulty was misunderstandings by both parties in this matter, inadequate communication, and passivity caused by misplaced deference that was and is common in the older age group. In addition, you have a system that can be difficult to manipulate for any age group.

    Best wishes to Hub and special thoughts for you GillyK.


    1. thank you very much, Menhir. Hub has now been given more antibiotics and has had a word with our doctor daughter, who explained that normally it is considered best if the infection is reduced before the cyst is lanced. Why doesn’t anyone normally explain these things?

      We now have decided on our next move, which will be A & E if he’s unable to see the dermatologist later this week. With Easter coming up, one of our busiest times, he doesn’t want to feel under the weather!


      1. Oh sure, without doubt, it is best to deal with the infection first, if you can. Is it a week’s course of antibiotics hub has got? Some careful cleansing should see the rest off once the cyst is lanced. It’s uncomfortable in the meantime.

        What a performance!


      2. Interestingly, a day and a half into the new course of antibiotics Hub is already looking and feeling a bit better. The dermatologist has now confirmed that he can’t see him this week, so it’s heigh-ho for A&E at the end of the week, methinks!


      3. In part the distance from a centre is a reason, however, referral to the clinic at the main hospital if you are prepared to travel 240 miles round trip, is not much quicker. Once ‘in’ a phone call to the dermatology reception gets follow-up arranged.

        There are specialist nurses at the centre who are pretty good, and can give good advice and guidance that is missing locally. I discovered them 11 years into treating sprog via ‘advice’ from local GP’s who, had no general daily living dermatological knowledge that was useful in the long term. We could have done with the specialist nurses knowledge an awful lot sooner.


      4. We have a great deal of time for our SNP, but Hub observed that when he saw the doctor he realised immediately that it was in a different league. Perhaps SNPs should be willing to refer patients sooner to the doctor.


      5. I did a double-take; SNP,otherwise known as The Scottish National Party, what have they got to do with it…then I clicked.

        Nurse Practitioners are not doctors, and unlike doctors, do not seem to have as long a practice training, following nurse practitioner qualification, in diagnostic medicine. Modern nurses do not have the generic background their older counterparts had – many of them have moved on, or might be due to retire – so cannot benefit from the foundation experience of a broad nursing practice. Even if an indvidual nurse’s diagnostic skills were well developed, her responsibility is more limited (is it clearly defined?) and their prescribing ability is restricted. Who supervises them? Are they going to be another layer of practice to keep patients at bay from doctors? It seems patients have to be self-monitoring, self-referring.


  7. I’m a little surprised that the system is so inconsiderate. But I’m sure that if you insist, you will get proper treatment. Wishing for a speed recovery.


  8. I agree its terrible to try to get an appointment. its the same with my doctors. I ususally have to wait a couple of hours at end of surgery time but I don’t mind that so much. You need to get it sorted out before your ruby celebrations!


  9. It makes me quite cross all the hazzle you have to go through to get an appointment here it is not great but not too bad really compared you can usually see the doctor the next day but I amazed at your surgeries attitude its awful πŸ™„ hope hubby will get treatment ASP ….


    1. I try not to get too cross because I know our NHS is WONDERFUL compared with so many countries. But it can be annoying and frustrating! Thanks for your support, Lilian.


  10. We had a lot of trouble re something on my husband’s scalp and were helped most by a MANAGER at the hospital who told off all the doctors.It’s tiring being on the phone for ages.xx


  11. I do get irratated by doctors surgeries these days, but be assured a doctor has to see you if you request it but it does take a lot of perserverence and sometimes getting shirty with the receptionist.
    Hope Hubs soon gets it sorted and you will once again need your ear plugs :))


    1. Thanks, Murphy!!

      Eldest Daughter told me of a friend who said to the receptionist that he had a sick child and if he couldn’t get an appointment that day he would just come down to the surgery and sit there until he was seen … and he got given one :yes:


      1. They HAVE to have so many spare slots a day even if it means you have to go at wait a bit, but you can insist on being seen.
        My daughter was a practice manager so I know how they work and how they try to put you off if they can.
        Some of the receptionists can be ferocious though :yes:


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