Patient view

'My caring nurse provides just what patients with long-term conditions need'

When Gillian Taggart was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, rheumatology nurse specialist Liz McIvor has offered her support and kindness.
Liz_McIvor_tile_iStock.jpg

I first met my excellent rheumatology nurse specialist Liz McIvor nearly 14 years ago

My knees were very swollen and so painful that I could only shuffle upstairs sitting down. On my first appointment at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, I had both knees drained and steroids injected. I was there on my own, and Liz kept me calm and explained what was happening.

After my rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed, I had a hard time with allergies to medicines, anaphylaxis and balance and sickness problems. Liz helped me to keep going with the numerous medication changes due to bad reactions.

When my jaw joints were replaced and my skull scanned, my first brain tumour was found. Liz kept my joint flare-ups under control during this time. I needed a nine-hour

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I first met my excellent rheumatology nurse specialist Liz McIvor nearly 14 years ago


Supportive nurses can be a lifeline for patients with a
long-term condition. Picture: iStock

My knees were very swollen and so painful that I could only shuffle upstairs sitting down. On my first appointment at Stobhill Hospital in Glasgow, I had both knees drained and steroids injected. I was there on my own, and Liz kept me calm and explained what was happening.

After my rheumatoid arthritis was diagnosed, I had a hard time with allergies to medicines, anaphylaxis and balance and sickness problems. Liz helped me to keep going with the numerous medication changes due to bad reactions.

When my jaw joints were replaced and my skull scanned, my first brain tumour was found. Liz kept my joint flare-ups under control during this time. I needed a nine-hour operation and a long recovery, and a year later my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now I have a second brain tumour, and nothing is too much trouble for Liz, who checks what is going on with me and, due to my short-term memory loss, remembers things better than I do.

Help when needed

No matter how bad I feel, no matter how swollen my joints are, she always manages to cheer me up while helping me. I feel lucky to have Liz supporting my mum, too, as she finds my appointments stressful.

This year I had the best holiday I've had in at least ten years, without having to spend most of it in bed as I usually do. A steroid jab and a change of medication gave me the boost I needed to be able to enjoy msyelf, and I know when I tell this to Liz, she will be pleased.

The emergency number to reach her is a godsend when everything is going wrong. Liz always phones back the same day, and I know there is always a kind, calm voice at the end of the phone, and help when needed. 

Everyone I know who has Liz as their rheumatology nurse specialist thinks she is amazing. She is just what you need when you have a long-term condition: kind and caring, part of a fabulous team, and ready to look after you for a long, long time.

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