Last Monday I visited the doctor. This was a challenge. To move at all takes psyching up and much planning. Sometimes I move my legs and I wince, other times all is fine. Part of the added stress is the not knowing. Will I or won’t I need to growl? Will I get stuck?
The doctor was most sympathetic and insisted I would be seen within the week at the hospital where I had the previous operations carried out.
Tick tock tock tock. Managed to wait until Thursday before calling to discover that the referral letter had been faxed that morning.
Through creative questioning I discovered who was the best person to call at the hospital. There are many steps before a patient gets within a sniff of an appointment.
From the first contact they are: receive letter, review to check secret code of urgency, best consultant for the job is picked, consultant’s secretary receives letter, it is reviewed, secret code of urgency is discussed, best consultant for the job agreed or changed, if changed throw a six and start again – do not pass go, if agreed code again discussed and when the planets align the letter is sent to the patient for patient to call to book appointment.
At any stage the notes can be lost in translation. In between each stage everything floats about in a limbo world where space and time become dark matter. We know it’s there but can’t actually get hold of it.
Average wait from initial contact is 12 weeks, 6 if special, less if deemed really urgent. If patient hasn’t heard within 2/3 weeks they are welcome to get in touch. Average time to begin to ‘be sorted’ in one-way or another is 4/5 months.
It is hard to be cross with anyone as everyone is charming, honest and as helpful as they can be. The system however, sucks. Advice given, often – if really in a pickle go to A&E.
Or, phone clinic and book an appointment to be seen in a week. It comes down to how much is the value of time?
Below is the 1st post from the other blog. I decided to separate them and then who are interested can read more.
Would you like to discuss ailments? No? Farewell. Yes? Read on…
You may or may not know that in times of yore I was a poorly dollop and needed surgery to mend my back. Quite a lot of surgery. More than once. The last one, in 1991, was a Transpedicular fixation of the spine at L4, L5, S1 – I am sharing this information for those who want nitty gritty :).
This is a magical operation whereby the surgeon puts screws into the spine and attaches rods in-between them. Mostly all is good in the lower back department. Twinges, niggles and random spasms can occur but are manageable. My husband and smalls are marvelous and help whenever it is needed. About 13 years ago I had an ‘episode’ whereby the disc above the operation prolapsed. But, after various interventions I managed to avoid further surgery and was back to it. Until now.
Just over a week ago, in the blink of an eye, a spasm occurred and instead of easing away it got worse. Then worse still. By the weekend I was unable to move and am moving around slowly with words falling from my mouth that I didn’t know I knew! I am reminded of the pleasure a growl can bring about. The face is the cloud picture is having a good old groan - the likeness is uncanny.
My tummy knotted into a nauseous ball when my lovely doctor said, ‘I think you have a prolapsed disc or discs in amongst your metalwork. I will get in touch with the hospital where you had the operation and we’ll take it from there.’
The surgeon’s secretary at Frimley Park has this morning been sent a fax. Ha, a fax – we thought that only happened in Jersey… and I am awaiting her call.
I am sharing this as I think you should come with me on this road. It would be cool to say, let’s skip together but I have a numb foot and blue toes so excuse me while I watch you.
From a work POV I can still read so will be looking at proposals sent to 6th and Bedroom Books. How is your writing coming along?
Or call me
07973 772241 (UK)