So, finally, after a year I get to meet the consultant surgeon under whose care I was operated on. Except I wasn’t under his care as I never saw him. This is normal in the NHS, where easy cases are delegated to junior surgeons, but I was confident that being a difficult case because of my sarcoma I would get treated as whole person rather than a joint.
Don’t get me wrong – I love and admire the NHS, I just wish it wasn’t so underfunded and was better managed. I wrote and complained over my treatment in order to help others who are not so vocal or articulate escape the issues that dogged my operation and after-care. I won’t repeat them here. The main gripe was never seeing a consultant or even the surgeon who had operated on me.
So this morning I arrive a good 1 hour 15 minutes before my appointment for the x-ray. I don’t trust the advice to arrive 30 minutes in advance. How right I was. Chaos in the imaging department, understaffed and extremely slow. My blood pressure rises as the minutes tick by; finally 15 minutes before my appointment I am called and the x-rays are quickly taken and I am upstairs for my appointment bang on time.
A short wait, but finally I am ushered in to see The Consultant. He is very charming and I spend a good 25 minutes with him going through my areas of concern. He is understanding and agrees that there is much that is not joined up: his responsibility is to ensure the surgery is well done, which it is. All the other stuff is out of his control. But he is sympathetic and agrees it is important to complain s complaints are taken very seriously; he is sorry that I had ‘such a bad time’.
We have a long discussion as to why I am still in pain. He thinks that when they did the op they detached and re-attatched the tendon from the bone. This is normal. The pain is where it was reattached and this sometimes happens. You can have a steroid injection but he doesnt recommend it except in serious cases. As for my continuing back pain, he agrees that it is probably caused by all my changes of gait with one leg compensating for the other at various stages of my operations. My sarcoma leg is irreparably damaged and I have a permanent limp from that for starters.
So there we have it – a year later, a sensible surgeon, a proper consultation and my anxieties are finally quelled. But what a to-do to get there. And of course I still limp and am still in pain, on and off.
Here are nice pictures to brighten your day!