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I have struggled with IBS for about six years now.
Last July, I developed what is known as an infected anal fistula from my (as you probably know!) more-than-regular toilet usage. I was then diagnosed in August by a consultant with the problem, the only treatment being surgery under general anesthetic.
Since then, I have been on painkillers such as Codeine which are terrible for the stomach, but the fistula pain is so overwhelming at times that taking painkillers is unavoidable if I wish to continue with ordinary life.
I then moved house and due to a change of area, the hospital in that locality would not let me book an operation, but made me go through the dehumanising process of seeing a GP, then consultant, and so forth to book my operation again. During this time I was hospitalised twice as I could not walk from the excruciating pain, and continued to up my medication.
After finally being given an operation date in January, this was then cancelled during my pre-op due to a hereditary heart issue that I needed to be cleared for, despite it not impacting your life until you reach old age (I'm 27).
Following an all clear from my heart test, I attempted to rebook my operation and was told to go BACK to the GP and book further heart tests, despite them previously saying to rebook it straight with the hospital following the all clear.
Therefore, I went to the GP where she helpfully wrote a letter saying I did not need to be referred for more tests, and to rebook my op. I rang the operations department for the millionth time, and they told me to wait, and they'd get back to me on the day. Two weeks later, after hearing nothing, I called, and they said I would have to go back to the GP and begin the entire process again with a doctor's appointment, then consultant referral, tests etc. Ridiculous, I know.
Anyway, after telling them that was unacceptable (in a stern fashion) and speaking directly to the colorectal surgeon's secretary, they booked my operation in for this Wednesday. However, today they rang to tell me that it was to be cancelled as they were too busy with other operations and mine was not a priority, despite it being cancelled previously for spurious reasons (as the doctor conducting my pre-op assessment suggested).
They said it could be in two weeks, but is liable to get cancelled again. I have suffered for over 9 months now with this pain, and the regular consumption of painkillers and inability to perform properly at work and so forth is severely impacting my physical and mental health.
I am now at my wits end with this situation - and nearly in tears when I think about it, the pain is truly unbearable and has resulted in many sacrifices, such as giving up my beloved dog as I could not provide sufficient exercise. So my question is - would an official complaint get me anywhere? And has anyone had experience with such complaints? I do not want the added stress to only be turned away again by the frustrating NHS system.
Thank you for your time,
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