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I am 33 years old and here is my story to date, as per a complaint that I have registered with my local Pennine NHS Trust.
To give a brief history on Monday 14 August 2006 I collapsed at home with severe groin pain. I attended my GP who requested a blood sample and I was told to rest, if symptoms were to increase then I was to go to A&E. On Tuesday 15 August I received a telephone call from my GP stating that my white cell count was raised and that I was to report directly to a ward at Stepping Hill as I has a suspected appendicitis.
After being admitted to the ward I underwent a series of blood tests, scans and x-rays. Other than confirming that I did not have an appendicitis no condition was diagnosed even though I was suffering from excruciating pain, I was given painkillers and told to go back to see my GP.
I was prescribed Arcoxia 120mg and Metronidazole 400mg for the sickness. After this I was prescribed Co-codamol 30/500mg and Ibuprofen 400mg with Lansoprazole to protect my stomach and Lactulose to combat the constipation.
Again assumptions were made about my condition and my GP requested an investigation into whether I had developed Endometriosis again, so on Monday 23 October 2006 I was admitted to the surgical unit for a laparoscopy, which did not show any changes to substaniate this diagnosis. After the laparoscopy I was left with a very nasty infection that took five doses of antibiotics to clear, the two stitches that we used to close the wound came undone the day after and I was left with green puss leaking from it. The doctor that performed the laparoscopy suggested that I have my coil checked and that the pain could be a result of my back.
On 1 November 2006 my GP checked my coil and took a swab of the area surrounding it. The results were negative for infection.
I returned to work on 4 December 2006 only to go back on sick leave 8 January 2007.
On 24 January 2007 I attended physio therapy and was assessed and given ten exercises to do in repetitions of ten to be done four times a day. When I queried the Physio Therapist as to why I have been referred to physio without first having a scan, I was told that I couldn't expect a third intervention, as the first intervention were the investigations into the appendicitis, the second intervention being the laparoscopy. However, on 12 February I was unable to get out of bed, even after taking two co-codamol and two ibuprofen, and I was left with mobility problems that lasted for over a week. On attending the last physio appointment, I was informed that I needed an urgent MRI scan to identify the problem and that I was not to continue with the exercises.
In February 2007 I was prescribed Diclofenac 50mg, but these were not effective so I was told to continue with the co-codamol and ibuprofen. On 28 February 2007 I attended an appointment with a senior Physio Therapist and she told me that in her opinion there was nothing seriously wrong with my back, but I should keep the MRI scan appointment to be on the safe side and to complete some minor exercises.
On 5 March 2007 I underwent an MRI scan at Withington Community Hospital and had further blood tests taken on 3 April 2007. The results of the MRI scan were that I have prolapsed disc and enlarged lymph nodes in my groin.
I attended an appointment on 10 May with a Consultant at the Trauma & Orthopaedic Clinic and the first thing out of his mouth was that I needed surgery to remove the prolapsed disc. On 15 May I attended an appointment at the General Medicine Clinic, only to be told that it was the heart clinic and that I had been wrongly referred!
I had a smear test on 18 June 2007, this was negative.
On 26 June 2007 I gave up smoking in anticipation of the operation.
On 6 July my GP prescribed DF118 Dihydrocodeine 40mg and senna to relieve the constipation.
I attended an appointment with a Consultant at the pain clinic and he told me that the waiting list for the injection was longer than the operation waiting list. He said that the injection could possibly reduce the symptoms but this could not be guaranteed.
On 26 July 2007 I attended an appointment with the Occupational Health Unit at my work place and we agreed a phased return to work commencing on 23 August 2007.
My pre-op assessment was on 16 August and the Consultant informed my that it could be possible to shave the offending part of the disc, instead of removing it. However, I received a telephone call to say that they had not taken enough blood samples and that I had to attend again to have more blood taken, which I did on 13 September 2007. The surgery was scheduled for Monday 8 October and admission would be on Sunday 7 October.
On Thursday 4 October I telephoned the surgical ward to arrange an admission time and to inform them that I had developed a cold. I was told that I should be okay to proceed with the operation as colds only last a few days and that I was to telephone the ward on Sunday to obtain an admission time.
On Sunday 7 October 2007 I telephoned the ward as agreed and was told that I could not be admitted due to the cold, I was told to contact the waiting list office on Monday morning to organise a new date.
I telephoned the waiting list office on Monday 8 October and explained what had happened and the person was very cold and unsympathetic, she basically told me that it was all my fault and that they were now booked up until February, oh but there is an opening a few days before Christmas. She also had a go at me for wasting surgery time and stated that I have only been waiting since July, in which I replied that this has been ongoing since August 2006. By the end of the telephone call I was reduced to tears and was left feeling very depressed.
My mother contacted the waiting list office on Wednesday 10 October to try and see if there was anything that could be done to expedite the matter, however, the person was rude, sarcastic and uncooperative, when my mum explained that she had given up her job to look after both me and my daughter, the person told her that she's better get back to work then, shouldn't she and how is my pain her fault, and what does my mum expect her to do.
I telephoned the waiting list office again on Friday 12 October to try and discuss the situation as I had a management review meeting at work that morning. I explained that as a single mother I cannot take an appointment too close to Christmas as this would ruin my 8 year old daughters Christmas and that this could my terminally ill Nannies last Christmas. I also explained that I did not miss my operation date through any fault of my own, that I was acting on the guidance of the ward in respect of the cold and had I known I would have contacted the waiting list office on the Thursday to reschedule. I was told that there are no foreseeable surgery dates, I asked to be considered for a cancellation, as all arrangements are in place for me to be admitted and that I live close by.
On 19 October 2007 I went on sick leave again and have been signed off work since. I attended a GP appointment on 26 October and have been prescribed the following medication; DHC Continus 120mg tablets, Movicol 13.8g Oral Powder Sachets (laxative to combat the constipation caused by DNC Continus), Fentanyl 25micrograms/hour patches, Metoclopramide 10mg tablets (anti-sickness to combat the Fentanyl), Naproxen 250mg tablets and Omeprazole 20mg capsules (gastric protection from Naproxen). I am also taking Mirtazapine 45mg for clinical depression.
I contacted the waiting list office again on Monday 5 November 2007 and was told that the Consultant had scheduled additional dates, again I was offered a date close to Christmas namely 21 December. I find this very beculiar as this is the same date that I was offered nearly a month ago, and yet there have been no cancellations?
It has been nearly seventeen months since I became symptomatic and yet I have been wrongly diagnosed, had an unnecessary surgical procedure. I am on the verge of loosing my job as my team cannot assimilate my work load and my sick pay is coming to an end.
It seems that the longer this goes on the more damage I am sustaining to my back, I have started to develop numbness in my right foot now, constant saddle numbness and problems passing urine. My knee joints and right hip joint have also decided to join the party and my legs love to give up while walking so I end up as a heap on the pavement with no good samaritans running to my aid. I really need to get back to work to support my child and I can no longer keep depending on my mother to assist me as she is 62 years old, has high blood pressure, asthma and diabetes.
So my predicament is that my work has just issued capability proceedings against me, which is in two weeks time, so come Christmas there will be no santa.
GOD BLESS OUR WONDERFUL NHS! :x
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