It is hard to tell you exactly what is wrong with me, because not even I or the Doctors really know. So I shall tell you as much as I know at this point and as I learn more I shall share more.
Ok so, my story begins in the Summer of 2013. We shall call this chaper –
Shoulders and Spine.
In August of 2013, Harry and I had just moved in to our first house together, we had rescued our second dog (Sammy) and life was pretty spectacular. One gloriously sunny and hot afternoon my Mum and Nan came down to visit, and we went to a local tea room for some lunch before heading off to spend what should have been a lovely day together.
We took the dogs with us as it was a nice day and with Sammy being new to us and quite a nervous dog we were continuing with slowly introducing him to places to build up his confidence and getting him used to just being out and about.
It was lovely we all arrived and found a lovely seat outside in the tea room gardens and we ordered lots of sandwiches and cakes and were talking. The dogs were being really well-behaved. Harry had Brody (our other dog) by him and she was lying next to him on the floor, and I was sitting with Sammy at my side, loosely holding on to his lead.
All of a sudden another couple arrive and they too have had the same idea as us – take a drive out for some cake and bring the dog too. This would have been fine. Had their dog been calm and friendly. However this was not the case. Their dog seeing Sammy, began to bark and growl at him, Sammy suddenly stood up and I knew he was going to bolt, so I grabbed hold of his lead tightly so that he couldn’t run away or get too close to the other dog but Sammy instead of running towards the dog he ran around the back of my chair to hide. He did this, but he did it so quickly and with such force that he pulled my arm back around the chair behind me and there was this god almighty crack. When I say it was loud, I mean it was loud. Everyone around us turned to look and the owner of the tea room came rushing out because he thought that one of the wooden chars had snapped.
I instantly scream in pain, at the time I had never known any pain like it. I couldn’t hold anything in my hand and my elbow had more than doubled in size in the seconds after it.
Tear began to stream down my face as the pain intensifies and my mum goes “SHIT! She’s broken to shoulder” (My mum later said that the noise was so loud she was convinced that I had snapped the bones in my arm and collarbone) The owner of the tea room has rushed to get the phone and is saying “Shall I call an ambulance” and everyone else around us is gasping and going “Her dogs just broken her arm” I’m sitting there clutching my shoulder tears streaming down my face and I’m going “It hurts, oh fuck it hurts”
My mum says no to the ambulance and anyone who has ever seen my mother drive knows that the reason she said no was because she could get me to hospital quicker than any ambulance. And this is where the trouble starts.
I arrive at Eastbourne Hospital. Having been sick from the pain and I’m dizzy. The pain is unreal at this point, I can hardly breathe. Mum is trying to keep me calm and I’m trying but all I wanted to scream was ‘CUNT’. So I am at the reception trying to book in and the woman is asking me more questions than I think they ask people who want to join the Secret Service. It becomes too much and I have to sit down before I nearly pass out or throw up again.
After what felt like an eternity I am seen by a nurse, who takes me in has a look at it whilst my mother and I try to explain to her what happened, the noise we all heard and the fact that I am in so much pain, she attempts to move my arm and then when I scream in pain tells me to “not be so overly dramatic” she very begrudgingly sends me for an X-Ray after offering me a paracetamol. I asked her if I could have anything stronger as I didn’t think a paracetomol would really do anything the amount of pain I am in. But she tells me NO and then doesn’t give me anything at all. She also tells me that she thinks that I have just twisted my elbow as it was very swollen.
I go off for my X-Ray and the woman starts manipulating to arm. I’m screaming bloody murder and I’m pretty sure I actually threatened the X-ray lady with murder. She says to me “You shouldn’t be in this much pain with a twisted elbow… didn’t they give you any pain relief?” I said NO again and then said that I had shooting pains down from my shoulder in to my elbow but she was having NONE of it. She X-rayed my elbow and refused to take any of my shoulder.
I then went back to the waiting room and sat there for 3 and a half hours with no pain relief or anything. Eventually I am called back in to the nurses office and told that they Dr has looked at my X-ray and there is nothing wrong with my elbow so to go home.
Well now I am in tears again. I am telling her “I told you it’s not my elbow, it’s my shoulder I am in so much pain, I’m going nowhere until I’ve seen the dr or had more x-rays or had some more pain relief” well the nurse refused. But not only did she refuse she called security and sent me home with some co-codamol.
Anyway, went home and I was in agony, I spent a good week with an arm that didn’t move, was cold, had shooting pains and was an odd shape and swollen. I took as many pills (even more than is recommended on the pack) to try and help with the pain but after a few days I attempted to go back to the hospital and get it looked at again and was turned away. I was told that they wouldn’t see me and again threatened me with security.
So I carried on living life in pain. I slowly started to be able to use my arm again but I couldn’t raise it past a 45 degree angle and the swelling went down but the pain was extreme. I had no feeling whatsoever in 3 of my fingers on my left hand, however I carried on working and doing everthing however I was starting to get crippling pain in my back, my neck and my hips. I couldn’t stand for long periods of time and I couldn’t walk far… the list was endless but I carried on. Until one day I was at work and I picked something up and my arm made the same crack that it had made the day I originally did it. The same pains kept on coming flooding back and it was all very similar. Again I tried the hospital to be turned away so I went home. Again I couldn’t move it but on Monday I made an appointment with my GP. I went and they diagnosed me with a rotator cuff injury. They also gave me alot of drugs to help with the pain and the inflammation and all these other things and refered me to a surgeon. However I
I finally saw my surgeon, he asked my symptoms and then he looked at my arm. His first question after this was “Have you ever dislocated your shoulder?” I then began to recount the story I have just told, and he said to me “Swollen elbow is the biggest sign of a dislocated shoulder, they should have checked it, but I think it might be rotator cuff”
He arranged for me to have surgery… so a couple months after I went and I had surgery.
When I came round he came down to tell me what had happened when he had opened me up.
He had discovered that for nearly a year I had been living with a nearly completely dislocated shoulder, had completely torn my rotator cuff, had a shoulder full of scar tissue and had lots more damage. He had had to shave my bone down to get it back in to the socket but that I would likely need more operations in the future to completely fix the damage. I wouldn’t mind if it had just been my shoulder that was fucked. I was sent for multiple MRI’s to see the extent of the damage that had been done to my body because of this accident and missed injury by the NHS, as well as trying to find answers as to why I now had trouble walking or standing.
The results of my MRI scan show that because Eastbourne Hospital failed to spot my shoulder I now have a messed up spine. my C1-C5 vertabries are swollen and shifted. The rest of my spine has also suffered damage and my lower vertabries and my hips are also damaged and out of line and swollen and my hips have begun to twist.
Because of the damage that has been down to my spine and to my shoulder I have not been able to work since February 2014. Still now to this day I have issues with my back, neck and hips and cannot walk or stand for long periods of time.
Through intense treatment such as physiotherapy, accupuncture and my own sheer determination I have managed to get nearly full range back in to my shoulder. However… The pain and inflammation in my shoulder is a constant pain, and I now just add it to the list. At some point I will need more opertations, and I am actually going to have to have a break and carry on with my story another time because even something as simple as sitting here typing, is causing me great pain in my shoulder. Even to this day the feeling in my fingers comes and goes and the stiffness and weakness of my shoulder is now so noticeable. The worst part though is the pain and the changes in life style that come from having had my spine messed up. I can no longer exercise, or take my dogs for long walks like I used to love. Even things like hanging out the washing is a struggle but I am adapting.
However, the pain is too much and it is late, so I shall end Part 1 of the story of my health there and I shall coninue with the rest next time… Don’t worry it gets worse… much much worse. Or better. Depending on which way you look at it, either from my point of view or from that of a story teller.