7 months

It doesn’t seem like a long time to many, but to someone with a chronic illness, to me, 7 months is a life time.

Today I called the hospital to which I am being referred because the previous one did such a bad job, I nearly died and they will not fix the mess they have left inside my body.
So I called this new hospital as requested by my GP, as I hadn’t heard anything from them yet regarding an appointment and she had sent the referral in March.
So there I am, pen and paper in hand read to note down any names, numbers, or dates I might need, and the switchboard helpfully puts me through to where they claim I need to be. Typically, whenever I ring there is no-one there so I leave a message, in my telephone voice, with all the information they could need and what it was that I actually wanted. Eventually and in quite a timely manner this lovely lady telephones me back. She then tells me that she has looked me up on the system and that she’s happy to tell me that, good news, “Yes we have received your request from your GP, and you were placed on the waiting list a few days ago…” But this is where the good news ends. Suddenly her voice isn’t so happy and uplifting anymore.
Suddenly she is using the words “I hate to have to tell you this…” and “unfortunately”.
She continues “The waiting time to see the general surgeon for just a quick appointment to discuss your referral and to talk to you about your symptoms before anything can actually be put in to action is 28 weeks.” – I’m suddenly a maths genius and all of those times I used to moan when my teachers would say “Time for some mental maths” paid off and I had worked out that was 7 months.

I said to her in a surprised tone “7 months?” Then came a sigh, and a tone, which suddenly to me made it all far too clear to me that this poor woman had to have this very same conversation with many other people before me.

“Sadly yes. I’ll give you the appointments number because St Richards hospital does have a slightly shorter waiting list and they will be able to also put you on their books if you want… But I must tell you” she continued “This 7 month wait is just the first, and I have checked all of the other waiting lists for you whilst I have you on the phone and, having a quick look at times for sending you to: specialist or follow-up with the general surgeon after the initial appointment – another 7 months. Then sending you for tests – up to 7 months. It will then be back to the bottom of the waiting list for the results and that will mean another 7 Months, and then another 7 for treatment. That is assuming that the tests find something the first time round and you don’t have to go through various different ones or have to see multiple people”

I’m not quite sure what she said after that, as again I was doing the maths in my head.
So if everything went to plan and I only had to see everyone once and only had to have 1 test and 1 results and then 1 op… it’ll be like 35 Months more waiting and not knowing.

But knowing my luck I’ll have to see multiple people and have multiple tests and multiple ops… It’ll be years.

Once I got off the phone to the lady, I am not ashamed to say I BURST into tears. I burst in to tears because (I think) I am sitting here watching my life tick by and not able to move on or make plans. Ok I am planning on getting married, but at this rate I won’t be well enough to even enjoy the full day. That is a horrible way to feel and to spend your life.

I am being told by my drs that I need to get on with trying to have children because it could be hard for me because of all the messing about in that area that has gone on, and to try to have it done by 30, but I’m 27 next month, and there is no way I could have children in the state that I am in… My life is a constant battle from day-to-day, but deep down I know that I wouldn’t be so sad or mad about it all, if it was caused by my own body, but it wasn’t. It was caused by a surgeon who decided to rush in, do a surgery that he later admitted didn’t need to be done and the worst part, he did the irrelevant surgery poorly. I nearly died because of his incompetence and I had to have 2 more corrective surgeries in 2 weeks after the initial op (3 ops in 3 weeks) to try and fix what he did. I have been left with internal injuries that no one at the same hospital will take on to fix, as each surgeon is saying “Hey, I just did Operation 2 or 3 out of them all get the guy before me to fix it” and the first surgeon isn’t touching me again if my life depended on it.
He didn’t even apologise the first time I saw him after all the surgeries. In fact, he denied all knowledge of having done the operation, even though nurses, the other surgeons, surgical team members (who actually said “you were down here the other day with Mr Jethwa”) had all told me and my family it was him who had done it.

Anyway, I’m off to try and find the silver lining. I’m going to try and find a way to get through this all. It’s out there somewhere, just wish me luck.

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