Friday, April 19, 2013


During this fortnight, I have had two day - case operations, the second being an emergency one, to deal with the failure of the first one.  To top it all, I got a running cold and a cough. 

The first surgical procedure was planned for one day early in April, and off we went for the 120 miles drive to the hospital.  Just in case there were any after-effects, we booked into bed and breakfast not too far away from the hospital. It felt safer to do this, as we do not have the clinical expertise for my case, near home.   Everything seemed fine, and the stopover became more of a mini-break.

I was due to have stitches removed at the local G.P surgery on the Monday. However,  the fates took over at the weekend,  (why couldn't it have been a weekday) which, about four o' clock  on a Saturday afternoon saw us racing twenty miles to the county hospital Emergency Department.  There, I saw a friendly nurse.

Having done her bit of triage she went in search of a doctor, who was a sweet young lady, likely to have been in her first post-qualifying year.   After carefully telling her the whole story again, she went off to make a phone call to the regional hospital out of hours specialist to get advice on what to do.    

The advice given;  I was to cancel the appointment with my GP, the stitches remaining in situ must not be moved.  I was to wait two weeks till my own surgeon came to consult at the out-patient clinic at the county hospital. Yes - I was told, he definitely will have a clinic and the nurses will arrange for an appointment to be sent to you. I was to take some prescribed medication for the two weeks.  Oops... there wasn't any in the department and the hospital pharmacy was closed.  Neither the hospital nor the community had an out of hours rota.  Brilliant!

The nurses eventually found medication in surgical packaging in the minor surgery room. Everyone was trying so hard for me, yet it all felt like a Hobson's choice, which, was confirmed, when the young doctor asked me what dose would I normally be prescribed for the prescription.

Starting out very early on Monday morning, we travelled 120 miles down the road, and arrived to find a very crowded specialist morning clinic at the regional hospital. My luck was in, my surgeon was there.  Have you an appointment ? asked the receptionist.  "No - I said -no time for that, look".  Oh! and she dashed off and quickly returned, saying - he will see you. 

To cut a long story short, I was triaged by the clinic nurses, who, when I thanked them for their concern, replied,  'it was an honour'.  Without any hesitation, the surgeon asked me to stay overnight near the hospital so I could be fitted into his morning surgery list the next day,  "to get 'it' sorted out and fixed".  His secretary arranged some accommodation for us, and we rushed around town to buy a toothbrush each, toothpaste, toiletries and some nightwear.

By the way,  the surgeon told me he did not take outreach clinics at our county hospital, other doctors did that.  

As I was departing from the operating theatre, the doctor asked.... Would you mind returning to clinic have the stitches removed......... ( would I mind!) I'd be delighted, I said.



Jenny said...

Sorry you have had such a palaver, ZACL. Atl least mine went smoothly, so I should be thankful for small mercies! ;)

ZACL said...

I guess our small mercies are different sizes of small, Jennyta, and equally as valuable. Thanks for your thoughts.


Anonymous said...

Good to see that you're okay. As Jenny says what a palaver, and it could have been a very different story I'm sure.
Take care, Flighty xx

ZACL said...

Hi Mr F,

I do wish it could have been a different story Mr F, it should have been. The trail began in December, hopefully, it is nearly completed.

Many thanks for your good wishes.

Snowbird said...

Oh you poor love! To have two surgeries on top of an awful cold is dreadful.
It all sounds horribly chaotic and I hope you didn't suffer too much pain during the waiting periods.

I really hope all is well now and the poor digit heals quickly. Hugs. xxxxx

Anonymous said...

may this all be behind you very quickly. Sounds like quite a bit of trouble.

ZACL said...

Thank you so much for your kind wishes Snowbird. I agree it has been chaotic. There are gaps in service in a location like ours that desperately need addressing.

If it had been digits in trouble the county hospital would have been able to do the A+E stuff very well. As it was, and is, I am keeping myself hooked on, tenuously, at the regional hospital, at a 120 miles distance, because the expertise for me, lies there.

ZACL said...

Ciao Shimon,

I am hoping, if all goes according to plan, that the situation will be under control and behind me, by early May. Then, it should be a case of continual steps of recovery.

Thank you.

keiko amano said...


I'm sorry to hear that your first operation wasn't successful, and the hospital is so far away.

It was my ear operation years ago, but the first one failed, so I had another one. Right before the second surgery before I was about to have anesthesia,I stressed to the doctor with my very serious look that I would not want to come back for the third operation, so please make sure this time would be success. At that moment, I saw on his face as if a light bulb went on. The surgery went fine, and later he told me that he bumped up the procedure to make sure. Good, but if I didn't say that was he going to do the same surgery in the same manner without any change?

I think people's bodies react differently. Maybe most people heal easily from the routine surgery, but some of us do not for some reason. My ear has been okay all these years.

I hope you won't have any more complication.

ZACL said...

Hello Keiko,

Your ear story is fascinating and open to all sorts of conjecture. I am so glad it worked out for you.

Our bodies do have different physical balances, which is why medicine cannot be a 'one size fits all,' (like many things in life). Provision is usually based on the average or the happy median, there will, therefore, always be some individuals who will not conform to those measurements, and other means, where possible, need to be activated to meet their needs.

Thank you for your good wishes, they are much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your difficulties, but glad that in the end it turned out OK. Go on getting better, please, and may the force (or the NHS - they are not quite the same thing) be with you!

ZACL said...

I do wonder GillyK, if 'the force' and the NHS conjoin at all. I reckon I'll keep the much needed "force' with me, as much as I can, to achieve what's necessary.

ZACL said...

P.S. GillyK. Thanks for your hopes and wishes. We'll see what the outcome is next week.....'Ouch!"