Where I’ve been

 

Well hello strangers how are you all doing? It’s been a while hasn’t it? I hope you’ve missed me as much as I’ve missed you. I apologise for my absence over the summer but my life got pretty much flipped upside down and a huge curveball hit me for six. It’s taken me a while to put things back together again and adjust to this new path I’ve been put on.

In April I was due to have a hip replacement surgery. This surgery wouldn’t be easy, recovery would suck but time and it wouldn’t be a miracle that would take every bit of pain away. However it would have given me less pain, greater mobility and an opportunity to make up for lost time with my family, my boys. 

On the build up to the surgery date I was anxious to say the least. I couldn’t sleep, I felt quite withdrawal at times because I couldn’t stop thinking about it. 

I was absolutely petrified of having to go through a major surgery and recovery again. My spinal surgery and the aftermath still haunts me to this day and those old memories came scratching toward the surface causing me to freak out. But with the support of my family I got it together and began to see all the positives that surgery could bring. Less pain means an improved quality of life, it would make my mobility a lot better and I could do things like take my youngest son to school or go on a date with my partner without feeling exhausted both physically and mentally and be in so much pain I couldn’t focus on anything else.

Overall I hoped this hip surgery would give me my life back. I made plans. So many plans, just small things to some people but huge things for me. It’s hard to explain what it’s like to live with arthritis and to put into words how it affects your life. 

Arthritis truths

This describes life with arthritis perfectly!

 

I felt very excited about this new chance I was going to get.

Hospital apt’s 

I had the x-rays, phone calls with pain management nurses about how to best manage my pain in hospital and during recovery. We discussed removing certain pain medications from my daily routine permanently once I was fully healed which I was looking forward to. 

I went to the hospital and had my pre-op. The nurse took a good few blood samples, she took nose and groin swaps for MRSI testing. I had an ECG to check my heart. I had the full work up ready for this life changing surgery. It was really happening!!

The hospital I was due to have surgery at seemed amazing. They really cared about my after care and even realised that the surgery date would mean I’d be in hospital over the weekend where there was less staff and they thought that it might be better to change the date from a Friday to the Monday with the aim of receiving the best pain after care possible.

Unfortunately that meant changing surgeons. But being such an amazing place they felt it was best that I met the surgeon. So that’s what I did, travelled the 35 miles for the second time in a fortnight to go over things with the new doctor. He insisted on more x-rays and after reviewing them, discussing the surgery he shook my hand and said ‘I’ll see you in two weeks for the operation’ and it all seemed very straight forward. 

A date 

Avengers Endgame had just come out and as a big marvel fan  I insisted on watching it before my surgery. So my partner and I decided to make it a daytime date whilst our kids were at school. We upgraded to the fancy seats and settled in with popcorn, nachos and drinks ready to enjoy our date and make it a fun memory for us both. It also stood as a sign of what we could do in the future once I was over the recovery.

Avengers endgame

 

Just as the trailers started my phone vibrated in my pocket and the hospitals number came up so I rushed into the foyer to take it.

My own endgame?! 

The pain management nurse told me that they’d had another meeting and that they’d decided I was ‘too complicated’ for them and that they were scrapping my surgery. Those words hit me like a freight train and as I tried to make sense of it she began to talk about her concerns for my long-term relationship with class A opioids that I am prescribed for my pain.

Complicated

 

She said that she would write to my GP and include the latest research on what long-term opioid can do in terms of addiction and lowered impact on pain. She spoke for ten minutes about how bad my GP is to keep prescribing me the strong medications and how I needed to stop taking them.

Now don’t get me wrong,  I fully intent on reducing my medications in time. But merely a minute after telling me that my surgery was cancelled, a surgery that would have reduced my pain and I wouldn’t need all the strong medications, was not the right time to be preaching about opioid problems. 

I tried to get a word in but it was no good and this nurse continued her impassioned monologue about the awful ways in which my life was affected while I was taking so many medications.

What she didn’t tell me was what the hell I was suppose to do now. It was Friday, my surgery had been scheduled for the Monday.

At 3 days notice they cancelled it.

My family had booked time off work to help me in recovery and help out with the boys. I’d stressed out then built up my hopes for weeks about this surgery and now it was just ripped away and she was more concerned about bloody medication than advising me on what I had to do next. When I finally managed to get to speak I asked ‘what do I do now then?’ And her answer was ‘go to your GP and  I’ll send an email explaining. They will have to find you somewhere else to do the operationn’ and that was the end of that call.

 

So that was that. I had to go to my GP on the Monday, heartbroken because I should have been in surgery not sitting in the GP’s office. I was referred (again) to the orthopaedic surgeons again and wait for the process to start again.

8 weeks later I went to the local private health clinic via the NHS. This surgeon demanded more x-rays (side note I am sure I am catching up to The Hulk on the radiation levels!) and after hearing my story and history guess what she told me?! 

The issue here is you are very COMPLICATED

Donald trump healthcare

 

I swear I could have screamed there and then.

I might get that tattooed or myself or maybe I’ll change my name by depoll –

     COMPLICATED ELIZABETH.

 

Meredith complicated meme  

Questions 

So let me guess what you are thinking, I’m sure you have some questions such as:

So why am I complicated?

 

What have the doctors said and done to help me?

 

Why haven’t I had a hip replacement yet?

 

Why am I still in agony and fed up most of the time?

 

Well to be truthful there aren’t simple, straightforward and quick answers for those questions. What’s been going on since April to now is a really long story and perhaps something for another day.

But for now just know I’m still here, I’m still fighting and I’m back. 

I’d love it if you could stick around and follow my journey and if you have any advice or a similar story to share I’d love to hear from you.

Thank  you for being here, it means more than you’ll ever know. ♥️

 

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