What next?

Today I had an appointment to see my Plastic Consultant at Addenbrooke’s Hospital. The 11:35 appointment meant no rush hour traffic, no stupidly early morning and a fighting chance of getting a car parking space. Dad drove me there and we headed straight for our usual car park but unfortunately there were no spaces. We headed out and up to the main entrance area but all the disabled spaces along the way were full too. I probably would have gone straight for the dreaded multi-storey at this point, dad being slightly more persistent went back to the first car park again. Turned out to be a good call because just as we got there someone was pulling out, one free space and closer to where we needed to be, well done Dad.

We got to the Clinic, I went to the right one this time, booked in at reception and we had to go to the waiting room at the other end of the corridor. On the way down I jokingly said that it would probably be packed to capacity, I should have kept my big mouth shut, as it was. There was not one seat spare so we got to a position that caused the least congestion to wait. A Nurse got Dad a chair and I was pretty glad that I came with my own. The message on the TV screen came up that my Consultant was about 20mins late, 10mins later that had increased to 40mins late. I sent Dad off to get a coffee, while I people watched and read the different information scrolling round on the TV. Dad got back just as someone asked how much longer they would be waiting for, the nurse told them the Consultant was now running about an hour and 15mins late.

My Consultant had been calling in all his patients and seeing them himself, that was until it came to me. I had another lady call my through and she took me into a room. She told me she worked with my Consultant and apologised for the delay, as they had been so busy today. I wasn’t too bothered about the wait but the fact that the Consultant didn’t see me himself felt like a bit of a kick in the teeth to be honest. She asked me how things were, I told her that I was still on a lot of medication but seem to be on top of the pain reasonably well at the moment. She mentioned what they had done and asked to see the stump. I removed the sock and she glanced at it, she sprung from the chair to use the hand wash and then asked if she could feel it. I was expecting her to look at the stump from different angles maybe standing up too, feel the areas around the stump to check bruising, swelling etc. What I got was a slight touch around the scar sight and that was it, hardly worth cleaning her hands for to be honest. She told me that it looked fine and I told her I was happy with the way it had healed. I said the Liposuction had worked well as it had reduced the weight but the tissue was still moving over the bone and causing some issues it had before, but I didn’t know if that was just it settling still. She told me that from a plastic point of view they had done all they could, there was nothing more they could do for me so were discharging me. She mentioned that the Orthopaedics may have some ideas if I was still having an issue and asked if I was still under the Orthopaedic Consultants. I told her I’d had the amputation done in Hinchingbrooke Hospital and that my Consultant there had discharged me after that. She mentioned that obviously with the Orthopaedics that could, and probably would, involve more surgery, and that I may be at the point where I’d say I’ve had enough and stay as I am. I told her I was seeing the Rehab Consultant and she just said that maybe they might have some suggestions or could work with the prosthetist to see if something could be done. She asked me if I had any questions, feeling a bit stunned by what had happened and the conversation I couldn’t think of anything and it was all over. I can only have been in there for about 5mins.

By the time we got home we had been out for three and a half hours for a 5min appointment and a discharge. I’m happy that they are pleased with the way the wound has healed but I feel almost like I’m in some form of limbo or not sure what’s next. I actually think I’m trying to get my head around things and yet I don’t even know what I expected from the appointment. I feel low, I do know that much, really unsure and with an awful lot to think about. I think I was hoping for something slightly more positive even though I went in with an open mind. I have to admit I’m finding this really hard to write, I don’t know what I’m thinking and I don’t know what to say about it. I can’t say it was really negative but then there was no positivity either, it seemed almost pointless yet very matter of fact. I feel more negative than normal and usually look to finish a blog post on a positive point but I can’t find one. I will just have to think about what it all means over the next couple of days and try and get something constructive from it. I see my Rehab Consultant at the end of the month, hopefully with the prosthetist, I will have to make a plan and get some questions together to see where we go from here. I hope they can come up with something good, with what I’m thinking and feeling about the situation at the moment, walking is looking the less likely option.


Confused 4

4 Responses to “What next?”

  1. I get frustrated just reading that, I can only imagine how you feel. I do understand what it’s like to feel low after consultations.

    The realisation that you are losing contact with the comfort blanket of certain health care professionals can be scary, even depressing.

    The positivity takes a bit longer to sink in but it does. These consultants don’t have a strong personal attachment to you, that is a good thing. It means they are looking at your progress without sentiment or bias. They would not be flippant about moving you on, they would be confident it is the right thing.

    Moving away from any protective bubble is difficult but if we don’t take that step then our lives cannot move forward.

    I am sure you will find the positive spin you are looking for in due course.

    All the best


    • Hi Steve

      Thanks again for your comment :)

      It’s not the safety blanket kind of feeling. Apart from keep reminding me that the bone is very small and difficult to do something with to fix the problem, there was no input from them. They didn’t tell me if the bursa is likely to return, which I assume it is if the tissue is still rubbing. They didn’t say that there is still a chance that it will bind to the tissue in time, or not. It was just a sense of nothingness (which really is a word) from their side. I’m hoping that the Rehab Consultant will be a little more talkative and actually give me some options (if there are any) or likely out comes. I know it is early days from the surgery, it’s not frustration I’m feeling more like I’m just moving into a void. I know there are pretty much two outcomes, walking or wheelchair (and I can live with both) but some kind of indication of where we are going from here would be nice. It’s just so hard to describe.

      I’m sure that the Rehab Consultant and prosthetist will be able to give me some options and a better idea of the situation. Role on the end of the month! Appreciate your input Steve, thanks again :)

      • I don’t think doctors and consultants realise the effect it can have when they treat you like a number. They can get so caught up in work that they lose sight of how important a meeting is to be patient.

        Fingers crossed that the Rehab Consultant takes the time to fill that void.

        I’ll hear how you get on

      • I’m sure the Rehab Consultant will be much better and informative, even if what he tells me is not great news it will still be more positive/constructive than the last appointment. At least I’ll know more, know what I’m working with and can move on. Of course I’m hoping it will be more positive news and I can get back to learning to walk again. I’ll keep posting :)

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