23 June 2014

Spot of bother

I mentioned a while ago that I had a basal cell carcinoma on my forehead which needed removing. Having been pushed from pillar to post in the NHS system, it has taken over a year to get from my first visit to the GP to actual surgery. 

My GP spent months from May last year trying out different potions and lotions  (all to no effect) before referring me in November to another GP practice which specialises in skin disorders. They did a biopsy which came up with the basal cell diagnosis, but then I had to be referred to the dermatologist at the hospital for the official confirmation. I saw her in January.

picture courtesy of http://library.med.utah.edu

The dermatologist however declared that as the spot was on my face, she was going to pass me on to a maxillo-facial surgeon to do the operation. I would need to have a consultation with him first and indeed  saw him at the beginning of April. He told me I was already a week over their deadline for dealing with such things, though obviously it was not his fault. He promised he would get me an operation date as quickly as possible

I was duly sent the date of 2 June (not so quickly as possible as I had imagined) and having geared myself up for the operation, I was crestfallen to receive a phone call just a few days beforehand, saying the "clinician" had to attend another hospital on that day and the operation had been postponed......... until 11am on 23 June. I was annoyed, particularly as I had put off doing a lot of things until the op was out of the way, or had scheduled other things in preparation for it (such as getting my hair cut to avoid doing it once I had stitches in my head).

More weeks of waiting and anticipation/dread passed and today was the due date. Although I was having a local anaesthetic, I was advised not to drive myself to the hospital and back, in case the wound on my forehead swelled and affected my vision. Fortunately, just as I was working out bus timetables to get there, Kay announced she'd be home for a few days anyway, so she would drive me there.

When we arrived at the hospital this morning, the receptionist looked a little strange when I checked in. She got me to repeat my surname, then my first name, then my surname again. She wanted to know my date of birth, then my surname again. Her brow furrowed. She asked me to take a seat. A few minutes passed, then she came over and broke the news gently. I was not on their list for today and they were not expecting me. Who had rang me to cancel the op on the 2nd?  Male or female? I was told to wait and a nurse would speak to me. More questions followed until I was finally seen at midday by a very sexy French Registrar. To cut a long story short, he said there was nobody else there now to provide back-up, so the op could not be done today and would have to be resheduled for 14 July. 

"Ah, Bastille Day" he mused. 

"My birthday", said Kay (although she'll be away from home then anyway).

Fingers crossed, it'll go ahead this time, but I am not raising my hopes. Mind you, maybe today's cancellation was a blessing in disguise.  I have been having trouble with my neck for the last 5 weeks and can barely move my head. I am not sure whether it is a trapped nerve or muscle spasms.  I have recently been to the local hospital's walk-in clinic, been advised to see a physiotherapist (with whom I have now had three sessions), been prescribed extra-strong painkillers, as well as a muscle-relaxant, worn a foam collar 24/7 and NOTHING has worked. Let's just say the pain is still so bad, I'd sooner give birth to a baby (and that's saying something)! So maybe trying to lie still on slab while they removed a bit of my forehead was being a tad optimistic.

Watch this space. Knowing the NHS, I might still be waiting for surgery at Christmas.


K Ville said...

Hmmmmm. Most frustrating.

nuttycow said...

Oh - What a pain Addy. I hope they get it sorted :(