Normally I love getting free gifts but I’m not so sure about these…

I paid another visit to Derby Royal Hospital and I couldn’t complete this post without commenting on the fantastic service I received.

I left with a selection of ‘freebies’ – samples of various catheters for use away from home. Normally I love coming home with a goodie bag but today I’m not so sure… 🙂

Update: four weeks since surgery (coping with cauda equina)

I can’t believe that it’s been four weeks since I had my operation.  In that time I’ve made regular visits to the hospital and have started to come to terms with the changes in my abilities.

What’s happened in four weeks?

  • My wound has nearly healed – just a little scar is all I have left on my back now.
  • I haven’t regained any of the sensation I lost in the back of my legs/feet etc.
  • I’ve failed my TWOC again (Google it!) but now I’m a drain on my NHS by self catheterising (with approximately £250 worth of single use catheters a month!)
  • I can hobble for short distances using the walking stick the hospital supplied
  • I caught my first UTI!
  • I’ve been signed off work until the middle of May on my latest hospital visit (I can’t drive yet or do lifting etc).

Compared to stories of many people who have experienced cauda equina syndrome I’m doing well.  The pain is manageable with pain killers and posture, and I have plenty more visits to the hospital planned for them to monitor my progress…  I’ve also found a great community on Facebook of CES sufferers that is a great source of strength.

Feel free to leave a comment if you have experience of cauda equina – I’d love to hear from you.

When admin tasks and paperwork let us down…

I recently spent a while in hospital as followers of my blogs will know.  Last week I spent a day at the Urology day care at Derby hospital, and again I received the highest quality of care from a fantastic team.

Unfortunately I came today to contact my GP to see if they had managed to prescribe my single use catheters (they really are as unpleasant as you imagine them to be!) – the staff at the surgery didn’t know what to prescribe because no notes had come through from the hospital.  On contacting the hospital I’m told that there is an eight week backlog in case notes being sent to GPs. 

I’m not sure how this could have come about, but I know from personal experience that turning around problems at work take time – but I would have thought the hospital would have some measures in place to make sure patients could receive the aftercare they deserve.

Fortunately my story has a happy ending.  The very nice lady at Wilkinson Healthcare (a private sector healthcare supplies company) were able to speak to my GP and get my equipment ordered (otherwise I might have ended up in A&E over the weekend).  Perhaps there are some occasions when some profit based motivation is necessary!

The moral of the story – leave no stone unturned as help sometimes comes from the most surprising of places!

(Image © Tom Ventura @ Wikimedia)