Over the 5 weeks I’ve been attending A&E outpatients in Chesterfield my treatment has consisted of wound assessments, blood tests, x-rays, orthopedic consultations, and the prescribing of antibiotics. I would hate to think what this would have cost under a private scheme. Therefore, any political party that gives me a whiff of an intention to privatise the NHS certainly won’t be getting my vote.
Monday – 3rd November
My first outpatients appointment one week after leaving hospital with my supply of antibiotics – 500mg Amoxicillin 3 times a day, 500mg Flucloxicillin 4 times a day.
Ran through the injury history with the doctor. She asked me to continue with my supply of antibiotics until they ran out on Sunday 9th December and another appointment was made for the following Friday 14th so she could see whether the infection had cleared up by then.
Tuesday – 11th November
The wound looked as though it had dried out nicely and the redness had gone by Sunday afternoon (9th Dec) and all my antibiotics had been taken. However, by Monday afternoon the redness had returned so after work on the Tuesday I went to A&E. A nurse in outpatients saw me and I explained the situation. An orthopedic doctor in the next room (who’d seen me while I was in hospital undergoing IV) overheard the conversation and came through.
When I explained that the outpatients doctor I had seen in A&E previously had told me to come off the antibiotics ’til she saw me again on the coming Friday, this doctor was quite emphatic that I should go straight back on them, because these kinds of wounds can take a long time to get rid of infections. And presumably any breaks in the antibiotic treatment would allow the bugs to build resistance (my thoughts). I was given another prescription and carried on with the course.
Friday – 14th November
Same female doctor as I saw on the previous outpatients appointment stopped the Amoxicillin and Flucloxicillin treatment and put me onto Clindamycin – different type of antibiotic, as the infection was showing no signs of receding. Another outpatients appointment arranged for Monday, 24 November.
Monday – 24th November
I saw a new doctor (to me) for this outpatients appointment, so again I went through the history of my case. This doctor wanted to know why I hadn’t had surgery to clean the wound given that I’d been on antibiotics for 5 weeks. I explained that it had been considered several times before but Orthopedics had decided against it.
This doctor decided to take more bloods, spoke to the microbiologist, arranged for more x-rays and contacted orthopedics for someone to take a look at me. On my return there was an orthopedics doctor who took a look at me then left. I was ushered into another room and a nurse started to apply pads to my torso.
Thinking this was for an ECG I asked her what was going on (in a nice way, of course) and she confirmed my suspicions. This was an ECG prior to being taken to theatre for the operation to clean out the wound. OK. Next thing, the orthopedic surgeon comes in, manipulates the arm and after a while decides not to operate!
Back I go to the A&E doctor’s room and I’m followed in by the orthopedic doctor. The A&E doctor asks when I’m going for the operation and I tell him I’m not. He looks totally surprised and asked the orthopedic doctor why not? Orthopedic doctor says because the consultant had vetoed it.
There’s a few very ‘polite’ exchanges between the doctors and the orthopedic one goes off to arrange an ultrasound scan for me. The A&E doctor gets on the phone to the consultant to find out why the operation isn’t going ahead and seems that the consultant thought I had good movement in the joint – the A&E doctor laughed, but I don’t it was at anything he saw as being funny.
The orthopedic doctor came back with an appointment for me to attend for an ultrasound scan and informed me I had been referred to their department and if I felt at all unwell between then and the appointment I was to come straight in to see them night or day. In the meantime I was to continue with the Clindamycin.
Monday – 1st December
Turn up for the ultrasound scan. I’m shown in to a room where an orthopedic doctor takes a look at the wound site. He declares it’s still showing signs of infection with redness and swelling and says he’s off to fetch the head consultant.
The head consultant looks at it and says it’s not responded to treatment (no shit Sherlock) and they’ll operate anytime between Tuesday and Friday. I’m not to eat after 2am each night and no breakfast in case I get a call in the morning summoning me in for the op. Alternatively they will call me before 10:30 to say I can have my breakfast because they won’t be operating that day.
Tuesday – 2nd December
Get a call to say I can have breakfast, followed shortly thereafter by another to say please could I come in for an MRI scan on the Wednesday. I agree and the doctor confirms I’ll have the operation on Thursday or Friday.A