When I saw LC just before Xmas I was not doing well physically. I'd managed to get the Oxycontin down to 10mg td* but it was at great cost to both me and my blood pressure, so I was instructed to increase the Oxycontin back up whilst waiting for an urgent referral to the pain management consultant. LC, being an experienced consultant, wise to the bureaucratically bound ways of the NHS, actually phoned the pain management consultant during the appointment and dictated the letter there and then as well as ensuring the dictation tape went to the right place. As he said, otherwise it could be weeks before the letter was even typed up.
Although politicians seem determined to ignore doctors and nurses, they do tend to know a thing or two about where the real problems lie within the NHS.
So, I duly increased the Oxycontin and hoped it would absorb. I also unearthed some very out of date Zofran in my medication box and took them for a few days. Fortunately they seemed to do the trick and gave me enough of a break from the vomiting to eat some Christmas dinner. Over the holiday period I increased the Oxycontin up to 20mg td, and although the withdrawal symptoms didn't go they slowed down to a point allowing me to gradually get more rest. The cold weather caused such a massive increase in pain that I increased the nighttime dosage by another 10mg to where it is now at 20mg, 20mg, 30mg. With all the disruption caused by the weather I knew the referral would be delayed so waited until this week to start chasing it up.
The pain clinic told me they had no trace of any referral. The very helpful secretary I managed to speak to in rheumatology, which is based at a different hospital site to the pain clinic, initially advised me that the referral was yet to be typed and would be at least another week until it was. A further phone call unearthed the referral, which had been typed and posted before the christmas break. Yet another phone call, equipped with this knowledge, finally managed to unearth the referral sitting on the consultant's desk, and that it'll be at least a week before it is looked at and the consultant decides whether or not he'll see me.**
Politicians are constantly harping on about the value of the NHS and how determined they are to
Aside from the billions wasted on not fit for purpose IT, there are huge knock on costs to the welfare state while patients waiting for the bureaucracy to follow them around the system are forced to take time off work and claim benefits.
*td-3 times a day
**This bit strikes fear into my heart due to all the problems I had prior to being diagnosed.