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To think I should be on the list for emergency surgery?

(39 Posts)
Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:04:35

I have a non-functioning gallbladder.

Since my symptoms started last autumn I've been taken to hospital in an ambulance five times, admitted to hospital four times, undergone 5 different scans and have been discharged each time with very heavy painkillers that I cannot function with or without.

I can't look after my two small children, run my business, drive my car and my mental health is declining alarmingly.

Unlike gallstones, a non-functioning gallbladder causes pain constantly.

I'm utterly fucking miserable and my family is really struggling, but the consultant won't treat my case as an emergency.

Besides the obvious suffering I'm in, surely it is not cost-effective for the NHS for me to be shipped off to A&E in a truck every time I can't manage my pain at home? A simple gallbladder removal should fix this, but they won't bump me up the list.

If AIBU it might help me to know why, so do your worst...

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 20-Jan-15 11:09:29

Gosh no YANBU at all. At all. I'm so sorry for you - I've had mine removed but I know what I went through before that and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. How does it work with consultants? Can you ask to be referred to another one? Have you been back to your GP? I found that quite helpful when I needed my issue pushing along but then I have got a very nice GP. Have they got you on Tramadol?

Theoretician Tue 20-Jan-15 11:11:09

Unless there is a medical reason not to do the operation immediately, YANBU.

If the operation needs to be done at all, then the NHS should be well-organised enough to do it immediately. Waiting lists only save money if you are counting on people dying or paying to go private before getting the treatment politicians have told them they are entitled to.

I can see a wait of at most a few weeks might help smooth workflow, but anything longer than that is just incompetence or lack of resources. (Though I would regard even a few weeks as unacceptable if I were in pain. I would go private, swearing at the NHS as I went.)

SpamAnderson Tue 20-Jan-15 11:17:33

Jeez, that's ridiculous. I had a terrible gall badder 'attack' when 31 weeks pregnant with dd2, rushed to a&e as we had no idea what it was, I felt like I was dying I was in so much pain, spent 2 days in hospital. They had me back in a week later for a scan to confirm it was my gall bladder. Dd2 was just a couple of weeks old when they got me in to have it removed. My point being, I was only hospitalised with mine once and they did it quickly. I cannot fir the life of me plunder stand why they're ok with spending out hundreds (thousands?) on your for ambulance journeys, leaving you unable to cope with day to day life etc. it's a very short op, in and out in one day.
My dad is waiting for an op at the moment and we just keep getting told about the bed shortages etc but I would have thought getting you done sooner rather than later would be far more beneficial to the nhs budget than to leave you suffering.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:18:38

Sadly no ££ to go private.

I'm on oral morphine every 2 hours.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:20:14

Sadly no ££ to go private.

I'm on oral morphine every 2 hours.

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 20-Jan-15 11:22:13

Crikey - no wonder you can't function! How do you feel about going back to your GP and laying it on the line?

FishWithABicycle Tue 20-Jan-15 11:25:09

YANBU that you should have this op asap, but "emergency" doesn't cover your situation. That does not mean you should have to wait. Keep (politely) asserting yourself. Make sure that they are aware that life on the painkillers is intolerable and the pain is intolerable and the effect on your mental health is intolerable and you need to know what more is required to get to the top of the priority list because this is unacceptable.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:25:35

As luck would have it I'm in the gp waiting room right now. I'mprepared tobe told again that I'm notable emergency. But I'm going to bloody fight them this time. They make me feel so unreasonable to expect anything more to be done.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:26:42

Not an emergency (and all other typos)

magimedi Tue 20-Jan-15 11:28:24

I really hope you win your fight, OP.

softlysoftly Tue 20-Jan-15 11:30:07

YA absolutely NU no advice but good luck.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 11:31:27

Thanks folks. I was all prepared to be told that I was acting entitled, lots of people have to wait and I should suck it up.

Groovester Tue 20-Jan-15 11:33:58

I only ever had one bad attack and it was sufficient enough for the hospital to keep me in and do the op the next day. It's awful, awful pain and I send you all my love. Yanbu. Poor show re: hospital in my opinion xxxx

IsItMeOr Tue 20-Jan-15 11:36:18

Sounds horrendous.

Have you checked the NICE guidelines for your condition:

This should give you a good idea of whether you're getting something close to the recommended NHS treatment. I certainly hope you aren't (if that makes sense!).

Hope you get a resolution and some relief soon.

SantasFavouriteHo Tue 20-Jan-15 11:39:17

Could you write to your local MP? They might help lobby a little on your behalf?

Bunnyjo Tue 20-Jan-15 11:42:48

Gosh, it doesn't sound like YABU at all. You poor thing sad

I had a few gallstone attacks when pregnant with DS. After he was born, I got an infected gallbladder and, after being blue-lighted to hospital, spent the next 5 days on IV morphine and antibiotics so that I could undergo surgery ASAP - they couldn't operate until the infection had cleared as there was a risk of pancreatitis and/or peritonitis. They removed the gallbladder 6 days after I was admitted.

A friend of mine has had similar gallstone attacks but, because she hasn't developed the life threatening complications I did, she remains on a routine surgery list.

I know how horrendous the pain is, so you have my every sympathy.

OverTheHandlebars Tue 20-Jan-15 11:51:03

Gallbladder are not removed during acute attacks unless absolutely necessary because there is a much greater risk of complications. It is far safer to wait until you're 6 weeks short of an attack. Your doctors are not randomly trying to cause you pain.

FarFromAnyRoad Tue 20-Jan-15 11:53:41

Is a non-functioning gallbladder the same as an 'acute attack'? I'm reading it to the contrary - sounds to me like an ongoing thing rather than a condition than comes in 'attacks'.

windchime Tue 20-Jan-15 12:00:12

Perhaps if you change your lifestyle you might find some relief. A completely non-fat (boring) diet will give your digestive system a complete rest and prevent flare ups. I am sure you have been advised on what you can do to help yourself. And mainlining on morphine is just going to slow your system down even more.

NUFC69 Tue 20-Jan-15 12:00:14

Good luck, Op. I saw my consultant on the Wednesday and he offered me the operation on the Monday! This was 3 years ago, by the way. I think it might depend on where you are. In Northumberland here and I was offered the choice of two hospitals. Keep on pestering.

magimedi Tue 20-Jan-15 12:04:45

Do let us know what happens, OP.

Am keeping fingers crossed for you.

Brittabot Tue 20-Jan-15 12:06:30

Have you tried contacting PALS at your hospital to see if anything they can do? I had an initial misdiagnosis when I had gallstones and then various issues which meant I had weekly attacks for 2 years. By this stage my blood tests were showing abnormal liver results which my doctor said was caused by the gallstones. The situation was resolved once I alterted PALS (although that could have been a coincidence I don't think it was as there was a representative from hospital management at my op.). Luckily pain went and blood tests normal as soon as they took out the gallbladder so wishing you a speedy op.

hairygodmother Tue 20-Jan-15 12:09:11

I agree with 'OverThe Handlebars', I had serious gallbladder issues and several flare-ups. A friend of mine who is a gastro consultant said, 'oh yes, you don't want to have your gallbladder removed while it's hot' which is a pretty descriptive way of putting it. Having said that, have you asked to be put on the list for cancellations? My surgery was moved up because I got a cancellation. Good luck getting it dealt with, you will be so much better when it's gone. Oral morphine is great stuff but the effects don't last long enough if I recall correctly.

Brutalista Tue 20-Jan-15 13:51:34

The GP was a bit of an arse, tbh. Said that if I was concerned about DH losing money from missing his freelance work then it would make financial sense to go private. Gee, thanks, I'll just look down the back of the sofa for the 8 grand hmm

I have found the number of the waiting list co ordinator so I'm going to see if I can find out what kind of wait I'm dealing with.

It's ongoing rather than acute flare-ups so it's not 'hot' as such. It's not gallstones and nothing is blocked or infected. It just doesn't function, I.e can't eject bile, so it backs up, then swells, then goes into excruciating spasms. And it happens every day. What larks.

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