To be annoyed with the care I've received from the NHS (Bad Back/SPD/De Quervains) - experience and guidance most appreciated.(3 Posts)
I have a couple of ruptured discs in my back. The last episode took place in March 2016 and I have been walking around like a Womble since. It is incredibly painful. As I was passed from pillar to post in 'the system', whilst waiting, I spent an awful lot of money on private osteopathic treatments - which achieved very little as both Osteopaths I went to believed I had ruptured discs, so were very reluctant to do anything more than massage my muscles which were in severe spasm. This was expensive and the benefits lasted no more than a day or so.
On attending my surgery, the GP referred me to a muscular skeletal clinic, where the consultant didn't X-ray or MRI me. Assessed my my back whilst standing and said 'yes, you have a problem, these things mostly rectify themselves with time. Yes, you have severe sacral and sciatic nerve pain, but you're just going to have to deal with it. Come back to me if it becomes unbearable.' I was devastated. I'd already waited 6 months for this... I was back to square one.
I then got pregnant with my first child and OMG, did things get worse. So much so, I hobbled back into my GP who said 'you're going to have to contact the Consultants office again.. because I can't give you any pain relief for it apart from paracetamol and codeine.' I contacted the consultants office and received a call back from the consultant himself who said 'Yes, I have seen the update from your GP and basically, I'm now really sorry I didn't give you an MRI before you were pregnant, because I can now do nothing for you. You might benefit from wearing a sacral belt and doing some gentle pilates - have you considered meditation? (I nearly lost it). I will refer you to the physiotherapists as an urgent case (I'd already waited 25 weeks for an appointment that had never appeared at this point) In the meantime, we must monitor it and give you a wheelchair if it gets worse towards the end of your pregnancy'. Again, more tears and helplessness.
Then the pains in my pelvis and groin started.. adding to the total womble-like walking. If I can walk some days. My midwife said 'sounds like SPD. You might need to go back to your GP to ask them to give you something for it'. I cried, as I knew they'd do very little.. and frankly, I was already sick of being palmed off.
Fast forward a month and I accidentally wallopped my wrist on a door frame. Went to the A&E to get an X-ray, as my partner believed I'd cracked the bone. Turns out after two visits, I have De Quervains. This has unhelpfully spread to both wrists and having never heard of it before, I was horrified to a) experience how painful and debilitating it is and b) that if little is done for it, it can continue on well after pregnancy. This time I had to go back to the doctors who said 'can't do anything for you, you'll have to wait until after the birth'. As this continues on and I'm walking around like a Womble with lobster claws (If I can walk on some days) I'm genuinely depressed and sincerely worried about my ability to a) get to the birth b) be healthy and fit enough to handle the birth and c) be able to lift and hold my child if god willing, the child is healthy and well.
I have finally attended two sessions of physiotherapy, where they will only treat one condition at a time unless there is a second specific referral for my wrists (which has now been done by the GP and expect that to be another 25 week wait by which time I will have given birth) and even the physio has said 'not much we can do whilst you're pregnant, can you squeeze a ball between your knees every day - see you in a month'.
Has anyone been in this position? I don't want to be a moaning minnie and know some people have it far harder, but some days all of this feels insurmountable. I will be unable to prepare very little for my little ones arrival and when they do arrive, I'll be fairly incapacitated and struggle with the basics of a day-to-day routine.
Any guidance most sincerely appreciated.
One sore and despondent first time Mum to be x
I've only experienced the SPD aspect of all that you're going through. I initially saw a private physio for mine and they told me to return after the birth. So I delayed seeing the NHS physio, but she was great. There are lots of different exercises you can do while pregnant, hints and tips, supportive belts etc.
Could you ask to be referred to another physio, or google your local area for someone with experience of antenatal problems?
Dear Ice, thank you for your reply
This person allegedly has experience of antenatal physio... as for the belts, I have one, but I can't sit in it and as walking is so painful, it doesn't much help.
Starting to think I can do nothing until after the baby is born. In the meantime, apart from all the pain, I'm sad as this is supposed to be a happy time and I'm in tears every morning when I wake as I can barely get out of bed and I can't grasp anything or move my wrists until after I've put a heated pad on them for 40 minutes or so.
It sucks, big time.
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