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To try to get cosmetic surgery on the NHS (for DH)

(54 Posts)
ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 09:20:10

Dh is actually my carer, but I want to do something for him for a change.

First I need to find out if it's possible so posting here for traffic sorry

Dh thinks he has one ear much bigger than the other. I couldn't tell you how bad it is because I've never seen it

That's right. In the eleven years I've known him, I have never seen his left ear.

He grows his hair long and ties it in a way that he hides his ear.

He has a baseball cap that he wears at all times. From the second he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep. It is the first thing he puts on in the morning, before he even gets out of bed.

He won't go swimming. He won't go to any formal occasion or restaurant where he needs to take it off.

He is a kind, loving and gentle man. But if you start talking about the hat or that maybe it isn't that bad and will he let me look he gets incredibly defensive and clams up.

I've learnt from his mother that he was tormented at school and by relatives over it. She said she couldn't spare the money to 'fix him' (but could afford to get herself a gastric band)

I've been saving money for a long time. But as we live on benefits (disabled me and dd) this isn't much. Not enough yet to pay privately to have it done.

I haven't told Dh I'm doing this but he has expressed a wish when he's broken down about it before to have surgery.

I've just been told that he might be able to get it done on the NHS as a neighbour apparently had something done.

I'm not sure how true this is and wanted to know if we'd be laughed out of the gp if we went in.

It will take a lot for Dh to open up about this. I don't want it to be vain.

ThePinkOcelot Tue 18-Apr-17 09:27:37

All you can do really is ask the question. I used to work on a plastic surgery arbitration panel, where the panel would decide if a person was eligible or not. If their problems blighted their life in the way your husband's is they would have found him eligible. However, this was years ago so not sure if they still exist or not. Good luck.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 09:29:20

Thank you ThePinkOcelot

It might be worth trying then.

It would be bloody lovely to see him without a tatty hat on!

Isetan Tue 18-Apr-17 09:43:52

Are you seriously questioning his mother choosing a gastric band (which I presume she chose to stop her weight becoming more of a life threatening issue than it already was) over paying to cosmetically make her son's ear more equal with the other? What has stopped him getting it 'fixed' since he became an adult?

I don't mean to sound harsh because I think your intentions are good but if the NHS were to consider him for surgery, he would have to convince them, not you. This sounds more like a physiological issue than a physical one and maybe that's where he should start.

Sallygoroundthemoon Tue 18-Apr-17 09:56:04

Poor chap. I'd certainly suggest he sees his GP if only to discuss his MH issues. As the previous poster said he is obviously suffering.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:10:06

I question his mother for lots of things.

Mainly for being an abusive alcoholic who allowed another abusive alcoholic (Dh's dad) to mercilessly torment him over his ear.

But yes I guess I do, she wasn't even that big (in fact she is bigger now, most of her calories are liquid) Dh apparently wouldn't leave the house as a child if he could help it and self harmed (tried to cut ear) I do judge her for prioritising a gastric band over that.

Dh won't even talk about it voluntarily and has never really been in a position to save a lot.

It took him up until three years ago to even open up about it really (which is when I started saving)

It's just been the elephant in the room.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:10:38

He is suffering.

Thank you, I will talk to him about making an appointment.

MadameCholetsDirtySecret Tue 18-Apr-17 10:13:02

It sounds like the poor man has had a lifetime of hell with bullying. I would try and get a referal for him, though the process of examination, measuring etc might be too much for him.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:15:06

MadameCholetsDirtySecret I am worried about that if I'm honest.

He still won't let me see it, I don't know how he'll react to having to show someone. It's a massive issue for him.

KateDaniels2 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:15:38

You cant get surgery for your dh. He needs to do it.

I dont really see what his mother has to do with it. You may not like her, but he has had plenty of time to do something about it.

Why hasnt he ever pursed surgery?

Nancy91 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:18:52

If the NHS don't let him have the surgery, could you possibly pay what you can and then he could put the rest on a 0% credit card just so he can have the op a bit sooner? Does he work? There are also payment plans available from most clinics.

You sound lovely and supportive and I imagine he will be really happy once this is sorted, it sounds like it is damaging his mental health. Also his mother sounds cruel, thank god he has you to care about him.

nothercupoftea Tue 18-Apr-17 10:21:30

You can always ask. Do you even know how much it would cost privately? (I have no idea).

I am not an advocate of plastic surgery on the NHS, but when it has such an impact on his life, well, at least ask!

I agree with you and your judgement of the mother choosing the gastric band. As a parent, your normal instinct is to put your kids first, so unless she did not realise how bad his ear was damaging his life, she was selfish. There are other ways to manage your weight, she could have made other choices.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:25:20

Well yes you're right, my anger at her for other things may be clouding the issue.

Dh was kicked out at 16, thought his parents are well off he has never had any money spare. Low paid job, no home even for some years, a drink problem up until seven years ago.

And he hates talking about it.

EC22 Tue 18-Apr-17 10:28:09

He needs to see his GP, not you, although you could go for support.

He absolutely sounds like a candidate if there is a physical difference but if it's psychological it's more tricky!

AntagonyAunt Tue 18-Apr-17 10:30:11

Why don't you do some research into other cases of similar NHS funded cosmetic surgery. As he doesn't like to talk about it, write him a letter explaining that you love him exactly how he is but you're doing this for him. Give him all of the info along with the letter.

Are you certain he hasn't looked into it before himself though? If he has, and his attempt to get it sorted has been unsuccessful previously then this moght just be rubbing salt into the wound.

Damselindestress Tue 18-Apr-17 10:31:07

It's certainly worth looking into. Adults have to be assessed on a case-by-case basis for this sort of thing but if it's causing him severe psychological harm they should take that into consideration. Did his mother look into whether help was available on the NHS when he was younger?

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:31:20

Dh is mine and DD's carer, so unfortunately not a well paid calling!

I think (don't quote me on this as I don't know exactly what he would need doing) it's between £3-4 thousand.

Apart from the mortgage we've never had anything in credit, I just assumed we wouldn't get credit since now neither of us works.

It is definitely an idea though.

ShamefulDodger Tue 18-Apr-17 10:34:38

I'm not sure, his dm was quite dismissive and said he should be over it by now.

I'm going to go out on a limb and say it must be significantly different size. I've never seen anyone this miserable in their own skin.

Even if it is sweltering he will not take that hat off. His children have never seen the top of his head or ears, neither have I.

Olympiathequeen Tue 18-Apr-17 10:38:29

I doubt he will get this on the NHS. He might eventually get counselling for his body image issue.

Piratesandpants Tue 18-Apr-17 10:42:54

I can't believe some of the responses. Of course it's hard for him to go forward and seek help about it as it's obviously do sensitive and associated with bullying. That's where a supportive partner comes in. Good luck op, I don't know anything about these things but see the GP, it's worth trying.

Puffedsleevedress Tue 18-Apr-17 10:44:32

I have a friend who had her ears pinned back on the NHS as they stuck out a lot. This was as an adult and only a few years ago. She wasn't nearly as distressed as your husband seems to be, though it did affect her confidence. I would certainly approach your GP as you may find that s/he might be able to help with a referral.

JohnCheese Tue 18-Apr-17 10:47:02

It's affecting his mental health. I think that's a good enough reason for NHS surgery.

As long as your DH agrees, ask and see. Good luck.

Roussette Tue 18-Apr-17 10:47:26

As that irritating Josie whatshername got a boob job on the NHS, why shouldn't your DH (who is obviously suffering with this)

Jaxhog Tue 18-Apr-17 10:52:38

He certainly needs counselling. I suspect that any decent doctor would recommend this before actual surgery.

But does he actually want to address the issue?

itsonlysubterfuge Tue 18-Apr-17 11:03:53

I'm DH's carer and a stay at home mom to DD. Neither of us work, but we don't have a mortgage. We try to buy everything on the credit card and then pay it off immediately. It's helped us to have an excellent credit score. We now have a credit card with a £10,000 limit. So it is possible for people on benefits to get a credit card with a decent limit.

I hope you and your DH can find a way of being happy over his ear, either through surgery or possibly therapy. Good luck.

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