The problem with the NHS is that while hospital procedures are of a good standard, the minute you leave it all goes to pot. There is no home support. Gone are the days of the District Nurse, and when I go to the hospital for my 15 minute ‘physio’ this entails bending my leg in all directions and measuring the angle of movement, and comparing it to the last. Tick the box.
This week I wanted to discuss a rather large hard bump that has formed behind my scar, and which presses on both bone and scar in equally painful proportion, and to see what could be done. ‘If it’s still there in 2 weeks time we’ll do something,’ says the physio breezily.
I ask the same question at my fourth and final hydro session in the warm (35 C) pool in the bowels of UCLH. This physio even looks at it (I am after all in my swim suit). Sucking of teeth. ‘Mmmm…ask about it at your next physio session’.
Never deterred, am taking matters into my own hands. Yesterday I started on a course of acupuncture around the wound to open the channels and try and release the tension, in addition to some more general maintenance. See gory photo!
Shortly after I go and see a private physio, just round the corner, so I can walk. She says, comfortingly, ‘Oh this is easy to deal with, but it will need a lot of massage, icing and it will hurt’. Ouch! Too right! She says that because the head of the femur had necrotised there was a decreased blood supply to the surrounding areas, which has resulted in what had been the gushing serum turning into a kind of ‘glue’ which we now have to shift, as it is impeding my walking. But it is already loosening, and she is also massaging my poor sarcoma leg which is in over-drive and sore. I have booked a further 6 sessions.
When I see my GP this morning for my flu jab, we discuss this. She is sympathetic and says I am doing exactly the right thing. She too bemoans the lack of any form of aftercare…I suspect it all ends up in her surgery and wastes a lot of time.
I have one month before we head off to Nicaragua and Costa Rica to get walking comfortably again – the rain forest, volcanoes and bird-watching await, and I simply have to fit enough to enjoy them.
Meanwhile here’s a picture of a tree in my road, snapped as a staggered back from physio. Autumn is a cumin’ in.