Surgery 2021 – #1 of 6: Breaking Bad

Hello, I’m back!

When I last saw you, I was limping around in great discomfort and with a growing sense of frustration. I had had an operation to repair my broken leg but, after months of what was supposed to be recuperation, I had started to feel that not only was I not making progress but I was actually going backwards!

I thought this was due to a lack of correct exercise and went to my appointment at the Trauma and Fracture Clinic in January all set to request some physiotherapy.

Accompanied by Mary, my friend and PA, I arrived at the Great Western Hospital in Swindon at 11 am and had an X-ray to see how well the bone in my leg was healing. When I got to see the doctor afterwards, though, there was a nasty surprise. Not only had the fracture in my femur still not healed, it had become displaced. In layman’s terms, it had got worse. The doctor told me that I urgently needed surgery.

From this point, my planned ten minute appointment turned into an all-day affair whilst they did pre-surgery checks for an operation the following week.

Because of Covid regulations, Mary was not allowed to stay with me. I couldn’t get a mobile signal so I had no way of keeping her informed of my progress nor of finding out how she was faring. I waited around on a ward and was given various tests, with long gaps in between. I wasn’t allowed to eat although at some point I was given a glass of water. Eventually, at around 5.30 pm, I saw a doctor, who said that I needed a chest X-ray.

I was reunited with Mary at this point and we made our way down to Radiography for the second time that day. Once there, we waited and waited.

After some time, we were told that the doctor hadn’t made the X-ray request in the correct manner. They would have to find another doctor to complete the paperwork properly.

Once again, we waited and we waited.

Eventually we were told that the doctor had decided that no X-ray was required and we could go home. By this time it was 7 pm. We were tired and hungry, although when I thought about the operation in prospect, I quickly began to lose my appetite.