Tag Archives: health

The Waiting Game

That brings us to today – Wednesday 11th April, the day I decided to start this blog.

Today has been the worst day so far – Tuesday was painful, and with keeping my leg elevated there is a build-up of blood that rushes down to my ankle and my foot every time I stand up on my crutches, which hurts. I’ve been taking Ibuprofen to kill some of the pain, which seems to work OK. Today, Wednesday, this pain has been exacerbated a bit further, and the boredom of daytime TV and Facebook has kicked in! I’ve had lots of well wishes from family and friends which is great, and just about keeping me going at the moment.

The reason today has been particularly bad is the ultrasound news. My partner works for the hospital and so went to ask how long I can expect to have to wait for an ultrasound scan. Having read about people’s experiences online I assumed this would be a couple of days, with most people having surgery within a couple of weeks. She was told there is currently a 6-week wait for scans!

This obviously led to a lot of stress, for both of us, so I decided to give the hospital a call. After ringing for 3 hours, to a variety of different numbers and being put through to various different people (all in the wrong departments, or in most cases ringing out/dead lines), I eventually got through to the nursing station at the fracture clinic where I was on Monday. The nurse who answered was very helpful and reassuring, and as soon as I mentioned the scan waiting list she said that for an achilles injury, scans should be within 48-72 hours. This was such a relief after thinking all day that it was going to be 8 weeks before an operation, by which point the tendons will be a right mess. I left my details and as I write am awaiting a call back to say when my ultrasound scan will be. After this I’m hoping that they will operate within a week or two, so that I can start the long road to recovery and physio. If I hadn’t have been able to get through to this nurse today, who knows where my record would have gone and how long I’d have been left to wait. Here’s hoping…

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Monday morning – Fracture Clinic

When at A&E they made me a morning appointment for the fracture clinic, also at University Hospital Birmingham. I was finding it difficult to use the crutches at this stage, having never used them before, and at 14 stone my right leg was struggling with the burden of supporting my whole body weight!

When I arrived at the fracture clinic I was seen pretty quickly, and was again impressed with the doctor’s personable nature. He asked me a few questions about smoking, steroids and various other things that may affect my recovery, and then performed the same test that was done at A&E to check the injury.

He said there were two options – surgical and non-surgical. With the non-surgical route, he said there was a greater risk of re-rupture at a later date, but with the surgical route there was the obvious threat of infection through surgery. The blood supply in the area of the achilles isn’t too great, so post-operation infections can occur. He said that for someone who is quite active (I play quite a bit of football and also do 2 spin classes a week most weeks) it is likely that the surgical route would be best, as there is less risk of re-rupturing. Before this decision is made, an ultrasound needed to be done to determine the length of the rupture. The doctor said that for tears of less than 10mm, the non-surgical route is standard.

He sent me away and said the hospital would be in touch with regards an ultrasound, and to book an appointment back at the fracture clinic for one week later to look at the results and choose the best route.

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