I think the biggest fear many of us have is surgery under general anaesthetic, the thought of being put to sleep is scary enough, but did you know that general anaesthetic comes with its own host of dangers, in some cases people don’t wake up afterwards. Now I’m not telling you this to scare you, but when you are asleep on that operating table, anything can happen, which I found out when I had an operation on my thumb joint some years ago.
The Agonising Process which Lead to Surgery
I dealt with sixteen months of agony with what I thought was my wrist. The doctor sent me for x-rays and to physiotherapy. When physiotherapy didn’t work they referred me back to my general practitioner to forward me to a hand specialist.
After about six months I eventually got to see the hand specialist and things got progressively worse, they sent me for an MRI and I was rejected and sent for an ultra sound instead.
Eventually they decided I had arthritis in the basal thumb joint and did a guided cortisone injection. When that didn’t work I had to wait another ten weeks for the MRI I should have had in the first place.
Now during this time I was in contact with PALS, the people who manage claims against the hospital and they tried to chase up the progress of my treatment. Eventually I was put forward for surgery.
What I didn’t realise is that when the surgery was scheduled I was put down for general anaesthetic, it was quite a big operation where they removed the trapezium bone and replaced it with tendons taken from my arm, this sounded easy enough and I knew it would take months before my hand was back to normal.
The operation went smoothly, or so I thought until I realised that I had no use of my thumb at all, they may have well screwed it to the other fingers, it didn’t move. I went for months of physiotherapy and still nothing improved my hand, another operation later left me unable to work and in agony, probably more pain than before the operation.
I was stumped, not sure where to turn or how to proceed, the surgeon kept doing tests and sending me for more surgery, I’d been in a plaster cast for the better part of six months and being a writer, working was a slow and difficult process.
I lost contracts for my work, I struggled to meet deadlines. As you can imagine typing with one hand after typing over one hundred words per minute made a huge impact on my livelihood.
Then someone mentioned to me that I should contact medical negligence lawyers; these were professionals who dealt with cases like mine. I didn’t think I was a negligence case so was embarrassed when I phoned, but at the same time my life wasn’t the same, I was worse than before the surgery and being unable to work, my family was suffering financially.
Now I know in the US they sue for everything, so I never dreamed of contacting anyone here in the UK, but believe me it was the best call I made. They had heard of cases similar to this and appeared to be confident that I would win the case and get some compensation to help my family at least put food on the table until my hand was working again.
You know you don’t expect things to go wrong when you head into hospital for surgery, this was a day surgery case; I went in at 7am and was home by 5pm, what could possibly have gone wrong?
Never did I dream that one operation could cause such heartache and change my life completely. After the case was closed and I won by the way, I still received treatment, although it took a very long time before I could eventually remove the plaster cast and type for the first time. Each month it does improve, though there was definitely a problem during surgery which wasn’t mentioned to me.
When I approached the medical negligence lawyers I knew I had a right to phone them, but never realised that I had been mistreated by the surgeons I had so much trust in.