Hernias, Hospitals, and Year Abroad Nightmares

As I begin to write this, it's 16:58 on Wednesday, 29th August 2012. I'm surrounded by piles of clothes, half-filled suitcases, and the time of my hospital appointment scribbled down in my new academic diary. The hospital appointment in question is with a consultant, who will tell me if I need surgery on the hernia which was discovered earlier today, when I had an ultrasound scan. The consultant in question will be the third doctor I will have seen today.

I found this on Pinterest and thought it was quite apt... 

Anyway, I'll start from the beginning...

It all began the other weekend, when I was a bit ill. Long story short, I got better but I still had this constant pain in my leg that just wouldn't go away, like, I couldn't get comfortable sitting down (my favourite thing) so I thought something needs to be done. So, I rang up the doctors last week to see if I could get an appointment with my Doctor, but of course, when I registered with the Doctor at Edge Hill, they completely re-registered me there. According to the NHS, my Doctor is a person I've never met in an unknown (to me) medical centre. I managed to get an appointment with a nurse practitioner (a nurse who can perform diagnoses/prescribe antibiotics and things) and she thought I had an infection, because I had to wee in a cup and something wasn't right there; I was given antibiotics, and got my blood taken. This was Friday 24th. Obviously the following weekend was a Bank Holiday, but my bloods were put through the system as 'urgent' and I got the result back yesterday, on Tuesday 28th. 

Basically, my blood is fine. No sign of anything wrong there. I was, however, told to go back in the same day as this infernal pain hadn't gone away (so obviously it wasn't an infection, as I'd been religiously taking antibiotics), and the nurse got a doctor, because she couldn't think what it could be. This doctor was then hauled in and poked around saying 'Right, can you cough for me? ... and again? ... and again?', after which he said 'Right. It feels like a hernia. We can arrange an ultrasound for when you come back from Spain, if that's alright?' to which I replied 'Er... I'm going to Spain for a year'. The Doctor then goes 'You're going to Spain for a year? On Thursday?', 'Yep', 'Do you have any private health insurance, because you'll need an ultrasound as soon as possible?'. At this point, I told him I'd go and get my mum and ask, so I bob out to Mum, who's sat in the waiting room, and I'm grinning (nervous laughter) and my mum says 'So, what have they said?' and I just went 'Er. The Doctor wants to talk to you, I might have a hernia.'. To cut down this bit, basically, we have private health insurance through my dad's work, so we had to ring around literally every private hospital in the area trying to find someone who could fit me in for an ultrasound, whilst waiting for a letter from this doctor, saying that I needed one. 

This too...

Now to today: I was woken up by my dad this morning shouting 'BECCA! GET UP, YOU'VE GOT AN APPOINTMENT AT 11:00!', so me, Mum and Dad piled in the car (me with a litre of Evian because you've got to have a full bladder for an ultrasound - the worst thing in the world when you have someone putting pressure there) and basically, I have a hernia. We get told then, by the radiologist, that I'll have to find a consultant, and, as we're insured, we rang up the company who told us, before they could find us a local consultant, we'd have to get a letter of referral from the Doctor (as in a GP). We then rang up the doctors, who said they'd see what they could do, and that they'd ring us back when they'd got the letter. About an hour later, we decided to go into the doctors, as they hadn't rang us back. 

It's about 13:25 at this point. Me and Dad go up to the receptionist - a very sullen, unhelpful woman, I may add - at the doctors, who tells us that it isn't normal practice to write a referral for someone who doesn't yet have a consultant to send it to. We then explained the situation. She said she'd speak to the emergency Doctor, but he wasn't back until 14:00, so we would have to hang fire, and so we sat in the waiting room for about 35 minutes. We finally saw the Doctor walk in (we knew who he was because he was my Doctor when I was younger) and saw the receptionist disappear into the back. After five minutes though, she hadn't come back out. Being the inquisitive folk we are, Dad and I walked over to the counter and asked a different receptionist what was going on. This other receptionist was really helpful as we'd spoken to him the night before, and had remembered who I was and everything. He also told us that the first receptionist had arranged an appointment for the Doctor. But obviously she hadn't told me and Dad: y'know, the ones actually waiting for the Doctor to speak to us/someone to tell us what was going on. We spoke to this Doctor, who also said it wasn't common practice, but after about 20 minutes we managed to convince him to write us a letter. 

Since then, we've managed to arrange an appointment with a consultant for 19:30 this evening at a hospital in Cheadle. The consultant who can make or break the Spanish dream. The one who decides whether it's Spain or surgery. Nervous doesn't even begin to cover it.

Want to find out what happened to me...? 

It's now 00:23 the evening of Wednesday 29th/ or the morning of Thursday 30th, depending on your preference. I've been to see the consultant. AND I'M GOING TO SPAIN.

Basically, he couldn't feel a hernia, and the thing on the ultrasound could have just been a tunnel sort of thing (which is a normal thing but I can't really be bothered getting into it right now...). Judging by my story of what had happened and what he could feel, it sounds like an infection. And, as he would have been the person operating on me, he can't really operate if there's nothing to go off, so we're all a go. His exact words were 'Go to Spain! Enjoy yourself!' and that, dear readers, is what I shall do.

Hasta mañana en España!
(PS. As if you read all of that! I'm very proud of you. <3)


  1. Anonymous1/9/12 01:12

    I was so anxious to read the rest after "Want to find out what haooened to me...?" haha, I thought I ws going to have to wait for another post! Best of luck in Spain, hopefully your problem is gone forever. (I had to get blood taken here in Colombia, and speaking to nurses and receptionists in spanish is such a pain)

  2. Oh god! Seems like a right panic before heading off to Spain! I hope everything turns out ok! I'm about to click 'Read More'! I'm heading to Spain myself to be a Language Assistant! I'm going to Barcelona and my flight is the 27th of September! So not long now! I look forward to reading about your year! - Adele