6 weeks further on I’ve made really great progress. I’m able to sit for longer periods in my chair and soon went back to driving – though I’m finding it uncomfortable on my back still. But I’m due to collect a new car in the next two weeks which has specialised seating. I’m still quite nervous of walking as whilst the numbness and neuropathy in my right foot has reduced, my left foot has not improved. On my follow up visit I was told this is quite usual, and that I may always have to cope with some level of neuropathy.
I’m able to get around my flat much more easily, and am able to walk a few steps, which is how I was back in August last year. I have to limit what I do & pace myself carefully as I still get spinal pain and of course my breathlessness is another factor in how much my body will let me do.
My after surgery appointment was good, my wound had healed really well, the scan showed that the surgery was good, but I may need some more surgery in the future as there is some wear and tear damage to another disc. I will be reviewed in 9 months and then yearly after that, with the option of my GP being able to send me to see my consultant straight away if I have any major problems.
The NHS gets many brickbats and complaints, often quite justifiably, but I could not have had better care. This was the NHS at its best and many other hospitals could learn lessons from the way the RNOH treats patients.
There is also good news about the RNOH rebuild. Funding has been agreed to build a completely new hospital on the same site and work has already started. I’ve seen the architects drawings and have to say they look really great, with amazing up to date equipment and design, and specialist areas for children as well as long stay rehab and new surgical suites and wards.
The first class surgeons, nurses, physiotherapists will soon have a state of the art building to work in and patients will be able to benefit from all the new facilities have to offer.
I’m sure some will miss the old buildings and the tales they can tell, but the RNOH is a flagship hospital which needs and deserves the best the NHS can do. An NHS that many of us are fighting for, to ensure it remains a public service, free at the point of treatment.