Battling On

I turned on the news this evening to hear that 909 patients around the country are waiting to have a colonoscopy and some of those people have been waiting for more than two years. In December, our Minister for Health told the HSE to comply with a target of access to a colonoscopy within four weeks of being referred by a doctor. I had a private consultation with a gastroenterologist this afternoon and have been booked for an urgent colonoscopy next Monday morning. This sadly, is the difference between public and private health care.

Unfortunately, the antibiotic I’ve been on for the past 8 days (Vancomycin), has failed to bring a nasty colitis under control. After almost six weeks of worsening symptoms, I’m in real need of help. While this means having to go through a dreaded colonoscopy again, right now that seems like a doddle compared to my present circumstances. The diagnosis is most likely to be an antibiotic-associated colitis caused by the ongoing treatment for the chronic infection in my head. However, biopsies are required to confirm this and also to rule-out other possible causes, such as Crohn’s Disease.

While queueing to see the doctor today,Β  I received a call from another doctor’s office. The surgeon in the UK has requested a CT scan of my skull before I travel to Nottingham for a review consultation. My surgeon in Ireland has organised the scan for tomorrow and I will travel to the UK in a couple of week’s time to receive the verdict. It’s certainly been all go today.

The reason I’m able to access prompt medical care for my health problems, is simply because I hold private health insurance. The policy is a huge burden on our family budget each year but I cannot afford to be without it. The delay in accessing investigations in our public health service, is costing lives. It seems that little has changed since the untimely death of Susie Long who succeeded in highlighting the inequities in the system. The Irish Cancer Society has described the waiting times as unacceptable. I’d describe the situation as scandalous and it’s time the HSE was held accountable.

RTE News Bulletin

10 Responses to Battling On

  1. Baino says:

    Oh Steph, it’s never ending for you, I’m so sorry you have to go through all this. My woes are a doddle compared to yours. I just checked the public waiting lists here and it’s a mean of 69 days . . so worst case scenario is about six months although some in rural areas wait as long as a year. . it’s shameful for such a simple and common procedure. Best of luck darls with your busy day.

  2. Grannymar says:

    Busy few days indeed, but hopefully they will bring about relief from the many problems interfering with your life right now. Hugs.

  3. Steph says:

    Thanks guys!

    Don’t you worry, Steph is made of tough stuff. I’ve been fighting this battle for longer than I care to remember so I’m well-practised at dealing with set-backs. I ain’t defeated yet!

    I’m off to have my CT scan shortly in preparation for the appointment in Nottingham. The scans will be put onto CD for ease of transport. Sunday is ‘detox’ day in preparation for Monday’s delight!

  4. Bendy Girl says:

    Steph, I’m sorry to hear the infection is being so stubborn! Keeping everything crossed for you that the antibiotics kick in soon. Good luck with all these tests, and if you’re flying into John Lennon airport drop me a mail, I could come meet you! BG x

  5. Annb says:

    Poor you Steph, I so sorry to hear this battle is dragging on. Sending you all our very best from the west – I really hope relief comes soon. Your sunny disposition will see you through as always – but be sure to take all help and hugs on offer they really do help. Stay away from the news for a few days too – it’ll only depress you as I fear from reading today’s Times that the health scandals will only get worse. I prescribe the Jungle Book on DVD – it always cheers me up.

  6. Steph says:

    Bendy – Thanks! Appointment and flight now booked for mid-May, flying into East Midlands airport. I’ve done the trip many times already so no worries about finding my way around. I can manage the trip as a day return but it’s a LONG day!

    Ann – Good choice! I love Mogli and the Jungle Book.

    My GP was insistent that I saw this new specialist yesterday and I have to admit that it did me good. The guy was on time, younger than me πŸ˜‰ very thorough, was knowledgeable about EDS and had a similar sense of humour to my own. He’s a real no-nonsense sort of doc and I’m confident that he’ll get me sorted quickly. Having heard last night’s news, I feel all the more grateful not to be on a waiting list.

  7. Annb says:

    Don’t tell Grannymar you have a Toyboy specialist!

  8. Steph says:

    Ann πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜‰

  9. Geri Atric says:

    Ah Steph, it’s just not fair! I wish I could rush over, pick you up and carry you back here to the Neths. for a bit of Dutch health care! (After reading your postings (and others too) of the dilapidated conditions and l-o-n-g waiting lists in Irish and UK hospitals, I’m beginning to realize how good we’ve got it over here and swear I’ll never grumble about the Dutch health care system again!)Thank goodness you took out extra health insurance.

    Well at least the CT scan is behind you, even though you’ve got a long way to travel for the results. Nottingham, UK..??
    But on the bright side, you’ve also been given a dishy new toyboy doc'(!)

    Will be thinking of you on Monday and sending positive vibes. I know you’re no stranger to these colonoscopywhatsits – but just remind yourself that it really is just a quick nap and back home again with a cup of tea before you know it! (You’ll probably be gasping for a good cuppa, after Sunday’s detox!). Good luck Steph – and loads more hugs!

  10. Steph says:

    Geri – Aaaw! You’re too kind.

    I’m hugely envious of the Dutch healthcare system. The differential between the private and public patient has been successfully abolished in Holland and your hospitals are virtually free of MRSA! It’s definitely what Ireland should aspire to.

    As regards the toyboy doc, I’m not sure I’ll get to look him in the eye on Monday (if you know what I mean) πŸ˜‰

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