Foot update: the A&E chapter
November 14, 2009
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I just spent a surprisingly pleasant hour and a half in A&E, trying for a diagnosis of my foot. I say trying, because I failed. I had another x-ray but there's nothing to see – this is one of the annoying aspects of stress fractures. X-rays don't pick up the breaks until the new bone starts to calcify (whatever the hell that is), and bearing in mind I've only had the boot a week, it's possible there's not been enough time for the bone to start healing. Or perhaps it's not even a break at all – A&E gave me a referral to a biomechanics clinic – but, given the position and history, it's still the most likely candidate. But I don't know, I'm not a fricking doctor. What I could really do with now is an MRI scan, but that's not going to happen on the NHS, especially not after two negative x-rays.
*sigh* So, I continue wearing the boot (even if it's not fractured, my foot is still painful and I doubt I could walk without it now) and I'm going to keep those mid-December appointments at the fracture clinic because – let's face it – I'll probably not have a diagnosis before then, and there should be something for an x-ray to see in a month. You would think.
I really have to sing the praises of Lewisham Hospital, though. I've had lousy experiences in A&E in the supposedly amazing Royal Free in Hampstead, where I waited for four or five hours in a dingy room on painfully uncomfortable chairs; whereas Lewisham – recently threatened with closure – registered me immediately, sent me off to the appropriate area, saw me within forty minutes, x-rayed me within five and got the results back within ten. In fact, the most time I wasted was getting thoroughly lost trying to find the A&E x-ray department. This is because I cannot listen to directions or tell my left from my right. It doesn't help. Everyone was cheery and helpful, and I wish I'd gone there weeks ago. Not that it would have made any damn difference to my situation, but at least I'd have been spared the Choose and Book nightmare.