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"Severe abdominal pain awaiting cholecystectomy"

About: Ayr Hospital / General Surgery Crosshouse Hospital / Combined Assessment Unit (CAU) Heathfield Suite / General Surgery (excl Vascular, Maxillofacial)

(as the patient),

Severe abdominal pain awaiting cholecystectomy for chronic cholecystitis.

I feel compelled for Ayrshire and Arran to hear my story.

I am a 52 year old health care professional with 33years NHS service.

I help my mum to look after my father who has dementia and Parkinson’s. I have also been home schooling my son whilst working full time for the NHS during Covid.

I have been suffering from severe abdominal pain over the last year. I have seen a Consultant and had a USS which confirms gallstones. I also suffer from Ulcerative Colitis.

I have been in hospital 3 times since Dec 2020 and a GP has attended my home to administer IM injections for severe pain 3 times when my own analgesia was not helping. My bouts of severe colic pain are happening approximately ever 2 weeks.

At my consultant appointment I was told I needed my gallbladder removed and would be placed on the elective WL and when my pain was severe to contact 111 which I have been doing.

2 consultants and a surgical Dr has written on my behalf for surgery.

I have been in contact with Occ health and staff care to inform them of my plight and I have made a folder for my employer as last week I had to again be admitted to hospital and take time off work. I have even looked at going private but its going to be over £6500-£7500.

Last week after a 12hour shift I returned home and experienced severe pain again and vomiting. I contacted 111 and a GP again admitted me to hospital. When I was admitted I had my observations taken, bloods and a COVID screen taken.

When my pain is severe I vomit constantly and I am unable to sit or lie down. The colic pain always happens during the night and lasts for hours.

I was still in severe pain whilst in hospital and took my own medication 3 times whilst in CAU which I informed a nurse when passing.The surgical team did come and see me and was told the surgeon would review my case.

The junior Dr returned to see me later that day to be told unfortunately they couldn’t do anything at this time but at least I was on the Surgical waiting list for an ERCP which I had to correct him as I am waiting to have gall bladder removed.

I came home and burst into tears feeling deflated and upset. I felt I was a burden on the NHS  as it was a weekend, no beds and COVID and I would just have to await my turn. People have told me it could possibly 6 months to a year due to elective surgery being postponed because of COVID. Whilst I was in CAU not once did anyone ask if my pain had settled or was I feeling ok. I’m not looking for sympathy but I was feeling very vulnerable at that time. A small token of compassion would have been appreciated.

When I am at work I try not to eat in case I have an attack. I am never off work and always give 110% during my 33 years service.

I feel this is affecting my mental health and has caused me to also have psoriasis which I have never suffered from before. The stress of not knowing when I am going to be pain free and have my surgery is causing me to have a great deal of stress and anxiety.

I worry about my job I love ,by possibly being off work sick and letting my patients and colleagues down, whilst awaiting surgery, as the episodes of severe colic are out of my control.

I just want the pain to go away and be back to my old self. 


Response from Laura Harvey, Quality Improvement Lead for Patient Experience, Nursing Directorate, NHS Ayrshire and Arran 4 weeks ago
Laura Harvey
Quality Improvement Lead for Patient Experience, Nursing Directorate,
NHS Ayrshire and Arran
Submitted on 09/04/2021 at 11:28
Published on Care Opinion at 11:28

picture of Laura Harvey

dear Poshspice006

Thank you for your post. I am sorry to here of the ongoing pain and anxiety your cholecystitis is causing you. I myself have suffered from it in the past so I am aware of how painful and debilitating it can be.

As I know you are aware, it is the consultant surgeon that recommends what intervention/surgery is required and the urgency. Quite often if a patient is having multiple admissions with acute attacks, further assessment takes place and surgery may be progressed as an urgent/emergency procedure.

In the current climate, unfortunately elective operations have been severely disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of that is longer waits.

I am sorry that you found staff to be lacking in compassion. I am sure that was not their intention so your feedback is helpful to allow staff to reflect.

If you wish for me to progress your concerns further, please dont hesitate to email me with your details. I can be contacted on;

Best Wishes


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