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"Waiting to get on with my life"

About: Withybush General Hospital / General Surgery

(as the patient),

I am just coming round to the 2nd anniversary of an operation to have my gall bladder removed. Looking back, the operation was very straightforward and immediately made a huge difference to my quality of life and my ability to look after myself and my family, particularly on the economic front.

The most frustrating thing was the time that elapsed between first suffering an episode of chronic pain and getting myself to the top of the waiting list. Although this was only about 8 months, it came at a time in my life when I was making major changes to my working life, from employment to self employment.

During this period I suffered repeated "attacks" of chronic pain of such severity and frequency, that It was very difficult to plan my self employment, as I never knew from one week to the next whether I would be able to undertake any piece of work.

I felt very powerless in communicating this, and despite sympathetic help from my GP, I was left in a state of near despair regarding the prospect of ever getting the treatment that I needed to be able to move forward with my life. At the time I felt that I was being pushed towards the private option as the only reliable way of moving things forward.

In retrospect, I feel that waiting lists need to take a more holistic view of the patients life and circumstances.

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