"Long delays for appointments for Sciatica problem"

About: The Whittington Hospital

Ive been suffering with severe sciatica due to a severely ruptured disc and a bulging disc since May 28th 2013. I had to lie on one side for 5 weeks and hardly slept for that time, never more than 20 mins at a time. It took 4 weeks to get a MRI scan and after that another 7 weeks before the hospital specialist could see me.They don't seem to want to operate at all and im told theres a massive waiting list. As i started to feel better having had 12 weeks off work they said I wont need an operation and i agreed since i had improved a lot but i still suffered with terrible pain for several weeks to get where i was. After my first assessment i was told to come back in 6 weeks for a check up but the receptionist put a date 12 weeks away on my card saying that was the soonest slot they had. Since i was feeling better i didn't argue. I went back to work on reduced duties and hours but after 5 weeks the same disc ruptured again and i was back where i started. It took another 3 weeks to get another appointment but on the day I turned up the specialist wasn't there so I've now been asked to go back again 2 weeks later. In total thats another 12 weeks (3 months) waiting - just to see a specialist twice. As of today I've been off work for another 4 weeks and am no longer receiving sick pay and have no income. Im told the waiting time can be from 2-4 months for operations, my issue with this is by the time an operation date comes along I will most likely be almost healed so whats the point? I need an operation quickly so i can return to work doing the job i have done for 9 years. My employer is doing all they can to help me but at some point they will start asking wether its worse keeping me on if this problem will keep occurring. I have spent 4 months of strong medication, struggled with cold sweats when coming off the meds only to have to go back on them again. The waiting time to be seen and for operations is way too long, the service is clearly stretched to the point that I'm likely never to get an operation under this current system and will probably suffer for many months to come. The situation has led to me have to sell my car to pay my rent and bills. Im suffering with depression and haven't been out of the house in 4 weeks other to go to the hospital as I'm scared i will hurt myself again. I feel like ill never be able to go to the gym again as in future lifting anything could mean another rupture. My life has lost its meaning and i see no way out until i get an operation. After all the tax and NI payments I make each year I cant even get the care and attention I need to enable me to keep my job, home, life. all this suffering, physical and mental, is all because of the waiting time.

Story from NHS Choices

Do you have a similar story to tell? Tell your story & make a difference ››

Updates, changes and questions related to this story