"Years of trying get help with pain from gallstones"

About: County Hospital Louth Diana, Princess Of Wales Hospital Lincoln County Hospital

(as the patient),

Around ten years ago, I developed gallstones, as the result of a pregnancy I wasn't aware of until the gallstones became an issue. However, I wasn't aware that it was gallstones until 3 months later, because hospital staff at the local hospital blamed it on my mental health, saying it was all in my head.

When I was finally diagnosed, it then took 4 years to be treated, and have my gall bladder removed. 4 years of being treated badly and as though it was all still in my head, despite the pain feeling like the middle stages of labour (very painful even by then) only in the wrong part of my abdomen.

The operation came around, and all went reasonable well. I developed an infection in one of the wounds, which wasn't dealt with by local A&E staff, to the point where I almost had to have the wound re-opened and drained. Thankfully, having gone back to work too soon, it burst open slightly itself. I thought that once it'd healed, that would be the end of it. No such luck.

Very occasionally, I would still get the same pain, only it hit so much harder and faster, but it was only once in a while. Gradually it became more frequent, and once again, as I had to seek help for it again, I kept being fobbed off by them telling me it was all in my head.

By the time we reached two years ago, it had got so bad that I could go for months without an attack, but on the flip side, it could also be hours. And while the pain could sometimes only last seconds, it could also last days and days.

For 2 years almost, our nearest local a&e treated me like dirt. Accused me of it being in my head, accused me of lying, accused me of being aggressive when I was merely crying through distress of not getting any help. I feel they did this so they could cover their backs, after I threatened to formally complain about them. They even accused me of seeking drugs from them, despite having no history of addiction, and actually being allowed to go on tablets most aren't long term, purely because I don't have an addictive personality.

It took one visit to a hospital where a surgeon on a night shift raised asked why was I not referred straight back to my surgeon as soon as this happened after I had my gallbladder taken out? But I couldn't answer that question. He arranged for me to see a specialist to get this sorted, which poses problems when it is approx. 65 miles away from home. I cannot always get transport, so it is slow progress, however, if I have an attack of the pain, a&e departments are still treating me so disgracefully, so for at least the last 2 years, this has largely contributed to why I have not been able to go back to work, which I want to do more than anything right now. This makes me miserable, and unhappy, and sitting here in agony for a week or so at a time is beyond a joke when you can't get any help!

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Response from Sharon Kidd, Patient Experience and Engagement Manager, Patient Experience, United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust

picture of Sharon Kidd

Dear Blackrose11

Thank you for your feedback and we are sorry that the level of care and understadning that United Lincolnshire Hospitals has provided you over the many years has been below the standard expected.

From reading your account, I am unsure as to which of our specific services apart from A&E have been involved in your care. I would like to share your story with the teams involved and would be grateful if you could contact me so I can obtain some futher details. My email is sharon.kidd@ulh.nhs.uk

Best wishes


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