"Good care after initial blunder"

About: Nuffield Health, Newcastle - Upon-Tyne Hospital The Royal Victoria Infirmary / Neurology West Cumberland Hospital / Neurology

(as the patient),

I was admitted to hospital following a viral infection. I lost control of my bladder and bowel and had problems with orthostatic intolerance and weakness. The consultant neurologist in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and his colleague at the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle said to me that it was all in my mind.

I subsequently nearly died climbing at altitude in the Tien Shan. A year later trying to climb at altitude I was left with permanent symptoms. Dr. Cowley Consultant Cardiologist at the Cumberland infirmary was asked to do a few tests. These showed I had autonomic problems in controlling the blood supply to my brain. I'd been told this also by a neurologist I'd seen in the UK but the first doctors I had seen refused to listen.

Thanks to Dr. Cowley I was eventually seen by Prof. Julia Newton at the RVI in Newcastle. I also had tests on my bladder and bowel by Dr. Yiannakou in Durham that proved abnormal and for which he wanted me to have very expensive surgery.

Prof. Newton gave me midodrine which has helped my dizziness and weakness enormously. Cumbria PCT kindly funded the £10,000 for a sacral nerve implant and this has restored control of my bowel. So I my enormous gratitude goes out to Sue Page, Chief exec. I am also now seeing a different neurologist Dr. Grainne Gorman who is outstanding and has identified I have problems with mitochondrial function.

If it had been left to the first two doctors, I think I would have been left with doubly incontinent and with a psychiatric diagnosis. I feel this was misdiagnosis by them on a monumental scale.

Now though I am able to move my life forward- applying for promotions and enjoying my current teaching.

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