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15167-AVATAR 05 Apr 2009 10:54am #1
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

sadHip replacement referral waiting lists.I will tell you my story and would be interested in any feedback, I'm at my wits end1

Tony Ryall, Minister of Health
I write to you in deep concern regarding my referral to see the Orthopediac Surgeon Waikato Hospital at the Tokoroa Hospital re a hip replacement.
I have now been waiting 6 months
October 2008 Dr C TOKOROA referred me to the TOKOROA HOSPITAL for an appointment to see the surgeon from Waikato.
The Doctors surgery checked again in November 2008 and I was not on the list.
I have been using a walking stick.
They checked again in December 2008, Tokoroa Hospital stated that my file had been put on hold (through misinformation.)
I inquired for crutches twice at Dr's surgery and once at Tokoroa Hospital, getting no feedback, in December purchased my own pair.
I rang Drs surgery to check once more in February 2009 re appointment at the Tokoroa hospital , and I was told to ring and inquire at the Tokoroa Hospital myself, which I duly did.
Here I was given the run around for half an hour, but persevered , telling the person at the other end , I was on crutches and desperate!
On 11th February 2009 , 5 mths after the first refferal in October 2008, I receive the written confirmation that I have at long last been added to the Waikato DHP wait list ( but due to errors), from December 2008 not October 2008 and it will be 3 to 6 mths, which in my calculation will take it at the max to July 2009, which is almost a year from the original October 2008 refferal.
I must confess here that I feel like a piece of discarded flotsam that no one really cares a damn and this long wait worries me quite a lot, I have fallen once off my crutches, my knee is now painful, I have an old injury in the lower lumber region which I feel may worsen under the extra load strain. I have a horrible feeling I may end up in a wheel chair before seeing the surgeon and then there's the long wait again for surgery.
I am a healthy 73yr old, have walked and cycled all my life, never had a car, am a Swedish massage Therapist working from a clinic in my home, now I can't massage and I can't leave my home, its all rather frustrating. I am prisoner in my own house, I am in constant pain, I can't sit properly, I can't bend to the toilet, my nights are hideous, I can't take sleeping pills as I use the toilet 4 to 5 times a night, re bladder cancer, its all very depressing...
My quality of life has lessen considerably.
copies to: ,Hon Tony Ryall Minister of Health, MP Louise Upston ,MP Lindsay Tisch, Dr CaldwellTokoroa, ManagerTokoroa Hospital, Complaints Dept.,Waikato Hospital, Arthritis Foundation , Grey Power, Health&Disability Commissioner., 10/3/2009

From that letter i received one phne call from Waikato complaints, but no help
I have been on crutches for 7mths, never had anyone ask me how I manage, or or if I live alone, I have had no help or feedback except one phne call from Waikato, and one phne call from the Arthritis Foundation suggesting that I change my Dr.....a very very poor show....
continued......

15167-AVATAR 05 Apr 2009 11:02am #2
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

well this is a game of perserverance, so one keeps up the fight! here is my next salvo!
13/03/2009

Dear Sir/Madam,
Following on from my original letter 10/3/2009, to the Hon Tony Ryall, Waikato complaints Dept etc., re referral waiting lists to see Waikato Hospital Orthopaedic surgeons , I feel there is a murky corridor in the NZ health system where people over a certain age are shuffled to and fro as lost wraiths without any particular destination in sight...We trundle to the Dr just to get more pills, a few meaningless words and its the waiting game once more, one gets swamped with despondency and a feeling of helplessness. We get the sense that we are so much discarded flotsam, and there is not enough of the Doctors time for us, are we complaining unnecessarily? is this our lot to suffer?
We get fed the monotonous diet of it's lack of funds, you're on the list, unavailability etc., etc., and the ploy of the ' 3-6mths waiting list' , designed solely as a pacifier to lull our anxiety. The 3-6mths so called ' LIST' is the cruelest falsehood and slowly but surely it drifts into the realms of fantasy as time ticks on relentessly. And how many of the older folk would know about the points system you are judged by as to whether or not your condition is serious enough to be operated on in the near future? Not very accurate by all accounts.
So the journey plays out, one goes from a slight annoying limp, to a more obviously painful limp, then its the aid of a walking stick as one feels ones leg may just give way, and inability to sit without excruciating jagged pain...its popping mutiple painkillers till ones heart goes into arrhythmia, maybe a heart attack will finish the job....
so time ticks on and we wait, we the shadowy grey masses in our corridor of limbo...next its the crutches, hard on the shoulders but more manoeuverable than the walker, and the struggle goes on, going to the toilet is a major feat, a small task of putting ones nickers/shoes/slacks on become a battle to be won.There is always the gut sickening fear lurking in the back of one's mind, I must not fall, one scutinizes the ground before every step this is urgent.The toilet bogey looms ominously, can I roll out of bed in time?, buggar that hurts, I must not stumble on the way to the loo, then there's the struggle to sit on that damn seat, for me this is 4 to 5 times a night. Where sleep should be a healing blessing, for us it becomes a hideous nightmare, as every movement is pain accompanied by ominous crunchingl..Oh yes one can get onto heavier medication if one wishes to become a zombie caught in the twilight zone.
We cling to that faint ray of hope that faintly glimmers in the far distance, its that magical "LIST" and we believe what we are told by those that hold our fragile fate in their hands and thats our fatal mistake, never never take things for granted, find out for yourself. If I hadn't perservered again and again, I would not be on the 'LIST" but hey now I'm in that magical land of vanishing time! ie the 8 weeks that disappeared off my referral time.
Some even in their darkest moments of despair of anything ever happening and with the world of ongoing pain swallowing them into that dark place of no return, contemplate suicide...whilst waiting that unending wait for surgery. I have been told some real first hand horror stories of elderly persons and not so elderly, waiting for orthopaedic surgery, slowly losing their quality of life in urine smelling homes and shuffling around in continuous discomfort and pain, as they are shunted around the Health systems no mans land, I know this to be a sad fact.
The so called 'points system appears to have some glaring faults letting many a needy person suffer the twilight of their lives in abject misery.Perhaps this is the name of the game? To cull out the weak & elderly so they will decease sooner than later and thus save money, a third world health system indeed..
In the same token I have first hand information from a person who worked at one of New Zealands main hospitals in the patient Orthopaedic referral clinic, and was told there is queue jumping, sometimes its a case of not what you know but who you know.
Another interesting fact in the shifting time zone of the' referral list'', a friend of mine in Tokoroa who is not on crutches, has a crook knee, was referred by her Dr in February 2009 via Tokoroa Hospital, and oddly enough she has just had her appointment with the orthopaedic surgeon from Waikato at Tokoroa Hospital in March 2009? figure that one out!
The Health and Disablity Advocacy Foundation are not interested in ' waiting lists' ,quote " we are the Nationwide Health and Disability Advocacy service not the Minister of Health. Unfortunately waiting list issues are not within the jurisdiction of our service.' end of quote.
maybe some attention in this area, would be enlighening and beneficial, as it is all cause and effect, and it is far more efficient & cost effective to treat the cause than the effect.

Dire times indeed for the New Zealand's forgotten folk languishing in a forgotten corridor of no time, when in 1991 the UNITED NATIONS GENEVA adopted, The United Nations Principles for Older Persons. http://www.un.org/NewLinks/older/99/principles.htm
One principal springs to mind here:

CARE: Older persons should have access to social and legal services and HEALTH CARE so that they can maintain an OPTIMUM LEVEL OF PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND EMOTIONAL WELLBEING.This should include respect for dignity, beliefs, needs and privacy

This list of UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPAL FOR THE OLDER PERSONS well being and rights should be put where it can be seen by the public in all Health, Care and Social Depts.,Surgeries , Rest Homes, Hospitals etc.,
as it would appear that most health care personal are totally oblivious to the existence of this UNITED NATIONS PRINCIPAL for older persons.

continued.....

15167-AVATAR 10 May 2009 3:54pm #3
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

Update for those that are interested in the problem above....referral October 2008.
after much todo & kerfuffle one was given a appointment to see the Mr R Kyd, the Orthopaedic Surgeon from Waikato, on the 22nd April 2009, and his first comment after reviewing the xrays was:
' I don't understand this, why has it taken so long?"
my sentiment exactly! hmmm now this sounded more promising to my ears...I was so emotionly up tight I had to choke back the tears.cry.someone at last, at damn long last was taking note of my condition
the following week I received a phne call from Waikato and the day after an appointment for pre admission checkup! on 14th May 2009 oh boy was I elated!biggrin after such a long painful battle, things were moving!!
But and a big but.....still no help,rolleyes no one has been to see me in my home, no raised toilet seat which is a huge painful problem as anyone with hip problems will agree, at the moment I am using rolled up towels which isn't really satifactory, this I really can't comprehend, folk with severe pain with hip and knee problems NEED support and help BEFORE as well as after their operations... I have needed this special seat for 6 mths, so what goes on here? nothing it woud appear.....I have also changed my Dr.
I must say here that now at last I am under Waikato hospital ,I am hopeful and for the first time in a long long time feel confident this issue will now resolve itself more quickly ...hmmm? time will tell.
So the saga continues.........

15167-AVATAR 26 May 2009 2:36pm #4
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

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15167-AVATAR 04 Jun 2009 9:54pm #5
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

lastest update to list referrals...well it was 5 weeks plus a day , to the day when I was seen by Mr R Kyd from Waikato at Tokoroa Hospital for orthopaedic assessment, to being scheduled for my total hip replacement with Dr Paul Wotherspoon and team on the 29th May 09...
So dawned Friday 29th, at 7.30 am, I was waiting down in the pre op rooms, nauseous & dry retching some bright spark the night before had seen fit to change my pain medication and given me TRAMADOL..warning leave it stricly alone, side effects, nausea, retching, wooziness, druggy dreams, halucinations.... the theatre nurse looking at me clutching my little plastic container, said 'why on earth did they give you that and the maximun dose? I would not take it, too many side effects', oh yeah now she tells me..eek
I was wheeled into the anteroom where the anesthetist from Thames had just arrived, a nice friendly fellow who told me it had been a cold drive over, we chatted as he got a lure in my arm, a couple more of the waiting surgical team came out of theatre, all scrubbed up and shining clean, with beaming smiles, their IDs dangling , biggrin their hair all nicely tucked under very colourul patterned cotton kerchiefs, I gave them some cheek, one informed me he didn't want my discarded bone( I had signed to be a bone donor) as I had had bladder cancer, fair enough I said as I was wheeled into theatre... up on the far left side wall I saw all my hip xrays were highlighted & displayed and a distinct dark line had drawn on the xray of the right femur.(.lol lol cut here along the dotted line), joking.... I was busy looking around the theatre and making comments about the huge array of massive lights on the ceiling,above me , crikey what a barrage of lights! and that was it....next thing I remember was coming to being wheeled up to ward 16 and into room 11, that nice sneaky anesthetist had quite caught me unawares.....The tall dark and handsome Dr Paul Wotherspoon saw me the next day and looked quite satisfied with a job well done....
What can I say, I haven't stopped smilingbiggrin, that surgical team is simply the BEST!!!, what a fantastic job they have done, I am walking, no pain, no numbness, can bend my right knee, and best of all can go to the toilet without pain...they kept on asking what my pain threshold was. after being in agony for 7mths the ' pain ' I was feeling was nothing....I had a oxygen tubes in my nose which I got rid of pretty quick as it was making my nose raw inside, apart from that it was all smooth going, the staff at Ward 16 are just fabulous, caring in every sense of the word........I was discharged on Wednesday 3rd June, after the op ( 6 days) and sent home with: some wooden gadgets to raise my bed 4 inches , fitted for crutches, a bath stool and a grabber.....I have nothing but praise for the Orthopaedic dept at Waikato, I was looked after and treated so well, all the bad times have faded awaycry....but and a big BUT..in discussing my previous predicament with the occupational therapist there , we had a good long chat, about how help is needed BEFORE operations as well as after.....re my falling through a large hole in the system, he suggested some 'people, meaning professionals' don't listen to you, that one should always stress most STRONGLY, how incapacited and how much in pain you are, and keep at it don't give up, if you don't get results you have the choice to a second opinion, I mean I was forced to use crutches for the last 7mths how obvious is that?
Well now I have a permenant smile on my face, my life has meaning once again, I am not dogged by vicious pain every moment, so I say a massive thank you to Mr R Kydd and his fantastic team of merrymen/women, I owe you guys my quality of life back and cannot begin to thank you enough..
Moral of story here is...keep asking..keep trying, don't give up....you are precious and your quality of life is precious and you deserve that quality of life and care, it is your right as a citizen of New Zealand by World Human Rights Standards....
lol and wouldn't you know it, still have not had anyone to my home for assessment re safety etc.,...of course I don't need them now do I , but what a b******y rum do!
An English nurse in ward 16 said in England they are taught to help people BEFORE ops, re orthopaedic procedures, which would seem the logical and correct thing to do, so what's gone so radically wrong here in NZ ? how many others are suffering needless pain and distress due to lack of the correct procedure being applied at the correct time for the orthopaedic patients wellbeing? All I can say is certain Health Depts should get their act together smartly !

15167-AVATAR 21 Jun 2009 11:12am #6
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

biggrin just a postscript for anyone that has followed this saga, just 2 weeks out from the hip replacement op and the wound was all healed, no pain, just utterly incredible, now three weeks, I am walking freely with only one crutch, have full mobility, no pain whatsoever, the most beautiful flat scar, if one can call it that as its almost vanished, I used black & blue cream from my Chiropractor on the bruising which has now all gone..amazing I haven't stopped smiling yetbiggrin a huge thank you to Mr R Kyd and Dr Paul Wotherspoon and surgical team at Waikato Hospital , they are simply the best!!!! I have a life again, thanks guysbiggrin
Now 5 weeks out, amazing progress, using a cross trainer, lol just a couple minutes a day so far, most of the time around the house I don't use a crutch, at 5 week checkup Dr P Wotherspoon was very pleased with the hips mobility and length, so it just gets better and better and I am still smiling....
http://twitter.com/Alienzone88

15167-AVATAR 21 Jun 2009 11:19am #7
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

Post deleted at 21 Jun 2009 11:24am by Alienzone88

15167-AVATAR 07 Oct 2009 11:12am #8
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

eek Oh golly I just had to share this pearler! Last week I had a phone call, the voice on the other end said, wait for it.....this is the Occupatioal Therapist......and YOU have come to the........TOP OF THE LIST!cool aha those " LISTS" again..You says she, were refered in May. Well said I , my hip opp was in 29th MAY , and I don't need you now..(remember this is now end of Sept.,) BUT I needed you very much 7 mths before the opp. when I was in so much pain......no comment or sympathy to that.
All I can say is God help those poor souls who can't help themselves, this service STINKS!confused
Luckily I had a mighty good friend biggrin who helped me get the equipment I needed from Waikato Hospital before the opp. nothing from anyone else at allsad

23757-012__2__Mrs_Brown 10 Oct 2009 6:40pm #9
offline gaye-belle

Member since 28 May 2008

Member from Wrights Bush

Posts: 7823

Alienzone88, I have only just come across this thread. What a time you have had. neutral Glad you have finally got it sorted. Seems a terrible case of bad communication, (going by the postscript.)
I have done homecare for people in less horrific siituations than your prediciment, and you should have had at least this offered from your Dr. both prior and after your operation. wink

So nice to see you have a happy face now, and able to lead a quality of life. You take care of yourself. smile

15167-AVATAR 27 Nov 2009 5:42pm #10
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

Ho Ho Ho it looks like one has at long long last come to the top of yet another one of these seemingly USELESS WASTE OF TIME..' LISTS!'...!
Last week I received a call from a totally disinterested female voiceeek...IT.... said 'I am calling from M P Louise Upton's office.......the voice eek said 'do you wish to follow on from your complaint???? complaint?........ lady I said ,I had my hip operation 6 MONTHS AGO!! the complaint was well before that! I wish is that no one else has to go through the nightmare I did trying to get into the system, especially if they have no voice of their owncry....... so that was about the end of the conversation, was she interested? I think not, ...did she take any notes of what I had just stated? damn sure she didn't,... did she really care, I know she didn't.....
Bye the way thank you Gay Belle for your kind words, it surely was an unbelievable situation, six months now since surgery and I still cannot grasp fully what a nightmare it was... BUT I am now 101% great, super, wonderful!
It was amazing success and I haven't stopped smiling, lol except when I get a inane phne call 9 mths as above, after I had pleaded for help...Philistines!

Blank 29 Dec 2009 9:48pm #11
offline petal12

Member since 29 Dec 2009

Member from Papakura

Posts: 2

My advice would be to change your GP. If your Gp is proactive that helps immensely. Your Gp should be sending an urgent referral to the hospital stating your condition has worsened and you will be priotised again.

15167-AVATAR 30 Jan 2010 12:10pm #12
offline Alienzone88

Member since 22 Jun 2007

Member from Tokoroa

Posts: 86

I did thanks Petal 1 and its all done and dusted..101% success thanks to the fantastic surgical team at Waikato Hospital, they gave me my life back for which I am ever grateful!biggrin


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