Wednesday, 3 February 2016

A Jobbing Patient

These things eventually have to come. Having spent 38 years as a doctor, being the one doing things to other people, or listening or deciding, there comes a time when you are a patient, and stuff is done to you, and you are no longer in charge.

Following a serious rugby injury 40 years ago (collapsed scrum, trapped at the bottom, dislocated knee and torn ACLs) I was offered conservative or radical treatment: I opted for conservative therapy, which meant a Robert Jones bandage, and analgesia. No rest, as I was a junior hospital doctor. That went pretty well for around 35 years, but having the build of a rugby playing man (loose-head prop) meant that the inevitable was merely postponed.

So, I have now had 2 total knee replacements as an NHS patient. The surgery and care was excellent, and I am recuperating, but it is quite difficult not being in charge. I suppose that, as the years progress, I will have to get used to the change in relationship with my doctors (my GP now was a GP Registrar in my practice many moons ago). It isn't easy being passive, and having to rely on others' decisions.

I suppose that makes me a Jobbing patient.