Of course, I was getting bad service for years before I even got to the hospital. I’d been having headaches ever since I was in primary school and no-one ever figured out why. I’d gotten glasses for “bad eyesight”, and told that I was just a headache-y person etc. (This is relevant background)
I was at a heavy metal concert back in 1997 and I decided that it would be a good idea to stagedive. Of course, once I did, the crowd decided that that would be the perfect moment to separate and I ended up landing on my head on a wooden floor (which was concrete underneath). Needless to say, I got a hell of a headache but thought nothing more of it for a couple of days.
A couple of days later I’d woken up for school and I couldn’t eat my cereal – apparently I’d had seizures through the night. An ambulance was called, I was rushed to the local hospital. I remember waking up with my head all bandaged up. I’d had a benign tumour that I’d busted open when I hit my head and they’d removed it and replaced the bone.
And this is where we go back to the background – this tumour had been in my head for literally years and none of the radiologists or doctors that I’d had picked it up. Bad service right there. Anyway, back to the present.
My doctor had replaced the bone in my head straightaway which was actually a mistake because of course it got infected. Cue operation number two where they took the bone out and immediately replaced it with an acrylic plate. Of course, the plate had had golden staph on it when they put it in so they had to take it out a few days later because of a delightful infection.
I’d also had a lot of problems with leakage from the wound in my head (cerebral fluid no less), so they had to put a spinal drain in after that operation. They put it in under general anaesthetic ‘cause if I moved, there was a real chance that I would have been paralysed. Anyway, the nurses were under strict instructions to turn the valve on to drain the fluid for two hours and then turn it off for two hours so that I wouldn’t suffer too badly – as the removal of cerebrospinal fluid ‘causes HORRIBLE headaches. Of course the nurses fucked up royally, leaving the valve open overnight, leaving me in so much pain that I was delirious, crying, the works. This was so much worse than any migraine I’ve ever had or even heard of. So I was put on pethidine constantly for the next two weeks just so I could deal with the pain and it still hurt. Then I had the fun of trying to kick the pethidine habit I was developing lol.
My neurosurgeon actually resigned after that because he was sick of the incompetence of that hospital.
So I transferred to another hospital about half an hour away and luckily I got one of the best neurosurgeons available. He informed me that the surgeon that I had originally had fucked up by replacing the bone straightaway because the site needs time to heal and settle down a bit. You’re actually supposed to wait three months before replacing the bone. Anyway, the new surgeon told me that I had to live with a hole in my head for a year just so that my body could get rid of any lingering infections and get itself back to a state of full wellness. A year went by without any problems – except for the normal “oh crap I have a hole in my head stuff” lol and he put the final plate in and I haven’t had any problems since.
So it’s a case of all’s well that ends well but it would have been nice to have had only two surgeries instead of six!