Back on a Rant

Before and After spinal surgery
Before and After spinal surgery in 2009

Regular readers to the blog will know all about Jono’s spinal problems.

Jono had severe kyphosis and scoliosis (curvature of the spine) and after a long wait he finally had spinal fusion surgery in 2009 in Tallaght, Dublin. The surgery involved metal rods being inserted either side of his spine. We thought it was a great success at the time and Jono went from being almost bent double to walking tall.

A couple of years after surgery the consultant realised that Jono was curving again above the rods – the only case that he’d seen of at the time. Rather than keep dragging Jono up and down to Dublin I was told by the consultant to get in touch if I felt things had got worse.

Things have got worse, with Jono ending up in A&E last year due to breathing problems, which the doctor there felt was down to his spine. Jono is also in constant pain. Since last May I have been trying to get Jono seen again in Dublin.  I got a call today from Tallaght to see if Jono still needed to be on the waiting list! When I explained the situation to the lady who called she said Jono has ‘only been waiting a year’ and that the queue to see the consultant is ‘out the door’.

She said the consultant isn’t seeing any ‘new’ patients – because Jono has slipped off the radar he is considered a new patient! The consultant is only at Tallaght Hospital one day a month and sees 15 patients. So according to this lady Jono could be waiting for months/years to be seen. I explained he just needs an X-Ray (they don’t have a machine capable of doing a full spinal X-Ray in Sligo). I’m told the X-Ray can’t be done without a consultant requesting it. So it’s a Catch 22 situation.

I’ve emailed the department who deal with cross-border treatment to see if Jono could have an X-Ray done in Northern Ireland but no one has got back to me.

Some days I feel like we are going around in circles, today is one of those days. Any suggestions would be welcome. Sorry for the rant.

14 thoughts on “Back on a Rant

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  1. I’m sorry to hear that there is such a long waiting list. I don’t know if Belgium has such waiting lists, but I’ve never heard here that you have to wait more than one year to see a Doctor Specialist. It must be so frustrating ? Is there only one Specialist in the region ? Or maybe this is the best Doctor ?
    A friend her son also had surgery due to scoliosiss. He only had it a week or two ago.
    I wish you and the family lots of courage !!

  2. Very, very sorry. Its stories like this we hear of more and more again in Ireland. The government dismantling of the health service since Kenny and Co. took over has been horribly brutal. I wish there was a magic wand solution for Jono.

    Claire Roche’s son was living in Thailand and fell 3 stories from his apartment and it doubled up his back. The surgery there in Thailand, a regular hospital, immediately sorted it all out by inserting rods and getting his back straight. He had a bunch of internal injuries that had to be sorted.

    When he returned to Thailand to Dublin, and went for a check up, he was told it was fortunate it happened to him in Thailand as nobody could have sorted him out in Dublin, or in Ireland. He was told there was nobody in Ireland that could have achieved that quality of surgery so quickly as in Thailand.

    Does this mean a gofundme holiday in Thailand in the works?

    Excuse me being flippant, as I am, but one thing to try it seems, is see what’s outside of Ireland, and its often what we call ‘third world countries’ that have super medical services far advances of us. Examples are Thailand, Cuba, and even Iran (though I do not suggest Iran for other reasons).

    Love and prayers.

    1. Thank you John as always for your support. Wow that’s an amazing story about Claire’s son. I’m so pleased it all worked out so well for him.

      No idea how things will work out for Jono but the battle has begun.

  3. Hi Val
    Haven’t been in touch for ages, but I’m so sorry to read that once again you are having to fight tooth and nail to get the appropriate treatment for Jono. It’s completely unacceptable that you are being treated in this way.
    If I remember correctly, when you were fighting for Jono’s operation before, weren’t you featured in the press and T V? Could you not try that approach again? I’m sure that there would be interest in the “follow up story”. Other than that, the suggestion is a good one.
    I send my good wishes to you both, and hope that you soon see some progress.
    Love, Stella

    1. Thanks so much Stella and lovely to hear from you again.
      I hope you are keeping well. As you know I’m a fighter so the battle begins again and I know one way or another Jono will get an appointment.
      The newspaper were fundamental in getting the surgery so I may well go down that road again. The TV just covered it when it was all over. We’ll see what happens today though,
      Love Val

  4. Pingback: Good news for Jono

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