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.