While I was at home one day, I picked up my girls for a cuddle and felt a twinge in my neck. The pain was absolutely excruciating. The following week I was still in pain and unable to go to work. I went to my GP who said I’d probably slipped a disk in my neck.
I had an MRI and took the results back to my doctor. My results showed I had slipped the C6-C7 discs and trapped a nerve in my left arm. My doctor told me I needed to see a Neurosurgeon and possibly have surgery or else I was at risk of losing the use of my left arm. I was horrified and desperate to get an appointment with a specialist as soon as possible for obvious reasons!
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Because I didn’t have private health insurance, my GP wrote me a referral to see a neurosurgeon at the public hospital here in Perth. Finally, 2 months after the accident, I was put on the waiting list for surgery. By this stage I was getting nervous though. The doctor’s words kept ringing through my head. He’d told me this was urgent and here I was months later with no treatment. What if I lost the use of my arm? How could I ever cuddle my kids again?
Months and months went by. Then one day I received a letter from the hospital asking if I still needed to see a Neurosurgeon. I responded saying I absolutely did. Silence…Nothing…
My case was closed by the hospital in January, 2016 - 18 months after my accident! They didn’t even have the decency to contact me and tell me my referral had expired and that my case had been closed, despite the letter I sent them saying that I still needed to see a surgeon.
After it became clear I wasn’t going to get seen by a surgeon through the public system in WA, I jumped online and started doing my own research.
That’s when I stumbled across Healthshare. Within 5 minutes of filling in my details on their website, I got a phone call from a lovely woman named Sue. I nearly fainted. Another 20 minutes and Bang! She’d arranged an appointment for me with a specialist in Sydney.
My first reaction was, “OMG this is amazing!” I could not believe it. After 18 months of waiting, I suddenly had an appointment to see a fantastic Neurosurgeon at Macquarie hospital in April and it was all done in less than half an hour.
It’s an absolute disgrace that I still haven’t been seen by a specialist back home, let alone had surgery, when I’ve been at such great risk of permanent damage. I actually got put back on the hospital waiting list and still, nothing.
I’ve been so disillusioned by the medical system in WA. The neurosurgeons there refused to see me for a consult because I didn’t have private health insurance…even though I was willing to pay for a consult! The specialist in Sydney was willing to see me regardless.
This condition has had an enormous impact on my life. I was unable to work for a year. This has heavily impinged on our family financially.
The hardest part is that I can’t pick up my two girls for a cuddle or play with them too much in case I cause further damage to my neck. The pain is still awful.
I’m restricted in what I can do. I’ve gone back to work but I need quite a bit of help from my work colleagues. I work in a plastic manufacturing company in a factory. It’s a lot of manual labour. I can’t lift heavy boxes anymore. I can’t help thinking how my life may be different if I’d had treatment early.
I would recommend Healthshare to anyone. It was absolutely fantastic. Even though I had to travel to Sydney I was so happy that I got to see the Neurosurgeon, or else I’d still be in limbo. I was let down here in WA but my faith was restored in the NSW system. The customer service was fantastic.
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