The consultants have ruined my life! Now that may sound like an exaggeration and I wish that was the case but the truth is that my current situation could have been avoided!

Now if you have followed my blog for some time then you will be aware of the story, if not here is a brief catch up! I have had knee problems for the past 25 years and in 2008 I had a osteochondrital graft surgery on my left knee. The recovery was a lot harder than I thought but I put in the work and slowly I was walking again. Shortly after I had an accident at work whilst working for Olympus Keymed and that was the final blow to my knee and I had to start using a wheelchair and I was told I needed a total knee replacement.

Again I was keen to put in the work to recover and as soon as I came round after the surgery, I started trying to flex the knee and I was discharged in 3 days. Since then I have been in pain, the consultant diagnosed CRPS but I am unsure and basically the clonking of the knee joint every time I move the leg is unbearable.

So I asked for an above knee amputation but this was refused by the consultants at Southend Hospital many, many times and even a referral to Colchester hospital to see a Mr Loeffler proved fruitless.

I was asked to see a psychiatrist as I had told them that I was so desperate that I had considered using a tourniquet to compromise the leg and force the amputation, she said I am not suffering from any mental health problems but still that is not good enough for the consultants.

The consultant Mr Greer said that when he took his oath as a doctor, he swore to cause no harm and that is why he is refusing., however the Hippocratic oath actually says ‘I will keep them from harm and injustice‘.

He said that if he knew 100% that the operation would be successful, he would do it and I pointed out that removing the leg would mean no knee joint and so no clonking and pain when moving the joint and therefore stopping the problem.

I realise that the phantom limb pain would be nasty but I am already in pain, I just want to stop the pain that happens every time I move. Surely I have the right to be able to move without added pain?

I had the knee replacement in 2010, back then I was able to self propel in my wheelchair for miles and still use crutches at home. Then I tore my hamstring in my right leg and my shoulders and wrists started playing up from all the years of using crutches.

Slowly the pain of moving became worse and now I am housebound, last year I left the house 15 times and that was mostly for medical appointments.

So Mr Greer’s decision to not help me has caused harm, I personally believe he couldn’t see the bigger picture or the consultants are too scared to say yes. After all they are in the business of fixing and they possibly see an amputation as the worst case scenario and not that it would make life more bearable.

I didn’t expect to be up and walking on a prosthetic, I just wanted to be comfortable but I personally believe that they are also scared of being blamed if it went wrong.

However they did offer to fuse my leg, basically creating one long joint from hip to ankle, I am 6’4″ and so I wouldn’t be able to fit in our car and imagine using a wheelchair with a leg just stuck out in front. Also things like using the toilet would be very difficult.

I am now 50, I get out of bed and sit on the settee until it’s time to go to bed, on warm days I lay outside on the deck but really I don’t do very much. I shower once a week because it is so painful and I am scared at how much I am deteriorating every year.

The orthopaedic consultants  have sentenced me to a life of imprisonment!

I think about suicide several times a week!

By Zechariah Richardson

Over 50, disabled, husband, father and gramps who reviews products and writes blog posts about his life, beekeeping, gardening and whatever pops into his brain!

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