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Josephine

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Well, actually we do, Dewey - they are usually nurses or such who have received special training to act as 'mini' doctors in reviewing patients on the ward and in clinic, assessing progress, recommending further treatment like physio etc. They also assist at surgery and often close up wounds to release the consultant to start another case. They tend to be called something like orthopaedic assistants. Some also get further trained up to do minor surgery - a dear friend of mine I worked with in theatre (he was a stonking good scrub nurse) now runs his own clinics for carpal tunnel syndrome. He sees new patients, assesses them for surgery, carries out the surgery on his own session time in theatre and reviews them after. They never see a doctor! But he is fast become much more expert at this than the surgeons. There are several such OAs in the UK dealing with carpal tunnel and they have an extremely high success rate - much higher than the surgeons ever did!

kneeper, a registrar is a surgeon with the appropriate qualification, in this case an FRCS (Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons), a mandatory qualification for anyone intending to carry out surgery. More than your board certification as they can be prosecuted for performing unsupervised surgery without it. It takes them about 5 years study and practice to get their FRCS and then they do post-grad training for another 5 years in a programme after which they can then take on an appointment as a consultant surgeon with all the concomitant responsibilities and expectations of expertise. So in essence, they are senior surgeons in training!
 

Dewy

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Jo,

Thanks for the full clarification. Are these Surgical Assistants also known as Nurse Practitioners or are they something else again?

I think it still correct to say that surgeons are not physicians in the UK? Physicians specialists belong to the Royal College of Physicians not Royal College of Surgeons? (Sorry all these definitions are are rather pedantic and off topic....)
 

Josephine

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Nurse practitioners certainly are different! They don't assist the surgeon or carry out surgical procedures but they do have their own clinics. And these are Orthopaedic Assistants. But hey, what's in a name, eh?
 
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River

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Hello all, I'm still here and getting very very close to the day of reckoning... this is my last day at work for a while, last night I went to my last choir rehearsal for a while, tomorrow I will drive for the last time for a while. It all feels very final, I have to keep reminding myself that MUCH more than an ending, this is a new beginning.

I have told several people that this is the last time they will see this particular right knee, it's quite funny to get them bending down to look at it and bid it goodbye (they do it, every time!).

I am still going through phases, really low times and OKish times and more hopeful times. The thing is that I have such trouble really imagining and really believing in Life After TKR, despite everything I've read and heard about it. How will it feel for me-- that is something nobody can answer.

Thanks for reassurances (Dewy) about how little I am likely to see the surgeon post-op-- the less, the better as far as I am concerned. However I think we were told that at this particular hospital there are only consultants, no registrars, so I wonder if that might mean I will in fact see 'Mr Rude' (Jo) / 'first class jerk' (Sandy, re. own OS but my goodness does it apply to mine as well) for a follow-up appointment...

Thanks to Sandy also for the story about how your FCJ also did such a good job on you. I suppose that's the only way they can get away with such behaviour, really...

Also for info about it being illegal/a case for disciplinary action to breach patient confidentiality. I have wondered whether to do something about it, officially-- my conclusion so far is to concentrate on getting those new knees, and then see about that at a later stage. I do think he shouldn't be allowed to get away with it, it undermines trust if nothing else (because I start wondering what he is going to say to other patients about me). Actually I think some other things about his manner were just as harmful, but no doubt they're not illegal.

The other staff really are so attentive-- I was back there yesterday to have another blood sample taken (not sure I understood this, I thought it was so that I can donate blood to myself if necessary but they took such a tiny amount). I asked, just out of curiosity, what my blood group is and if it's a common one and the nurse told me, and said that I shouldn't worry about it being common or not because that's what this blood sample was about, ie if I need blood I will get it. So I hadn't even said this was something that worried me, but she came out with this reassurance anyway.

Now why can't ALL doctors/nurses/consultants etc. be like that? Still, in my experience of this place it really is about 98%, depending on how much % this particular individual gets.

Feels like I still have loads to do, I have tomorrow off before the surgery on Thursday, still need to get some food for the freezer and a few other things, pack, make my flat just a little bit tidier... I won't beback there for a while as I am going to friends' houses first but it would be nice not to come back to a complete tip.

Not sure if I will have much time to post between now and Thursday but this is a quick (or rather rambling) wave and will I? will I really? see you all 'on the other side'.

(And then back here before my LTKR, no doubt!)

Take care all and thanks for the information, reassurances, understanding and putting up with various and sundry weirdnesses and obsessions of mine.

River
 

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Hi River, thanks for checking in here. I have been wondering how you were doing. Sounds like you are well organised.

All the best for Thursday! I am sure you will do just fine. You are going to a very good facility and it sounds like the support staff will give you all you need.

We will be sending you tons of positive ((((((((vibes))))))) on Thursday. I look forward to an update when you feel up to it.

See you on the other side!:dancy:
 
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River

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Thanks Jaycey, the more positive ((((((vibes)))))) the merrier! I love the idea of them coming from all over the place, including here and across the Pond and a friend who's currently in China is sending some too.

River
 

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Good luck, honey - God be with you!

As for that surgeon, I suggest you write to the CEO of the hospital where he works - that should get the boat rocking!
 

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Best of luck, River!!! I'm so excited for you and your upcoming new knee! Pretty soon you won't have to imagine what your new life will be like....you'll be livin' it!!!
 
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River

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Thanks for replies... but oh hell. I've developed a cold over the past few days, I just assumed it would go away by now but I probably should have said something when I went in on Monday for bloods... it's probably because I've been so stressed about the whole thing. And now it's the day before the op and it hasn't gone away and I was coughing last night and didn't sleep too well, and don't feel brilliant now... I'm not sure what to do, should I ring up the hospital? I don't think I am actually ill, but it's the throat and the coughing and a bit sniffly and just feeling a bit under the weather (ironically because the weather is gorgeous at the moment)

Does it increase the risk of the operation if you have a cold or I suppose anyway they will want to protect other patients... if I ring up I might lose the slot and who knows how much longer I will need to wait... I'm not really ready in practical terms but nearly, just need to do a bit of shopping and iron a couple of things and pack... but I don't know if I should actually be going...heellllllllllp!!

River
 

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Hi River, if you don't have a fever I wouldn't worry about your cold. You are right the stress of waiting brings on these things. If you are worried call and ask one of the nurses. I'll bet they just tell you to rest and come in tomorrow.

Please don't let this get to you. Just a bit of sniffles.

Please update when you can!
 
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River

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Thanks Jaycey, yes it's just stress I'm sure, nothing serious but its just making me feel even less able to cope.

Just back from meeting a friend for coffee and doing some shopping and to the chemists and would you believe it-- I have a flat tyre. Of all the days for that to happen. But I think I am going to just leave it and deal with it later, after all I won't be driving for quite a few weeks anyway. Just drove very slowly (only about half a mile) and got home without mishap. It's on Motability so they will deal with it but I don't have the time, energy or head-space to do anything now...

One step at a time, right. Just need to get ready now. Oh I am such a basket case! Picked up some tablets at the chemists and the pharmacist was doing some survey about people's experiences with their medication and took me into a side room to ask me questions and I told her about the op. and burst into tears. But she was very nice about it, said she was terrified too when she had only a very minor procedure done.

Oh how I wish it was all over, and I could fast forward to not just after the op. but after all the post-op. pain too... Or do you think I could get the anaesthetist to give me enough drugs to knock me out for a couple of months or so???

River
 

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Hang in there River! Believe it or not this is actually the hard part! Tomorrow they will send you off to a blissful sleep. When you wake up it will all be over! Take care River! We're with you all the way!
 

Josephine

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Calm down - this time tomorrow it will all be over (bar the shouting! :th_heehee: - I'm wicked cruel!)
 

Dewy

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You can do it River! :yes 4:

We've all survived to tell the tale.

Don't worry about today - the day before is always the most stressful. Once you arrive at the hospital you just go with the flow and it will be over before you know it.

We are looking forward to seeing you on the other side. :friends:
 

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Hang in there, River......the beginning of your new life is almost here!
 

Jaycey

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Me too River! You have my positive (((((((vibes)))))))! Hope you are well on your way to that pain free life. Update when you feel up to it!
 
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River

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Hello all, thanks for your messages. All went smoothly, surgeon said the knee was difficult but we knew that already and the op. was unproblematic.

Was very zonked out yesterday but have had very little pain, leg just feeling heavy and stiff but not hurting much. Just a bit after doing a teensy amount of ultra-gentle exercise shown me by the OT but not bad at all.

Really really true that the run-up to the op. was much much worse, though I didn't really believe it!

River
 

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So good to hear from you River! I knew you would make it through.

Things will feel heavy and stiff for awhile. All that repositioning and "carpentry". Are they giving you any ice? Ask for it if they aren't. It will help with the swelling.

Rest up now and get your strength back. Please do update when you are ready.

Welcome to the other side!
 
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