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pilonidal sinus operation hell

So, this week has been traumatic to say the least. I went to the drop in doctors before I started work on Monday morning, thinking I could get some Antibiotics fast to help without taking time off work or waiting a fortnight for an appointment at my GP and then I could go to work as normal, despite being in a lot of pain, as I had the same issue before, but not as bad. Plus I did not want to call in sick, due to being still in my probation period and anytime off in my work place, even for more serious issues still seems to be used against you.

Next thing I knew was from the drop in I was immediately sent to A&E to get a large abscess drained from my coccyx area the health professionals called it a pilonidal sinus. Which is according to (NHS, 2017) A pilonidal sinus is a small hole or tunnel in the skin at the top of the buttocks, where they divide (the cleft). It doesn't always cause symptoms and only needs to be treated if it becomes infected. Most people with a pilonidal sinus don't notice it unless it becomes infected and causes symptoms. An infection will cause pain and swelling, and a pus-filled abscess can develop. This is exactly what mine turned into and to my horror having spent most of my day in the drop in Doctors and then what felt like an entity in A&E, I was then taken up to another area within the hospital, still dressed for work not sure fully what was going to happen yet, worrying over when I would be able to get back to work, as at this point I had a few missed calls from my manager wondering how long I was going to be, making me feel even more anxious. I was then taken to another room in hospital called “rapid assessment” to which, I thought something must be really up here. My bloods were drawn and then I was told to wait in the hospital cafe for an hour and return for the results. So, I did and returned promptly a few minutes earlier than the hour, so worried. To then sit about in a waiting room for another hour or so, to then be told I had traces of infection in my blood and infact I would need to have surgery to remove my abscess under anaesthetic the same evening. I had nothing on me except my work office attire on and my partner was still at work for a few more hours yet. So, I was taken to the ward where I waited on my bed, still confused by everything and panicking over work and how they would react to me needing time off, as they expected me back only a few minutes late from the drop in doctors. I messaged my partner updating him and so he could pack my hospital over night bag to bring up to hospital once he had finished work. At this point I was really emotional, anxious and confused by the situation as a whole, I also had not ate or drank all day due to not being prepared for any of it having been to the drop in doctors from 8am, as I intended to go to work.

My operation didn't happen that evening, I wasn't updated and just tried to go to sleep. I was fully nil by mouth after begging for some water, as the nurses advised I could be taken down to surgery anytime. I was woke up every 2 hours for blood pressure checks. I was given Oramorph pain relief and came out in a really bad rash all over including my face and my lips swelled up, I resembled a blotchy fish. Despite being nil my mouth for so long my drip wasn't fitted two hours prior to going down to theatre, I felt so weak by this point, also due to the ward being like a sauna I was so dehydrated it took two nurses to get my cannula in my hand, second of which once a vain was found blood squirted everywhere. I went to get checked out Monday morning at 8am and had the operation on Tuesday evening around 9pm. Once I was wheeled down to theatre, getting general anaesthetic put into you is a very weird sensation, like I felt like I was getting filled up with a panic attack. (Sorry to say that but that's how I felt. I came round after about half an hour under in quite frankly excruciating pain. I was told I was getting local anaesthetic into the area to make it better when I woke up but that had fuck all effect. Waking up with a tube down your mouth isn't fun either, and I was fully convinced I had woken up mid surgery which I didn't but having a tube in your mouth is really fucking disorientating. I came round to a lovely nurse who was making me laugh and feeding me morphine as who doesn't like a truck load of painkillers? At this point I was crying as I was in so much pain and the local anaesthetic had done nothing at all. Got myself wheeled up to the ward and I heard the nurses talking about the fact I needed daily packing. If you want to google the procedure yourself it talks all about that, and that is what I was told I wasn't having, I was having stiches and closure so hearing that half asleep half drugged out sent me into complete blind panic and I really must have pissed the nurses off at that point. I called my boyfriend and he came up to the ward and I had a good cry which was much needed. Then dizziness hit and I couldn't bare another night in that boiling ward. I had to request a sick note for work and left with no pain relief, the morphine I had been filled with all day, It did nothing but to the point where it made my dizziness so much worse. I was advised, I need to get packed for the drain he's put into my skin just in case there's any gross puss and stuff that wants out. This means I'll be off to the hospital or doctors for at least the next week everyday to get it re packed and I am not looking forward to this in the slightest. I feel like I've regressed into such a child but I think that happens when you're ill you just can't help wanting a hug.

It has been hell since going to the Doctors everyday, I was prescribed painkillers just some cocodomol a little stronger than the behind counter stuff, but hasn't really done anything for the pain other than make me feel extremely lethargic everyday. Getting packing feels like being stabbed with a hot screwdriver everyday and getting up early for these appointments, as had to take what I could get. I still feel since my operation I have had no proper rest yet and I am so drained and feel like I could sleep for a week. I have been advised to get my sick note extended for next week as I still have another fortnight of daily packing at the moment. I am so anxious over work as they, despite my sick note, a letter explaining the packing from a nurse and literally every bit of evidence paperwork wise has been sent to them, I have been receiving daily calls, asking when I will be returning. I also was put forward for another role in my company days before my operation, obviously I had no idea it would of planned out this way and was invited to interview and an assessment for it. My operations manager called the day after my surgery, stating my interest would be withdrawn if I didn't attend this interview the next day, despite having explained my situation to the other roles manager who invited me for interview, stating he was cool to allow me a few more days to recover and come in early the following Monday. My operations manager advised he wanted to make the decision this week and again my application would be revoked. So I still went looking and feeling like absolute crap in agony, as I would love to move to the department as it is more related to my Degree than answering calls all day to customers with no real job satisfaction and terrible pay and shifts. The manager who interviewed me was well aware of my situation and I can only hope I showed commitment to the company, as quite frankly the interview and challenging assessment went horrifically due to the pain, the amount of drugs I had pumped through me during my hospital visit and my pain relief off my Doctor. I was still full of a rash off a reaction to all the medication and the infection I had, also swollen lips. I just won't hold my breathe for a call back on that one next week and feel so disheartened about the whole situation, I not only feel let down by my Manager but disadvantaged compared to the other candidates who would of had time to prepare not being hammered in an interview just short of 2 days after an operation.

I since have been advised I shouldn't return to work just yet, by my GP as sitting on an uncomfortable office chair for over 8 hours will jeopardise healing and also be very painful, so I need to speak to my GP again and get my sick note extended. Which is really going to annoy work even more being in probation, the calls everyday asking how I am and the interview situation. I feel that may of been a ploy to have something upon my return to work, oh we need to let you go being off in probation, but we was nice enough to let you interview for another role here when you haven't been here that long.

Not really sure what to do with work as I also am on the Autistic spectrum, this worry has caused me sleepless nights over loosing my job and daily panic attacks. I feel I may use the opportunity whilst off perhaps to see what other roles are about out there. Wondering if anyone else has experienced any simular health issues or work issues after being in hospital?

7 Replies
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Oh my darling what an awful time you have had. I hope your workplace respect your sick lines and other paperwork, if they don't, seek some legal advice from a citizen's advice place.

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Thanks for your reply on my post. I have contacted my union representative, just incase. However, should it go down the route I feel I might, with work I think as I am only within my probation period, I don't think you can do work for unfair dismissal unless you have worked there for 2 years or more.

1 like
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Contact ACAS it's free

Is your work giving you a hard time?

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Thanks for your reply, I have done but they couldn't really do much then generic advice I already knew. I have been in touch with the union who have been more helpful. However, since I am just anticipating what may happen, due to works behaviour right now, as they have still persisted in daily hassling calls ect, nothing can really be done until my return to work meeting, which can be done anytime of my managers choosing on my first day back. So I can't really arrange for anyone to represent me not knowing of the time. Plus the added pressure of potentially rocking the boat with them further. So still worried about the whole situation right now.

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I have every sympathy with you . My daughter suffers with this , to date she has had 5 separate flare ups and every time it’s the same agony of waiting for the sinus to become infected so that it can in turn be drained . Her experiences at the hospital are not so different from yours , endless waiting for a slot in surgery , inadequate pain relief and the weeks of daily wound packing , not to mention being unable to sit , walk or sleep in any position other than on her belly .

The doctors have made it perfectly clear that these outbreaks will recur time and time again until she gets an operation which can end it once and for all . The problem is nobody seems to be willing to put her on a waiting list for this surgery and so it goes on .

I wish you all the best and I dearly hope that you never have another outbreak again .

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Thanks for your reply. Sorry to hear of your daughter's situation, yes sounds like even despite surgery it can persist unfortunately, having read up more on it. I didn't realise something as minor as it sounds would be so much aggravation. I do hope she gets the medical attention she needs. I did find the nurse at a local drop in doctors was much more helpful and sympathetic who sent me to get it sorted for now over my GP.

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I would look for another job. I have been in the same position (but with the condition of Lupus, which I believed was caused by workplace stress/bullying) and I can honestly say it is not worth the stress you are being put under and also you are nothing without your health, which I have found out the hard way. In fact they are bullying you and if you speak to anyone in employment law I think they would agree. I would get yourself fully better and whilst you are recovering, look for another job. Nobody is indispensable these days and I am sure if you were to fall seriously ill, they would be advertising your job straight away. x

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