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Best Letter Day

Since my pain management appointment I have received a letter from the consultant, it is the best letter I’ve had from a hospital professional, ever. From the start it’s evident that the doctor listened as he has written in detail about me, of when and how my cancer was discovered, my treatment including where I was treated and why. He speaks about the pain I’ve experienced and how that has been managed so far, the drugs I’ve been prescribed, the way they made me feel, everything. The letter then goes on to outline the suggestions he has made for managing the pain from now on. At the appointment he not only detailed the ways in which I could ease the pain but he found examples on the internet. One suggestion was trigger point massage with a ball, another was a TENS machine along with massage and he didn’t dismiss acupuncture. For each of his suggestions he showed me examples and even advice on where to purchase – apparently a toy dog ball can be equally as good as a more expensive massage ball. All of this was in the letter which was nearly 2 pages long, the very first letter of this type that I have had since my diagnosis over 3 years ago. What a difference it makes, how much better you feel knowing that the consultant charged with your care actually ‘cares’ and cares enough to detail it in writing. The very worst example of a letter I had was my initial diagnosis letter which I should have received soon after my surgery but actually arrived nearly 2 months later. This contained the nitty gritty, or should have done. It actually read less like a letter and more like a list. What made it worse was that I’d had to have a bone scan in the meantime and to save an explanation of that the consultant simply wrote ‘bone scan clear’ across the top of the letter he should have sent weeks previously. Not only that, this latest result appeared in the window of the envelope so the postman saw it before me! So I am now taking the advice given and currently sit wired up to a TENS machine which is becoming oddly addictive. I’m unsure of whether it is actually relieving the pain or just diverting my attention from it but either way it’s helping when it’s on. The trigger point massage ball helps to a degree although I have to hide it from the dog! The letter has helped tremendously though in restoring my faith in consultant care.


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