I sat down one evening and had sharp pains in my arm which lasted all evening. My first thought was a heart attack. I visited my GP who said its tendinitis buy a wrist support and it will help. The pain continued on and off and then subsided for about two weeks. After the two weeks I noticed a weakness in my left little finger. I could not move it in to make a closed hand. It was permanently fixed apart from the rest of my fingers, I visited my GP for a second time and he referred me for some physiotherapy. Before I attended this appointment the GP called me and said he wishes to refer me to an orthopaedic surgeon. I waited around six weeks for this whilst every night I was in such pain, unable to sleep and feeling very anxious that I cried most days. My hand became weaker. I couldn’t hold the kitchen cleaner or spray it. I couldn’t open bleach. I couldn’t fasten buttons and many other simple daily things. My hand muscle had started to waste and I had spent many nights crying wondering who would look after my children if this was the end.
January came and I visited the surgeon at my local hospital. He offered no reassurance! He reeled of several conditions that it could be and left me with a notion of 'it's definitely wider neuropathy'.
“That’s it” I thought, I left the hospital in tears feeling sick. Who would help me with my children? Who would look after my husband when I’m gone? A week had passed and with the anxiety I had along with lack of sleep I decided I cannot do this to myself any longer. I called our local Spire little Aston hospital and possibly cried throughout the whole conversation and begged them to help me. I had an appointment booked the next evening. My homework was to try to find out what scans or tests the NHS had referred me for. I called the hospital and after searching, the secretary explained that no referral had been completed yet and it was in the system. I cried again. I felt so let down by our NHS. My children could be left without a mum and I was just another number in the system.
I attended an appointment with Mr Shyamalan. He was very reassuring even gave me tissues as I again was crying. He was 90% sure the issue was at my hand, but I would need a nerve test to confirm this. I felt instant relief and for the first time in almost five months felt I had a future.
Within a week I had a nerve test which concluded my nerves were all working as they should be. The doctor examined me and felt I had a growth or cyst on my hand causing the issue. As a self-payer with no private health insurance at this point, I was advised to try to get an ultrasound scan on my hand via the GP. I went back to my GP and forced an emergency ultrasound which confirmed the growth on my left hand at the base of my palm. Mr Shyamalan called me and said he could operate in two weeks. If the growth is left any longer it will cause irreparable damage to the nerve. The GP had also explained the same but with current waiting lists it would not be removed in two weeks. I called Mr Shyamalan immediately and my surgery was booked for two weeks’ time.
On the day of the surgery, as tearful as I was, I had 100% faith that I would be healed. Mr Shyamalan explained in detail how the nerve would regenerate after this procedure and how my function and muscle will grow back over a period of six months. He reassured me continuously along with his team. After surgery I was advised immediately that the growth/cyst wasn’t abnormal and that there was no need to go in to my elbow as well as my hand to check the condition of the nerve. I think I had cried all the tears I had left. I felt I could look forward to the future with my family. I had several physiotherapy sessions and I was monitored throughout. The care I received was second to none; I only wish I had visited Mr Shyamalan - an expert in his field - earlier. If anyone has similar symptoms do not be put off by your GP not investigating. I knew my body and I knew it was more than what they thought.
Thank you to Mr Shyamalan and his team. I am now back to full health and have just entered my second competitive swimming competition. I use the gym and swim around five times a week, alongside managing my family and teaching swimming to children too.