At this time five years ago, I was getting ready to go into hospital for a hip replacement operation. I went back a year later to have it checked and it was fine, but the x-ray confirmed what I suspected, that my other hip was starting to develop arthritis too. At the time, when asked how long I thought it would be before I needed a second operation, I reckoned maybe three to five years. Four years on, it’s still doing pretty well but has been hurting a bit recently and I’m wondering how long I’ve got. I’m due another check up, so I should get some sort of idea then – really, until recently, I’ve been still using the ‘three to five years’ line, but I’ve now got a suspicion it’s more likely to be one to three. Still, can’t fuss about it, though it might alter the timing of some of my plans. And of course, even an x-ray doesn’t necessarily give much of a prognosis.
I trust that I will be able to book directly with my surgeon, or rather with his secretary, because I don’t know who my GP is at present, or even if I’ve been assigned to one. Russell died in the week that our doctor was moving away and he apologised that it meant he would not be able to see me, as normally he would offer to. Since then, another doctor has left and a third has gone on maternity leave. There is one extra doctor on the books, who used to fill in as a locum, but they don’t seem to have filled the vacancies and there’s still an apology up on the website that they are very overstretched. This has never happened before, it’s always been an excellent practice where you could get an appointment when you wanted one. I know they’re all working extremely hard and fitting in emergencies at the end of their usual surgeries, but I wonder what’s going to happen, as that surely can’t carry on for too much longer.
I’m pretty lucky normally and rarely have to see the doctor. I’ve had various routine check-ups with nurses but otherwise, the last time I saw my GP was to ask for a referral to the orthopaedic consultant. So I trust I won’t have to bother them any time soon.