The pain I am suffering with is due to a labral tear. This has been caused by bone irregularities in the ball and socket part of my hip. These bumpy bone irregularities have caused a tear in the cartilage which is supposed to keep the joint stable. This means any movement involving the lower half of my body is extremely painful as the bones are continually knocking together instead of gliding. Over time this becomes increasingly painful as the tear worsens the longer it is left without surgery.
2020 is the year the NHS has struggled the most because of the pandemic. Although the NHS is an amazing service, it doesn't always work for all. In my case, I have never been prioritised, I have barely been heard. The two years prior to the pandemic I spent being repeatedly turned away and told I am "too young to have any real concerns" and that they have older patients that need help, and "not to worry" as they didn't think "there is anything seriously wrong."
The healthcare system has a long history of making light of the pain and welfare of black women and I do feel that my age and the colour of my skin have played a part in the way I have been treated by the NHS. Due to this negligence and discrimination early on, I am in the position where I desperately need an operation but because of the pandemic all surgeries of this nature have been put on hold for NHS patients, and there is a significant backlog.
This has been a difficult journey for me physically but mentally too. Living this way with pain of this magnitude for the period of time as I have, especially amidst a pandemic, is really tough to deal with
More about my journey...
At first, I did not know what was causing the lower abdominal/groin pain I was experiencing. I went to my GP and explained to them in great detail my symptoms and how worried I was. No medication they prescribed would get rid of the pain. It instead has become something I have had to learn to live with and simple activities such as walking and sitting have become especially difficult.
During the year of 2019, I had been in the emergency room a good 4 or 5 times and seen a number of different specialists, all of who had no idea what the problem could be. I have had 3 separate surgeries to investigate the nature of the pain and have been pushed from one department within the NHS to the next. As 2020 rolled in, I made a commitment to myself I would get to the bottom of it and fix the problem before the year was out. This of course was not possible, due to the Covid-19 outbreak the NHS was at capacity and although I had been suffering for a long period of time, no specialist had currently found any problem. I was actively told I was perhaps "imagining the pain" and throughout this journey I have been belittled and told by one doctor "you're too young to have anything seriously wrong with you, I have older patients that actually need my help."
It's been a lot of hard work trying to get the NHS to take this seriously. I have had to pay private specialists to see me because during the pandemic many NHS departments have been closed to patients who are not emergency covid cases. This situation has only got worse, and presently no surgeries of the kind I need are going ahead on the NHS.
In day to day life you probably haven't given much thought about the different parts of your hip and how the ball and socket joint in your hip help you to move, but it's pretty integral as most activities you do will involve moving your hip in some way. That is what makes this particular injury quite difficult, as most movements I make involve my hip in some form. The only time I do not feel pain is when I'm asleep and although I have spent a good number of months in bed as a result of the pain I'm experiencing, I cannot continue this way
Walking, running, the gym and swimming are all activities I haven't been able to do pain-free over the last few years. Sitting for dinner is hard enough, I often have to lie down after I have sat for half an hour to eat because even that is too long and causes extreme pain.
I was 23 when I first started speaking with doctors about this; I do not want to lose any more of my youth to debilitating pain. Now we are in lockdown, walking has become much more essential to mental stability than ever, yet walking is something that I very much struggle with because of my hip.
Despite being told I urgently need this surgery, I have been warned it is highly unlikely I will be able to go ahead with it anytime soon on the NHS.
I am writing this and asking for any donation you can spare in helping me to pay to get this treatment done privately because that is the only way I will be seen. I have been suffering for 3 years now and I really have had enough, mentally and physically I am exhausted.
I understand this is a difficult time for everyone so thank you so much in advance and please keep safe and well
- Mitali Sen
- amaiya ♡
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