Day of surgery

Eventually, the day of my surgery came round.  I had to arrive at the hospital at 7:15 AM.  My partner came with me, and I was carrying my new PJ’s, Dressing Gown, eReader and medications as requested, via a pre booked taxi.

When we arrived, a smart lady in a suit came to greet us and took us to my private room and explained a few details to me.  I sat, trying to keep my mind off things, and we chatted for a while before I got stuck in to my book so as not to dwell on things too much.

Eventually a Nurse came in and explained what would happen next.  I was given a hospital gown, a pair of very flimsy surgical pants and asked to change in to them and put my dressing gown on. I changed, and sat, and waited a little longer.  A couple of further visits by the nurse to do some admin, and to catalog my medication I brought in.  I was very grateful for my partner being there as she helped ease my nerves.

Waiting for my surgery

After a little bit longer, the consultant swooped in.

Hello, can you confirm your name?

And what procedure are you having?

And which leg?

I assume these were just questions to make sure I was the correct patient, and I was aware of what I was in for.  I asked about both legs and he said under no circumstances would he ever do both at once.  I guess that’s due to recover and risk.  I explained that both legs were as bad as each other at the moment, and he asked which one I wanted doing.  I stuck with the left leg as in general that has been the worst.  He drew a little doodle on it, and explained the risks, such as numbness around the scar, the fact that it might recur if my genetic makeup meant I was an extreme healer ( a reference to the fact that my body may heal excessively and cause the fascia to scar and reform ).

He also said that if it does not work, then the only other option is to just shoot me 🙂

He mentioned that my leg may look different after the surgery, and that it may bulge somewhat when I walk on it, which was fine by me.  If it does work, then there is the option to have my other leg done at a later date.


Blood pressure monitoring

As an outcome of my pre-operative assessment, I was required to perform some regular monitoring of my blood pressure by the GP just to ensure that it wasn’t really as sky high as it appeared during my assessment.

So, over the course of a single week, I had three appointments booked to see the nurses at my GP Surgery to get some readings done.  Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Each time, first reading was high, but after chatting to me and keeping me distracted, my readings came down to reasonable levels.

Diagnosis, I have white coat hypertension.

Pre-operative assessment

I was invited along for a pre-operative assessment a couple of weeks before my surgery.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  I had to go alone as unfortunately my partner had a funeral to attend.  It was fairly painless, I had an ECG, MRSA swabs, blood test and blood pressure test and everything was fine apart from the Blood Pressure.


Now my blood pressure is supposed to be under control with medication, but it seems to be very apparent that I have a case of the White Coat Syndrome.  I gave them a spreadsheet of my own readings from home which all seem to be reasonable, and I was hoping that it would be enough.

I then had a long chat with a nurse about coming in to hospital, what would happen etc.  She didn’t really know much detail about my Op, but everything seemed to point to me only having the one leg (the left one) done.  I explained that I had assumed it would be both.  She offered to check with the consultant but explained that chances are, he would not respond with an answer.

A few days later, she got back in touch with me after having a chat with the Consultant, and told me that my Blood Pressure readings were a concern and asked me to get a number of readings done at my GP just to make sure it was safe to do the Op.  I asked again about just having the one leg done and she said that she had asked, but not got a response.

Oh well.



When I finally got an appointment to see the consultant, well, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. I sat nervously waiting to go in to see him, listening to the nurse chat to others, who she obviously knew, making me feel a tad bit uncomfortable.

When I was invited in, I explained briefly my situation, assuming he would ask questions to probe deeper.  Instead, it kind of felt like he did not believe me.

“Why don’t you go for a walk then and we will see what happens when you come back”.

This kind of threw me a little bit, but I guess I was game for it as I knew that lately I could practically  guarantee that the pain would come on.  He lead me outside the consultation room, complaining about where his nurse had gone.  He eventually found a couple of people who although not part of the team, he obviously knew.  He explained to them what was going to happen, and that when I returned, they were to take me into a side room, disturb him immediately regardless of if he had patients with him so he could come and examine me.

So, I went for a walk, 20 minutes, down a hill and then back up again.  Sure enough by the time I got back, I was limping, pained and incredibly uncomfortable.

When I got back, the nurse was there and I explained what had just happened and what the consultant said.

“Well he is with a patient so you will have to wait”

This annoyed me and I explained what he said but she was having none of it.  She said I should just sit down and wait my turn.  I explained that I shouldn’t sit as the pain may pass, and she just dismissed me.  So I stood around, waiting, shuffling leg to leg in pain, sweating and angry.  I even found one of the people the consultant gave instruction to and they just dismissed me, so I just waited.


Eventually he came out after dealing with patients, and I rushed to him to make my presence know.  He invited me in, examined my leg, and spoke,

“Oh yes, there is definitely a big pressure build up there.”

I began to take my coat off expecting further talks or examinations, and he just said

“Don’t worry about your coat, you’re on my list”

He then picked up his dictaphone and started to record.


Chronic Compartment Syndrome

About 3 months ago I was diagnosed with Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome.

After years and years of living with an embarrassing condition where after any extended amount of walking would cause my legs to go into cramp, I finally got a proper diagnosis. Here is my story.


When I was younger, probably around 16, on occasion I would get cramp in both my legs, and the outside, just above my ankles. This would generally come on after walking, particularly walking up hill. This was a bit of a problem seeing I had to walk to college up a hill. Not every time, but every now and then. It would cause me some minor discomfort, and I never really thought anything of it. I also don’t recall telling many people about it.

This continued when I started University, and at the time, to get to Uni, I had quite a long walk from home to get there. One specific time I remember was coming home from University, and as I approached the bridge, I remember being in quite a lot of pain, and at the end of the bridge, had to stop and take a seat and was sat for a good 15-20 minutes before I could walk again. Again, I never really shared this with many people, and it was such a long time ago, I don’t recall what I was thinking.

This went on for many years, and I always avoided walking for long distances if I could help it. I was never very active anyway, not a sporty type, so I just got by with life. I lived very close to town, and every time I needed to go anywhere, it was never very far. During my adult life, my weight has fluctuated, but it never seemed to have a noticeable effect on my legs as quite often, the pain used to get worse after months of increased exercise which seemed to suggest the fitter I got, the worse my legs got.

In one of my jobs, I started to go for hour long walks at lunch time, and this lasted a few months before I had to knock it on the head due to pain. I became a dawdler, reducing my speed, and walking everywhere at a relatively slow pace to avoid the onset of cramps.

It was around 2008 that I decided to go to the Doctors about it and it was originally thought to be something like Intermittent Claudication (a circulatory problem). I underwent various blood pressure tests, muscle tests (nasty long needles inserted into my leg muscles) and it all came back okay. Then I was referred to see a spinal specialist for some further investigations. This concluded in a Spinal Nerve Block to see if it would relieve the pain. This it did not, so I was back to square one. The consultant sent a letter back to the Doctors stating that could be something like Chronic Compartment Syndrome, but they did not have the appropriate tests to determine if this was the case, and that if the GP wanted to pursue it, then they could.

I never bothered (and they didn’t either) to follow this up and decided to just live with it.

Fast forward to 2016, and my problem still was an issue, steadily getting worse. My exercise levels dropped significantly as I worked from home, and it became increasingly difficult to go for walks as even a short walk to the local shops was enough to give me agonising pains.

Then in the Summer of 2016, I had a particularly embarrassing situation where I found myself in Manchester with some work colleagues, and due to the Trams being off, I had to walk across Manchester, a fair distance, in the scorching heat, with a heavy laptop bag. Suffice to say, this nearly killed me, and I was so embarrassed as I was limping, sweating and in a right state. That event knocked me off my feet for weeks and weeks after, and I was severely crippled.

So, back to the Doctors I went, with the Consultant letters from 2009 in my hand. I explained my situation, showed the letters and got myself referred to a lower limb specialist. It’s also worth noting that between 2008 and now, I was also diagnosed with Psoriatic arthritis and was in medication for my Psoriasis, arthritis and had occasional Physio.