Everything feels bespoke to you

Alan and corinna

Alan,56, was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2009 and following surgery, aggressive radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment, he was given the all clear. However in recent years he has suffered from constant chronic pain in his shoulder and arm which is caused by the movement of the internal staples inserted during surgery.

After a number of appointments with consultants to try to solve the issue of the constant pain, he was told it was probably as good as it’s going to get, and was referred to the Hospice for them to see whether they could help.

Over the past few months Alan has had a number of appointments at the Lymphoedema Clinic to look at exactly when the pain is and how it impacts on his everyday life. The nurses have suggested ways of strapping the area and how heat/light treatments can work. They have also provided emotional support, talking time to listen to Alan, without making feel like he is ‘being a nuisance’ or ‘making it up’ as he has been made to feel previously.

The nurses have also advised his wife, Corrinna, on how to strap up Alan’s shoulder herself and discussed other ways of helping him manage.

“These are the only appointments Alan has been to where he has come home feeling happier and more positive. Having the constant pain has taken its toll on Alan’s mental wellbeing, exacerbating feelings of anxiety and depression. Meeting with the Hospice nurses, even just for a couple of months, has helped ease some of these feelings,”

“Without the Hospice team Alan would probably still be passed from one consultant to another with no progression forward, still in extreme pain with no solutions of easing it and not feeling listened to. His mental health would have probably gone further downhill.”

“As with all health services, they are very busy, but when you are with them, they make you feel they have all the time in the world to listen and support. They try to get to know you so they can work out the best form of treatment. Everything feels bespoke to you.

“Until this year I never realised that you could get this type of support from the Hospice. I had assumed it was just for those who had terminal illness or were receiving other end-of-life care. Other than his chronic pain, Alan is still working full time and is very active. The support the nurses provided was invaluable for both Alan’s physical & mental health.”

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