"7 months of pain"

About: Yeovil District Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

I discovered a lump in my jaw, causing pain all the time but mainly when I was using my jaw muscles so eating, talking and even smiling were agonising. I went to my NHS dentist and they did an x-ray to see if there was anything there...nothing. It was suggested that I take painkillers and see my GP. We weren't able to get an appointment with my GP so we went to the boots walk in clinic, they couldn't do anything. So when I finally managed to get an appointment with my GP she referred me to plastic surgery, we were told it would be facial plastic surgery, when I got to the hospital for my appointment it wasn't facial, it was just regular. the surgeon spent 5 minutes poking the painful part of my cheek just to say there was nothing he could do, he would send a letter to my GP requesting I be referred to facial plastic surgery. Because that is what we were told I would be seeing, we went to PAL's and saw a lovely young gentle man who helped a great deal, he managed to speed up the process by skipping out my GP and I managed to get a meeting with the right department. By this point I had been surviving on paracetamol for about 5 maybe 6 months. When I saw the facial plastic surgeon, he couldn't feel the lump. He gave me a patronising look and made me feel like I was wasting his time, he sent me to get an ultra sound. After a few tears I was able to get my ultrasound done straight away and made an appointment to see the consultant the following week.

I was told that I have a 6mm cyst on my salivary gland, if they cut out just the cyst then I would be weeping saliva from my wound and it would never heal properly. The only way to remove it would be to take out my entire salivary gland which would affect one of the nerves in my face, potentially causing permanent damage. When my mum asked the consultant what we were supposed to do next he said he would refer me to the pain clinic because there was nothing more he could do. We asked if it was likely to grow or shrink, he said he didn't know and that cysts don't cause pain, if cysts don't cause pain then what has been making it difficult to eat for the past 6 months? ! he was so dismissive and whenever we asked him a question he made me feel like he didn't care, he didn't want to be dealing with me and I was wasting his time.

I feel like I've just been thrown all around the NHS with no success and no proper help. Finger's crossed that pain clinic is more helpful or I will be looking for a second opinion, the pain is unbearable, I've been living on paracetamol for months and I've lost an unhealthy amount of weight all thanks to the NHS.

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Responses

Response from Yeovil District Hospital

I am so sorry to read of your difficulties.If our PALS service can be of any further help please do not hesitate to phone 01935384706 and ask for Luke. Kind Regards Linda Hann Patient Experience Manager

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