"Disgusting treatment at oral surgery"

About: Basildon University Hospital / General surgery

(as the patient),

After 2 yrs of suffering sporadic intense pain in my face and intrusive dental treatment, it was suspected by my GP and Dentist that I may suffer from Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN). I was urgently referred to Basildon Hospital Oral Surgery department for an appointment with the consultant.

Firstly my appointment letter was received 2 weeks after my appointment date - I called the department and explained that I had only just received the letter and was told not only had one appointment been missed but two! The lady on the other end of the phone was very nice and very helpful and said it had been a matter or urgency and booked me in for the following Monday, this was the Friday morning.

On the Monday I arrived at the hospital 15 minutes early. I was waiting for 45 minutes to see my consultant. When I entered the consultants office, he rudely announced that seeing as I "hadn't bothered to turn up" for numerous appointments and had just "turned up on the off chance" today, my dental records (including very important x-rays) had been mislaid and couldn't be located, so I was to tell him from start to finish EXACTLY why I was there.

As I tried to inform him of the two years previous, all he kept doing was interrupting, talking down to me and dismissing the strength of the pain that I experience when I have these attacks of whatever they are!

He asked me whether I was in pain at that particular moment and I tried to explain to him that yes, I had a tooth ache, but this certainly isn’t the pain that I experience when I have an "episode" - the pain I feel then is excruciating, breaks me down, I cant move, talk eat or function and normal pain killers (which I rarely take in life) don’t touch it. I felt he totally dismissed everything that I had said and plonked me in his chair to investigate my mouth rather roughly. He then gave me an x-ray to discover that I had a slight infection around my wisdom tooth area!!

Had my records been there where they should have been, there were x-rays confirming that in mid episode of major pain, there seems to be no infection... leading to my dentist suspecting TN or something else - hence the urgency of the referral.

The consultant I saw, rudely told me, that I should return to my dentist and have my wisdom tooth removed and that would be the answer to all my problems and I felt like he was implying I was a silly little girl wasting his time. I am 46 and MY time was wasted. I lost an hours pay from work to be there. He wasn't listening to the fact that I have already had 3 lots of root canal treatment and an extraction of a tooth (which showed a slight infection) and the pain continues to return! I felt that he was implying I was there just for the fun of it. I actually broke down in front of him and sobbed uncontrollably with frustration!! He told me that he is the specialist and if I don’t do as he told me... it’s tough – I pray if I do have this wisdom tooth out it does end the pain…. If it doesn’t I will definitely be taking this matter further!!!

For the first time in a long while, I was feeling that at last something was about to get done or I would be able to find some answers and relief to this horrendous pain that I keep suffering from.

My dentist has been fantastic and done all the right things to eliminate certain dental scenarios. When I got that hospital letter telling me my appointment was 8th August and it was now 19th August, I wept - but when I spoke to the hospital and they gave me an appointment for the following Monday I felt hope return again!

In my opinion the consultant rude and obnoxious. He showed me no patience or empathy and I pray to god that I never come across him again or my mouth is ever dependant on his caring abilities. My initial appointment was with a different consultant and I wish so much that I had seen him.

I KNOW this isn't a normal tooth ache... I don’t WANT to have TN or anything else... but I do want to know that someone is listening to me and able to offer me advice and if anything more serious is wrong, then help me! I don't need to be made to feel like a silly little girl that is pretending or attention seeking.

I have had tooth ache many times in the past - bad tooth ache - and rubbed clove oil in to the gum or taken ibuprofen, I have given birth on gas and air, I have had a hysterectomy and would only take paracetemol for the pain relief, I refused co-codomal ..... my pain barrier is high.... but 5 weeks previous to my hospital appointment, I was at my GP's BEGGING for anything to help with the pain and she prescribed Diclofenic!!! I would rather cut off my head than experience that pain again!

I have a good life that’s full of family and friends and enjoyable things to do - I keep fit and healthy.... I was bed bound in agony for nearly a week! I could not eat, it hurt to drink, I was frightened of the bed sheet touching my face. Yet I felt the doctor didn't want to hear this and just dismissed it as a "tooth ache"!

I feel that the treatment I received was disgusting. I felt that I was being called a liar because I had not turned up for two appointments through NO fault of my own and I felt that consultants bedside attitude was snobbish, rude, dismissive and definitely not sympathetic in any way or form.

I DO NOT make a habit of seeking attention and frequenting doctors or hospitals on a regular basis... in fact for years I have suffered panic attacks and have avoided hospitals as best I can - I don't like the places particularly and certainly would not chose to go there just for the sake of it.

My experience has caused me distress, worry, concern, it has made me angry and I am now more scared than I ever was before that no one will understand or take me seriously when I try to describe the pain that I am in when I have an episode of this awful thing that keeps happening.

Lucky for me, the pain only comes on at the moment every 2 - 4 months, but each time it comes its lasting longer and seems to be more intense.

Doctors may have all the training in the world when it comes to the intricate workings of a human body, but personally I believe that the way I was treated by this consultant was disgusting and un-necessary - a bit of compassion and politeness would not have gone a miss - I also would love to know where my records the dentist sent over were?

I would appreciate any feedback that you or the hospital would like to give on this matter. I am in the process of finding out what my next move would be. My priority at the moment is to get a diagnosis for this pain so that some kind of treatment can begin and my quality of life can return.

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