I'm injured at the moment with a torn tendon in my finger and torn cartilage in my knee (lateral meniscus). I'm trying to get my Nation Health Service (NHS) to give me the surgery that I need, but being the public service it is, they don't want to put me onto the waiting list for surgery until I am incapable of walking. I need to be fully fit by next season. It's going to take a lot of haggling to get me there.

I have a plan....

I live in London and I am getting my treatment done up in Bradford (north of England, next to Leeds in Yorkshire). It's where I used to go to university and itís a small city with lots of other towns and cities close by. My theory being the hospital there (BRI) wont be as busy as a hospital in London. This idea worked when I saw the doctor in the hospital the first day. I saw the doctor twice, got an x-ray, the doctor found someone who spoke enough French to translate my French MRI scan results, saw the hand surgeon who nearly put me into theatre for my finger that day. That was all done in 4 hours, which is an absolute miracle. Normally, in London that would take about 4 weeks.

Now for the knee, I have a friend who is a physio and I am going to get him to write a letter for me to see a knee specialist. In the meantime, I am going to go running/skiing/jumping up and down on hard concrete/whatever I can to make my knee worse. Luckily it doesn't hurt so it'll be like trashing an old pair of rail skis. This should get me on the waiting list for the operation. Now to skip to the front of the queue.

My friends joke about doing a DIY operation with a bottle of JD and some pliers but I'm starting to consider that a good idea as doing that will show the doctors/specialist/surgeons that this is sending me insane and needs to be sorted straight away ie. jump the waiting list.

I feel its all a bit excessive but when you don't have the money for private, and the public system is as it is and the seasons left in me are rapidly going, I believe its time to start scaring people.

In short:

Use the quietest hospital you can find in the country/county.

Tell the doctors how much it killing your career, your life, your sex life and play it so well they give you prescriptions for anti depressants, Viagra and a bag of condoms. (Take everything you can!)

Never accept what youíre given the first time. Nag the doctors and keep getting other opinions until they agree with you.

If the injury isn't bad enough, make it worse by doing big step ups and coming up short on a cliff face.

Finally show obvious signs of lunacy. Pliers and a steak knife to the knee in the middle of the waiting room is always a good'n


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