A woman who has waited more than 11 years for foot surgery is speaking out on how the wait has affected her life.
Wendy Berringer has waited more than a decade for surgery to fix a bone deformation on her left foot.
She said she has lived with increasing pain for a long time.
"You're awake every hour, hour and a half. You just can't sleep right," she said.
"In the beginning, I actually thought they lost me in the system because it was 10 years."
Berringer has suffered with bunions — not something that would put her at the top of the list.
Her foot problems got a lot worse while she was waiting to see Dr. Mark Glazebrook, who's about to become the province's only foot and ankle surgeon.
"This is going to make a problem that was unsustainable, much more critical. We'll be down to one by the fall of 2013. With that, we must recruit, in my opinion, more orthopedic surgeons," said Glazebrook.
A year ago Berringer was sent to a new foot surgeon in Kentville, Dr. Andrea Veljkovic.
The surgery was set for January or February. She learned three weeks ago that Veljkovic's position wasn't being funded any longer and Veljkovic is moving to Toronto.
She now has to go back on Glazebrook's 3,500-person waiting list.
"I actually sat there and cried," said Berringer. "I said, 'I did this for a whole year now, over a year, going back and forth there, only to find this out?'"
Health and Wellness Minister Dave Wilson acknowledged last week that more work needs to be done.
"Orthopedic surgeons, they assess their patients and the most urgent cases are dealt with immediately," he said.
Berringer said she thinks she waited too long.
"You get to be urgent, to be on that urgent list, by not having the simple [procedure] done first," she said.
"We need more doctors here, more specialists."
The government said its orthopedic working group will meet in the coming months to talk about the number of doctors in the province.