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Hi all, just found this website and thought I'd put my two penneth in.
23rd June 2007, worst day of my life. Awoke with severe paid in my right leg at 1.30 in the morning, didn't know what to do with myself. Two days before my holiday and I'm in agony. Got up and watched the clock go round until 8 am when the doctors opened. Made an appointment, was late arriving due to the fact that I couldn't get dressed for the pain in my back and leg. Eventually got to surgery with the help of two sticks and a helpful taxi driver.
Following an examination, prolapsed disc and sciatics were diagnosed, sent packing with extra strength parcetamol. Which I might add were as much use as a chocolate teapot!
My symptoms were cronic back ache, and completely numb right leg. When I say numb, I mean to the touch, couldn't feel the back of my leg at all nor my foot, however, I certainly felt the pain, it was more than a person should have to bear.
Six weeks and two stone lighter following regular visits to my doctor I called for an ambulance, as the overwhelming desire to top myself was winning over the 'it will get better in time' theory. They advised me to get the doctor to increase my pain relief, after a phone call from them to my doctor I eventually got tramadol, which I might add did relieve some of the pain, but not all.
Back to the doctor and requested a referral to a specialist, after being told there would be a 4 month wait, I decided to pay to see a consultant privately, two days later and 150 quid lighter, I got to see a specialist in backs. He confirmed that I had a severe prolapsed disc S1/L1 region and recommended an MRI scan, which I had four weeks later. Surgery was the option and was referred to Hope hospital in Manchester.
December 20th 2007, 5 pm into hospital ready for surgery the day after.
Wasn't scared in too much pain for that.
December 21st, down to theatre at 1 pm, hoping and praying for some kind of relief from the misery I had been in for six months.
4.45 pm, woke up PAIN FREE!!!! Looking back it was probably the morphine I had been given during surgery. Within 15 minutes from arriving back on the ward I was walking round, morphine drip attached pain free feeling on top of the world. I felt so briliant they let me out the following morning.
The staples came out 10 days later and I felt great, a little discomfort in my back but I had the use of my leg back and most of the feeling back in my leg, although my hamstring and calf muscle still wouldn't do as they were told.
Underwent Physio, and was given plenty of back strengthening excerises to do, which I did with ghusto.
For about 4 weeks I felt great, went back to see the surgen and was told how successful the op had been. He told my I was on a long long healing curve and that it woud take at least a year for the nerve to heal.
Eight months on.......
I'm doing OK, BUT, the nerve in my bum is still causing severe pain, not every day and not the same agony as when I first started with all of this, but still enough to make me wonder if life is worth living. My leg muscles are still misbehaving, cramping up if I point my toe, or feeling very tight, still cant stand on my toes and still suffering from mild sciatica. After a day at work (admin so I sit down all day) I come home and some days can hardly walk. Still taking the tablets as they say, both strong paracetamol and tramadol, which do manage the pain.
I keep thinking to what the surgeon said about being on a long healing curve, but wonder if at the end of a year the pain will dissapear and I will be back to full fitness. I don't know whether the symptoms I am having now is normal, or whether there has been some permenant damage caused by the prolapsed disc. I am being a active as I can, dog walking, exercise biking, general back exerices etc but it only makes the pain worse, so I end up on my back on the settee in the evenings. Pain killers and hot baths seem to be the norm when you have this condition.
I have read some of your comments and for those of you who have just started this journey, my heart goes out to you, all I can advise is to badger your doctor for increased pain relief. Apparently we all have different pain thresholds and they (the medical profession) need to find out by trial and error what that threshold is on each individual. The only way to get relief is keep going back and telling them.
For those of you who have had the op it does get better, but I'm not sure if it gets easier.
If there are any of you out there the same post op period as me with the same symptoms I would love to hear from you. I have questions such as
Is it me?
Am I just being soft?
Will it all go away after a year?
Will I be like this the rest of my life?
Is this normal?
What will I do if it doesn't go away?
With best wishes to all back sufferers.
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