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Hi my name is Adam, 34 years old, and have been healthy, fit and strong for all of my life, never broke a bone or had surgery.
My career is going great and I've been married to the most amazing women for over 4 years who gave birth to our first child, a beautiful baby boy on 18th November.
For the past 8 months or so I've had sciatica, which I assumed was from running or the seating position of a new car. Stretching always relived the pain and I thought nothing more of it as it was easily bearable and only impacted me when sitting for long periods.
Due to the constant bending to pic up my baby boy, I developed a pain in same area of my sciatica, nothing extreme, just a typical back strain and was struggling to get a full gait with my left leg. As I was on paternity, on November 28th I decided to see an osteopath to finally sort the issue out, as having a new born was certainly not going to help.
The treatment seemed ok and I walked out slightly less stiff. The next day I was ok, similar pain when walking but a bit tender around the massaged area. That evening I had a bit of a spasm in my back where the pain was when bending over using the toilet, but once I was up I was fine and thought nothing more.
The following morning I was struggling to get out of bed, I got 3 steps down the stairs and the spasm hit again, but 10 times worse. No way was I making it down stairs then. I made it back to bed to releave the pain. This went on at intervals throughout the day, trying to go the bathroom etc, and at one point I made it down the stairs (no spasm) and back up. I could only stand for short period (30 secs), but as soon as I was back lying down I was fine. Since it was a bad back I was trying move every hour to not seize. 5pm, I couldn't even try to get out of bed without feeling the spasm and pain. 6pm came and I could get out of bed no problem, pain but no spasm.
I went to the toilet at 7pm and started to go. Standing still was extremely painful and then the spasm came, worse than ever. I stopped and headed straight for the bed to get flat. I managed to get on the bed and get flat and then everything started to go numb from my waist down. My feet were locked, my legs had little movement and my groin and butting area went all numb.
As like most, I've never heard of CES, and hadn't got a clue what was happening. I instantly knew something was wrong and dailed for an ambulance.
2 hours later I was in A&E, where a doctor had recognised my symptoms after waiting 2 hours in the queue. By 3am I had been ambulanced to a specialist spinal unit, still unable to move my feet/ankles and still the numbness in my groin and buttock area.
An MRI detected a L4-L5 disc hernation. I had surgery at 1pm that day, 18 hours after the initial onset.
Having read more about CES and the crucial window to avoid lasting damage, I feel very lucky to have had surgery so quick, and even more so to get moved to a rehab centre within a few days.
I'm now recovering in a Spinal Rehabilitation unit, 8 days after surgery. My legs are moving, bending at the knee (but not in a scissor motion), and both feet have drop foot. The numbness to my groin and buttock area remains.
Since the surgery the movement in my feet has increased, I can wiggle them maybe 5mm, and the numbness may have decreased slightly on the outside of my buttock region and a bit in my groin, but a great deal remains. I can't voluntarily urinate, but can tell I need to go. I have some feeling in my bowel function but no proper control.
I can stand and walk awkwardly taking small steps with a frame which is extremely tiring. I'm working on building the strength back in to my legs, but toilet troubles have halted that progress.
I'm trying to stay positive and have my family and friends to support me, but as I'm sure you can imagine, missing out on those precious moments of a new born is hurting, but at the same time motivating me to become stronger without overdoing it.
Over the last week or so I have researched everything I can on CES and read countless stories, and realise I am lucky to have some movement and to have received surgery in a timely manner. I am still in the early days and see months of hard work ahead to try and function more independently. I just wanted to put my story out there and would appreciate any advice.
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