I’ve been asked by some of my lovely readers to do some posts about my health situation. Grab a cuppa and get comfy, this is a long one!
As you may not know I have suffered with chronic pain for many years now, I developed a trapped nerve in my hip and after that experienced a slipped disc in my back. 4 years ago I had to leave my job as I was just too ill to work, I was making mistakes, in constant agony and drugged up to the eyeballs (most of which medication I am still taking to this day) and I was very depressed.
I was devastated and completely embarrassed that I had lost my job, in fact if I am honest I don’t think that shame has ever left me and my confidence is very low. I had nerve decompression surgery that did make a great difference but as I had my hip pain was so debilitating that was dealt with first and the source of my back pain wasn’t investigated. After many scans and tests it was found that I had a slipped disc and that the small joints in the lumbar region of my spine were rubbing together and was causing the pain. At my last appointment at the pain clinic my consultant told me that the pain was permanent and I would most likely have it for the rest of my life.
I do struggle to walk for more than about 15 minutes without a rest, I am lucky in that I live in the centre of town so if I have to pop put for something I can. On bad days my other half has to help me to get out of bed, in and out of the shower and getting dressed. As mentioned before I have to take a lot of medication and all but one have side effects of fatigue. After lunch I need to have a nap because I get so tired. I also have pain killing patches that I can wear for 12 hours, I find they are better used during the day and if I need help at night I have a heat pad I can use.
It’s had a huge impact on my life, I am most comfortable at home so I don’t go out that much so I do miss out on a lot of social things with friends and family. When I do go out it often affects me for a few days afterwards because of increased pain and tiredness. It can be extremely isolating at times and when I do have my bad days I tend to want to hide away and not see people. This doesn’t help me, I don’t want people to see me in so much pain but it can be hard for them to understand and appreciate how it affects me. It’s difficult when I have to cancel plans at the last minute and let people down, it always makes me feel very guilty. My bed is the most comfortable place for me so I spend pretty much all my time in my bedroom. I live in a flat so I don’t have to go up and down stairs if I need anything which does make life easier.
People ask me how I cope with the pain and more often that not my answer is: You get used to it. You have to, you don’t have any other choice. I don’t really remember what it is like not to have pain on a daily basis so you just have to suck it up and get on with it. I am not a person who wallows in self pity, although that’s not to say I don’t have days where I am worn down and fed up and sick of being sick. I am only 36 years old, this should be the best time of my life. But personally I don’t think it does me any good to feel sorry for myself all the time, I try and have a positive attitude and think it could be worse. And it could, I was a hell of a lot worse before surgery.
I have asked to be re-referred back up to the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre in Oxford to see if more can be done for my back, I am concerned that the joints are just going to degenerate further as I get older. My GP has said that I need to lose weight and she is completely right, being obese does not help any joints in your body. I have been referred to my local gym and have started exercising which I am hoping will help me lose weight alongside Slimming World and also gain some strength back. I have woefully weak core muscles! So far I am really enjoying the gym, I feel I am doing something positive to help improve my situation and yes I do have to be careful so it’s a fine balance, but each time I do a workout and come home dripping in sweat and aching like hell it actually feels good!!
Sorry this has been so long! If you like I will do some updates over the next few months and let you know how I am getting on, I hope it’s the start of a brighter future.
Till next time and thank you for reading,