So where do I start? I fell at work 9 years ago landing on my right hip, black ice in the car park, I felt the pain immediately.
I was off work 5 weeks had to come back as they were threatening to pull me off my home study CIPD I was halfway through. I was on many a painkiller even back then. From that day forward everything changed!
I had an MRI and it was then I found out my spine was degenerating at an accelerated pace. One disc was split. I suffered lower back ache for years on and off, it got worse when I got a job in Coventry and I had to travel everyday. 3-4 hours round trip. I used to have to crawl out the car. It was only when I was threatened by a colleague at work who was under serious stress did I get the push I needed to apply for other jobs.
I was headhunter for a particular job and it was the best thing that could have happened, not only did I get a fantastic package deal when I became a senior manager but private subsidised healthcare which saved my life!
I continued to have back pains and after another fall, a drunk friend was messing about and landed on me on top of my tv cabinet I lost another disc, but this was much more serious. I ended up with Spondylothesis. My consultant told me I had the spine of a 65 year old morbidly obese women and there I was at 39 back then and a size 10, super fit as I still managed to undertake gruelling interval training right up to 6 months before my operation.
I ended up on 25 plus painkillers a day just to function, I didn’t sleep, felt hungover and fluey every morning, the pain never went away it was in both legs, sciatica. The consultant said I was too young for an operation and he would only do it if my spine was twisting, I collapsed in tears not able to deal with the pain anymore and begged him to help me. He sent me for an X Ray and I bent forwards and backwards, crying my eyes out under the machine. I got back to work and 48 hours later came the call, from the consultant, who told me I had a twisting spine. It was collapsing into my sciatic nerve every time I moved. No wonder I was in agony. He booked me in to have the disc, bone removed and have a metal cage to hold my spine in place whilst bits of my hip bone were placed into my spine in place of the disc. This was 5 days after the call.
I was 100% optimistic I’d make a fully recovery and get back in the gym and out with my mates again back to the active social life we had at the time. Now the details of that recovery are on my linked blog called ‘Turning my wounds into wisdom‘. This goes through the hell I was in after major spine surgery so I won’t repeat it here, but one statement sticks in my mind that my pain consultant told me ‘your personality will completely change after you have a fusion’ I remember laughing at him at the time, but it does!
After my operation I put my symptoms down to post operative recovery. With my left leg completely cured my right sacroiliac started to hurt, 2 weeks after the operation and it’s only ever stopped twice in 2 and 1/2 years due to a spinal injection on 2 occasions that worked, 1 occasion he hit a blood vessel and created a blood clot in the joint,ouch that was painful I can tell you. It’s a tricky joint to inject, even under X Ray.
Not only do I have permanent pain in my SI joint. I have a sprained ankle (opposite leg) that’s took 18 months to heal through hard painful physio. My neck, shoulders, head, upper back and arms hurt. My thighs hurt to touch, I can no longer have massages on my legs. I get pins and needles in my body and face, burning sensations, blue numb feet and hands in winter, migraines that put me in hospital. Monthly ‘womens’ pains that put me in bed on Morphine for the day. IBS sometimes.
I bought a Fitbit as I wanted to prove to the doctor how little sleep I got. Averaging 1-3 hours a night, after 3/4 nights managing to total 10-12 hours in total. I couldn’t remember simple stuff, kept dropping things. Got muscle wastage in both legs. Sometimes blurred vision, sensitive to light and sound, got very depressed and started panicking and felt anxious. Sometimes struggling to talk.
I came off all my pain pills but still woke up feeling hungover and like I had the flu.
The exhaustion was the worst I just had no energy and couldn’t manage housework anymore.
Finally after a million and one blood tests the doctor uttered the words FIBROMYALGIA, what the hell I said isn’t that an old persons disease, ‘not really’ he said ‘you have had a fusion, it’s a big shock to the body and that is why you have it.’
So operated on 2 1/2 years ago, only diagnosed in May 2016 so here we are!!
Hello everybody and don’t worry I needed to get the boring bit out of the way first! I have a twisted sense of humour so hopefully you’ll find bits amusing as I relax into this blog!