Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Pre op assesment

Just had a letter through for my pre operation assesment. A bit short notice! The apointment was set up for  Thursday 2nd December at 9.30.  2 days time!
Ive had to ring up and rebook it, as I cant get the time off work that quick. Ive rebooked it for Monday 13th Dec at 2.00.

They need blood samples and pressure, possibly another Xray or MRI and a urine sample. Should be a boring few hours again.

Ive just cancelled my 4 week long accupuncture session bookings too. They were booked in October and were due to start on the 22nd December right over Xmas until January. Its not at my local hospital, but a 20 minute journey away, and my first and last experience with accupuncture wasnt very good. I cant be doing with the hassle right over Xmas, as I have things to do, people to see....

On a lighter note, we got our first snow today!! Yay. Still went to work and the main roads were fine, but the smaller side roads were very icy. Its currently just above freezing, so its starting to melt. Tonight will dip below again though, so it will be an ice rink out tomorrow.

Just need to be carefull I dont slip and fall ass over tit. That wouldnt be good!

Friday, 26 November 2010

Welcome and history

Welcome to my blog about my forthcoming back surgey. This has been a very long road, and finally the date is almost set.

Looks like my back surgery is going ahead... In Jaunuary :eek:

I wasnt expecting it to be that soon, in fact the surgeon said I could have it in December, but I didnt fancy Xmas in bed.

Im having a spinal fusion and discectomy in the L4/5 to S1. They are chopping a bit of my pelvis off to stick in the hole in the spine and then hold it in place with a metal cage.

5 Days in hospital and at least 3 months off work. Going to be very hard, as I will only be getting £60 odd a week statutory sick pay, and I have a £650 a month mortgage to pay plus all the other bills on top. No more camera gear buying for me for a while.. :'(

Kind of glad its finally being sorted, but kinda scared at the prospect of pretty big surgery and the financial side.
I'll be updating this blog with stuff throughout the process, but below is a brief history up to this point.

I started having back problems from a young age. I believe it to be from school, carrying heavy bags around all the time. As I grew older it progressed and got worse and worse, until in August 2009, whilst out walking the dog in the Forest of Dean, my legs just gave way and a huge burst of agonising pain shot down my legs and all around my lumbar region. Ive never felt pain like it, and was seriously worried. With the aid of a walking stick found in the woods and my wife supporting me, I just about managed to get back to the car and drive home.  Once home I sat on the sofa and a few minutes later attempted to get up and just couldnt move. My wife was in the garden, and I tried calling for her but she couldnt hear. I was stuck on the sofa, locked in that position and there was nothing I could do.  A short while later, she same back in and I was sat there sobbing. She asked what was wrong, and of course I told her. She manged to pull me up and as she let go, I just fell to the floor. My legs and back couldnt support me, and again the pain was incredible.
Thankfully, I already had a doctors apointment booked for the next day,as during the previous week my back had been getting worse.
My wife took me down there and I managed to hobble into the surgery. NowIm the type of person who never visits the doctor. Ive been twice in 24 years, so I dont ask for much. However this particular Doctor, whilst simpathetic, just wasnt very helpfull. Her advice was take a week off work and take some pain killers. If I was still like it in a week, come back.

Well I did that and after a week it was not much better. I didnt book another doctor apointment straightaway, instead I went to see a highly reccomended Osteopath. He did some work on me that week, but it didnt have much of an effect. He reccomended I get an Xray so he and the Doctors could get a better view. By this time I could just about walk again unaided, but couldnt bend over at all, and was still in vast amounts of pain so I booked another apointment to see the doctor and went back the next week. Strangly it wasnt the same Doctor, but a male Doctor with the same surname as the pervious one. He also was less than helpfull. When I mentioned the Osteopath had asked for an Xray, he looked at me like I called his Mother something obscene. He didnt seem to like being told what to do by an Osteopath. He pretty much berrated me for seeing one and scribbled down the Xray dept in the Hospital's phone number and sent me on my way.

The story continues with another year and a bit of going backwards and fowards to the hospital and doctors. Ive been prescibed pretty much every drug under the sun, and seen every specialist in the hopsital. Ive had physio, accupuncture, drugs galore...
Only now, at the end of November 2010 am I finally gettting something done about it. Although now I have most of my movement back, I am still in pain 24/7 and have some really bad days where I can barely move.
In September I had some Facet joint injections to try and reduce the inflamation, but it wasnt succesfull and after another consulatation 3 months later, the pain clinic wanted me to undergo a futher 12 weeks of Physio. I said I wasnt really happy about this, and felt we had exhausted this line of treatment. I requested to be refered to the Orthapeadic surgeon, and 4 months on, this is where I have just arrived home from.

Its been an expensive, time consuming and stressful experience, spanning well over a year. The NHS dont seem very phased at my pain and have made no real effort until now. Each appointment was usualy 3 months apart, and that incuded getting the results from the MRI scan I had last January. I have not been very impressed with the service, and even less so when a friend of mine with the same problem went to thier GP in August this year and is booked in for the surgery on the 8th Dec. Its taken her less than 2 months to get where I have in 1 1/2 years. She isnt private either, she just took a different route than me, her GP refered her straight to the MUSCAT service and they fastracked her through, whilst I was sent to the Pain clinic, and they have lived up to thier name buy inflicting me with 1 1/2's years of pain!

Thankfully now things seem to progressing, and I will keep this updated every step of the way!