I think I’m falling apart.
I am fully aware that I have not been keeping my blog up to date. And I don’t really have a reason or excuse but things have been a little difficult lately.
Over the past few weeks I have gone into great detail about how the recent events have affected my health. If you recall I have talked about the agony of mental pain and how it had transferred into physical pains.
House bound/bed bound
High up on my list of pains I had back and leg issues. However, last week I had a slight incident that resulted in me being not only house bound but almost totally bed bound. As time developed I started to feel reduced sensations in my leg and foot (left). Initially I put it down to simple sciatica but the pain not only increased but my sensations all but stopped.
Now like most males I absolutely hate visiting the doctors and so I opted for an alternative and visited an acupuncturist.
As a paramedic my view on alternative medicine was somewhat limited and so I decided that I had nothing to lose and gave it a go.
On arrival, I thought it was slightly ironic that an acupuncturist would be found in the basement of a large building that was accessed by some slippery steps. Anyway, I was made welcome and directed in to a treatment room.
Cutting a very long story short the acupuncturist identified a problem with my lumber disk.
Felt every bloody insertion (except where I couldn’t)
The treatment was very strange to say the least. I was firstly given treatment via a tens machine which felt wonderful. This was then followed by manipulation which created all manner of cracks and crunches. Finally, the needles were inserted. The acupuncturist said I wouldn’t feel anything, but he was wrong – I felt every single one of them above my leg.
The final result was ok. I started to get a tingling feeling in my left foot which I considered to be a reasonable outcome.
Here we go again
Several days later I again lost sensation in my foot and had a slight accident that I was not aware of. Enough was enough and so I decided to attend A&E the following morning. Of course, this was now necessary but attending A&E meant I would come into contact with my work colleagues and friends.
As expected I was recognised. Some spotted me straight away but others were unsure as they had not seen me out of uniform before. I must stress though, I was certainly not given any favourable treatment.
Initially the triage nurse (who I had never met before) wanted to send me to my GP until I told him about the loss of sensation and control.
The tests carried out did indeed conform what I said with regards to sensations and control.
By all accounts it’s unusual to get an instant MRI scan but there I was lay in a tube about two and a half hours after arriving.
From there I was taken to a ward whilst they decided what to do.
The MRI confirmed that a disk had prolapsed and was sitting on the nerve (sciatic) which was causing me all manner of problems. From this it was recognised that over the counter pain killers would not touch it. It was with great relief to be given stronger pain killers which allowed me to have a decent sleep for the first time in a while.
Don’t want any of that thank you very much
Initially, they wanted to operate which would have meant a trip to Bristol to see a specialist. I’ve got to say, by this stage I just wanted to get home and continue the sleep I was enjoying and worry about those things at a later date.
In conclusion, I think mainly due to my age and profession they opted to let me go home with strong pain killers and an understanding of remaining lay down. I was further instructed (by two consultants) that if the loss of feeling returned or lack of control became evident that I was to attend hospital again with the understanding that they would operate.
I find it strange really that knowing the causes seem to help. Although my sleep is broken throughout the night I can accept it better. The pains remain constant but they are now better managed with the medication that I would not have been able to get otherwise.
I’ve been lucky really. The pain killers I’ve been given have worked on me well. I’m not drowsy and I am able to get around relatively easy with the help of a stick. However, I am aware of when I need to top myself up again. This is why I wake at 3 am with pains. But it must be understood that I am still tired with it all. I am tired of being both physically and mentally tired.
My present regime means I have difficulty dressing and have to work myself up to get into a position to sit and eat. It’s crazy how we take our good health for granted. It’s quite degrading to have to ask someone to help put socks on. Pride is really undervalued in our daily experiences and this has been my failing. Pride has stopped me from getting things done earlier. I have gone into great detail about this in my blog entitled Men are idiots but not all idiots are men.
On discharge it was agreed that I should see my GP and to return in a month to re-assess the lumber region. Obviously this will have one of two outcomes. Fingers crossed I will be able to do star jumps in the waiting room by this time.