On the evening of 9th September 2020, I had a feeling something wasn’t right. My back had been painful for some time but this felt different, so I gathered some bits together, wrote out my Emergancy contacts and medication list and stuck it on the fridge and went to bed.
The following morning I woke after a restless sleep and needed the bathroom. I got there but then the most awful pain I had ever experienced happened. I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit. I was holding on to the sink for dear life. I’d lost control of my bladder and bowel. Not a pretty sight at all. Panic set in. What do I do? I didn’t have my phone with me and there was no chance I was going to be able to wake Ben at this hour.
Eventually and I couldn’t tell you how I got back to the bedroom, I rang Ben. No answer. I then rung Bev, I was now panicking and I knew I needed an ambulance. I left Bev to keep ringing Ben whilst I dialled 999. Ben appeared blurry eyed and unsure of what to do as I was screaming and panicking. No matter how I sat or laid I was in agony.
I was taken on to our local hospital, had tests and an MRI scan and the decision was taken to rush my to Kings in London. It was there after a few hours they decided to operate.
I was told after surgery that one of my discs had ruptured and trapped some nerves to my leg, bowel and bladder. But they had removed the disc and nudged the nerves over a little. ( ok they didn’t quite say it like that, it was all very technical) due to covid however though the next morning I was sent home. That in itself was frightening as it just felt to soon.
My friend Sam had stayed with Ben and Suzy and told me on my return she would be staying to help until I was back on my feet. Little did we know this would be two weeks later.
The next fortnight was very hard going. Lots of laying down, not lifting, tired, frustrated. You get the picture. Bev would come over and help me shower, Victoria came and helped around the house, Ben made lots of cups of tea.
Slowly slowly I was gaining strength. Sam went home, Ben stepped up and we started the road to recovery.
I was concerned that I would undo all the work that had been done on my back so I was extremely careful and often asked for help, not like me at all. So many of my friends helped. Took me out or just video called to chat. All of this helped so much.
Over the next few months, I increased my walking distance, time standing and continued my love of renovating furniture and other small projects around the house.
By October I was able to drive my van and we went on holiday to the Isle of Wight. By December I was back to standing for longer periods of time.
Now one year on, September 10th 2021………
Wow, what a difference. I can walk miles and miles, the longest so far being a 14 mile day, I have been Kayaking on the sea, scrambled down rocky surfaces. I am working out with the help of a personal trainer which has helped to rebuild my core and overall strength. I am working again and discovered new hobbies and craft techniques. The garden is looking amazing as I have been physically able to place new beds, re landscape and keep the ponds maintained.
This week I have enjoyed the most active week in Guernsey. Thanks to Martin and Nick we have walked miles and explored this beautiful country. I feel strong enough to be able to do anything now.
Feeling stronger has also helped in another decision. I had a breakdown in 2019 and have since been on medication for this. But I am now on week 5 of safely reducing the meds and I am really noticing the difference. Strong enough to make huge decisions like purchasing a second house to rent and taking on the new part time job. Also the confidence to start selling some of my new crafts. The anxiety creeps in occasionally but I have learnt to control it more.
So an end to the waffling but a few special thanks. (feels like the Oscars lol)
Sam for messaging me every single morning to touch base, Martin, Nick, Mark, Matt, Adam, Dean and Yvonne my geocaching buddies, along with Rob, Sian, Gav and Steph for involving me in the monthly quiz’s. Victoria and Jono. Paula for giving me confidence back and teaching me some new skills. Terry, Sandy, Lynn and my new friends over in Guernsey. Jan and Lisa. Cheryl. Bev for being there every step of the way and most of all, Ben. He has been through so much but helps when I’ve asked. He really is a wonderful young man.
Thank you x x