Three years ago I woke up to find that my groin was numb. Like it was asleep. I rang 111 the NHS advice line and the next thing I knew an ambulance was on its way.
I didn’t realise at the time but this was the start of a new type of hell. The numbness was a symptom of a condition called Cauda Equina Syndrome which has the potential to be quite debilitating.
I spent 3 days in hospital, taking morphine for the pain and frightened. I had an MRI on my spine and ultimately I was sent home to await an appointment with a specialist, under strict instructions to remain as flat as possible.
They decided that I had advanced Osteoarthritis in my lumbar spine (given my age), and Degenerative Disc Disease (DDD). They also found one of those discs had ruptured.
DDD is a misleading description of the condition. It isn’t actually a disease it’s actually just an ageing condition. A natural condition. As we age the discs in our spinal column deteriorate. This means our vertebrae get closer together, as the discs that space them loose bulk. The bones can rub together,worsening any arthritis, causing inflammation.
In my case this deterioration has occurred in 5 joints. In one the disc had ruptured and the fluid that forms the centre of a healthy disc leaked out. The fluid irritates the nerves and it was this leaking fluid that had caused the loss of feeling.
I was told to stay flat so the fluid wasn’t forced out of the disc. So the nerve wasn’t permanently damaged by the fluid.
It took 5 months.
5 months of rest until the feeling returned and the pain subsided.
On Sunday we went to the motorcycle show. We walked around for about 4 hours. Monday I woke up with pins and needles down my left leg. As the day progressed I realised I had lost feeling in my groin and the pain is back.
I’ve rested as before and there’s no change.
Tomorrow I will likely be back in hospital.
I can’t properly explain the frustration I feel. I’ve just got off the tramadol. I’ve just started to feel like my life is getting back on track. That maybe Mr H and I will be able to go out more and do more.
This feels like a massive step backwards.
Once again my/our life is on hold.
All plans are cancelled.
Thank goodness I have Mr H, because the next few days will be hellish.