Back!! To the future

Hello, I’m writing to you from my hospital bed. Yesterday (28th January) I had my 2nd back operation in the space of 6 months and my goodness I hope this is my last.

I have had ongoing back problems since the 5th of november 2010 (if you wanna read about that then click HERE) and now it’s got to the point where the only option was more surgery. The discectomy I had in July 2011 resulting from a massive prolapse meant I could stand up straight again but didn’t solve the pain. The epidural I then had last september eased the pain and meant I could return to part time work and driving but it proved only to act as a stop gap.
It wasn’t too long before the pain came back and things were getting harder to do. I was having physio but because it was a 40 minute drive home the good work the physiotherapist had done seemed to be undone by the time I got home.

The week before Christmas I had a follow up appointment with my consultant and after talking everything through, and looking at the MRI scan of what appeared to be a pretty pathetic looking bottom disc, we decided that the next step would be to fuse the bottom disc shut. Or as my paperwork states an L5/S1 instrumented fusion pedicle screw fixation.

I had really hoped it wouldn’t get this far and was gutted that it had come to this. After my discectomy the consultant had told me that there was around a 40% chance that it would need fusing and being the positive lad that I am I assumed it wouldn’t happen to me.

So I was booked in to come on the 28th of January to have this fusion surgery and in the mean time I was told to carry on as I had been. But even that became to difficult. I had been working 3 days a week, 4 hours at a time but couldn’t even handle that so I was signed off again 2 weeks before the op. A week before the op it became too hard to drive in to my local town which takes less than 5 minutes. So I’ve had to rely on help from others. Friends and family have been really kind, my wife Hannah has been a superstar.

Yesterday it all happened. At 9.15 I was wheeled in to theatre and put to sleep. The surgeon then proceeded to put 2 screws, rods and a piece of someone’s donated bone in my lower spine. 3 hours later I came too and then spent a pretty uncomfortable night in the high dependency unit. Luckily my work pays for its employees to have private healthcare which I’ve been taking full advantage of. It means that I get to recover in relative luxury, I have my own room with tv, an en suite toilet and shower and daily mid afternoon cake and tea.

As I said I truly hope this will work and signal an end to my back troubles. I’ve let my wife and 3 kids down far too many times in the last year or so. Having to tell them we can’t do things because of my back has worn thin and its something I want to stop. Plus, this morning I got a load of blood down my favourite Sunny Day Real Estate t-shirt, this madness has to end!! Positive thinking, fingers crossed and touching wood is the name of the game. If I can get away without saying that my back hurts one more time then I will be a truly grateful and happy man.

On an almost daily basis I’m seeing adverts for upcoming gigs this year, I want to go to these gigs, I will go to these gigs. See the positive thinking has begun. Thanks for sticking with me guys.

As always, cheers x

My wound and dressing.


Me managing to sit up and eat cake!!


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5 thoughts on “Back!! To the future

  1. Kate says:

    Oh alex, this blog has made me emotional! I’m glad the op is over and I’m sure it will be worth it then you can celebrate with a trip up the m2 to chez fishkins xxx

  2. Dan pike says:

    Im gonna keep everything crossed buddy. Love you loads. X

  3. wallernotweller says:

    lots of gigs. very little time on earth to see them all

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