Hi. If you’ve been following this blog since it begun then you may recall a couple of posts that were less to do with music and more to do with my back, as I’ve not mentioned this for a while (and if you know me then you know how I love to bang on about it) I thought I may as well update you on the situation.
Basically, to bring you up to date, back in November 2010 I sneezed whilst making a cup of coffee at home in my kitchen. Because I didn’t want to spray germs over the work surface I turned away, twisting my body into an awkward angle as the sneeze blasted out and as a result of this I tore the lowest disc in my spine. “Ouch” I may have said in amongst some expletives and childish screams, this bloody hurt but after 6 weeks of being looked after I was ok enough to return to work. I continued recovering over the next 6 months until I got to June 2011 when at work on a sunny saturday I noticed my right shoulder was up near my ear as I walked and I couldn’t lower it. 5 days later and I was in so much pain that I was taking 4 doses of morphine a day just to get by. A few weeks later an MRI scan showed that I had massively prolapsed that same disc and a Discectomy was required. I had this done and it meant I could stand up straighter than I had in months but it didn’t stop the pain. 2 months later I had an epidural injection in my spine to relieve the pain which it did and meant I could drive/work/go out again. But this was only a temporary measure and when this started to ware off I was back where I started. That takes us to december 2011 when my consultant suggested the best thing to do was to fuse my spine at the bottom with the aid of screws, rods and some donated bone. I agreed to go ahead with the surgery, which took place in January 2012 and that brings us up to where my last post regarding my back did.
Now, to bring you right up to the present day, I can say with some joy and a tonne of relief that this fusion surgery was a success. Everyday I’m feeling more like I did before the whole sorry affair began many moons ago. I am left with a few ongoing problems, I have to take care of my back and not do anything stupid. Make sure I lift things correctly, don’t put too much pressure on it and do the exercises my physio gave me. I need to up my game with that a bit and I have been meaning to take up pilates for the last few months but have yet to find the time. Also, because of the amount of nerve damage the prolapse of the disc left my with, my left leg is basically fucked. This may ease with time but at the moment most of that leg is numb to touch, it has limited movement and cramps a lot, especially at night. I can walk properly but can’t do much else with it. This might get better and it might not but compared to all the pain I had before this feels like a very small sacrifice.
The worst thing about having gone through all this wasn’t the pain though. The pain wasn’t nice but after a while you get used to it and get on with it. The worst thing was all the things I couldn’t do because of it. I know a lot of people go through a lot worse and a lot of people I know have gone through a lot worse but the frustration of not being able to do things was completely unbearable. Those that know me know I am very happily married and have been for the last 7 years, and my wife Hannah and I have 3 awesome kids, Louis, Zeke and Thurston. The guilt of not being able to do things for these guys, not being able to take the places, play with them etc.. was immense. The fact I had to make Hannah do all the things I would normally do on a day-to-day basis on top of all the things that she would normally do was hard to take. I know she grew tired with the amount of times that I had to say that I would make it up to her and that I was sorry, but I did mean it. Hannah is incredible, she went above and beyond with the care that she gave me and made sure the kids weren’t missing out on being able to do things. Our youngest son, Thurston, is disabled and regularly needs to attend appointments with health care professionals, none of which he missed because of Hannah’s dedication. And I really did mean it when I said I would make it up to her and this is something which is happening right now.
My gorgeous family on holiday in June 2010, pre back problems
One of the things that we’ve always talked about since we first got together 10 years ago was having a big family. Of all the things that we put on hold while my back problems were happening, the biggest was certainly the fact that we were going to try for one more baby. We had planned to do this about 2 years ago but wanted to know where we stood with my back before trying again. And now things seem to be heading in the right direction it gives me untold amounts of joy to announce that Hannah is now pregnant!! 9 weeks pregnant to be exact. We had planned on keeping this news to ourselves for a while but some things had conspired against us. Namely, Hannah suffers from an absurdly unfair amount of morning sickness. Morning meaning all day everyday. We couldn’t keep the reason why she was so poorly a secret so we’ve had to spill the news early, (we’ve also had an early scan to make sure everything is ok for reasons I won’t go into, so we feel we can tell people now). She is really suffering at the moment and is struggling with everything so I am taking it upon myself to repay all the times she looked after me by stepping up and doing exactly the same for her. It may have already bitten me in the arse with the fact that last night Thurston was having trouble sleeping, preferring instead to recite complete episodes of in the night garden. At 3am I took him downstairs so Hannah could get her sleep and rested on the sofa while Thurston had a little play with some toys. Noticing Thurston wasn’t really himself I asked him if he was ok, he replied by being sick in my face. This wasn’t the simple yes or no answer I was looking for but it ain’t gonna deter me in my goal to deliver on my making up promises. Thurston has continued to be sick all day the poor sod and I have been there at every point with towels, sick bowls, wipes and the like to make sure Hannah could concentrate on getting through her day. And so it shall continue because I really do owe her big time.
Thanks for putting up with me and I promise to get back to talking relentlessly about how good emo music is these days very soon. Being sick in the face permitting. Cheers.
I’ll leave with Hannah’s favourite ever song xx