We moved to Thundersley in 1976 when i was 10 years old. Shortly after moving I was taken to the doctors and told I had flu, asthma and scoliosis. The previous doctor that had seen me since a child had said that I had Bronchitis and thats why I could not breath and be a normal child.
When I think back on the first 10 years of my life they were lonely and not the life of a normal child. I was unable to play with my friends and spent play time standing in the shelter of the building watching the other children playing and having fun. I missed birthdays and trips out as I could not breath.
I remember as a child always being told to stand up straight, but i could never understand what straight was and why I could not stand in the same way as the other children my age. Having the flu and suffering from asthma I spent a long time lying in bed trying my hardest to lay “straight”.
Spending so much time lying in bed I started to feel discomfort in my back, not pain, just a niggling feeling. Throughout the following years I started to develop pain in my right hip and a hump started forming on my right shoulder blade.
In my last year at school my right leg started giving way when walking, often when I was crossing a road on the way to school. My friend would pull me up and hold on to me as it often gave way a few times.
My mum kept searching for answers and pushing my doctor for a second opinion, the doctors would not commit to a diagnosis for me at the age of 15. I eventually met Mr Gardener, a specialist in spinal conditions. He said I needed surgery immediately or I would end up in a wheelchair. I was offered surgery for two weeks later but my mum refused and we waited until I had finished school in the June of 1982.
I had the surgery aged 16 and all seemed to go well. I was then fitted with a specialised jacket that was removed a year later. Shortly after the removal of the jacket the problems started again. I had one visit to the physiotherapist pool at Basildon hospital but was discharged. I was a good swimmer and instead of supervised physiotherapy treatment I was given a swimming pass so I could swim for free at the local pool to aid my recovery. This was my treatment and rehabilitation finished.
With my new lease of life I was making up for the lost years of my life. I became more active but the pain got more frequent and intense. My right hip would often feel like something was coming out of place with clicks and crunches all the time. My hip would lock up and it was painful to try to and move.
I remember being out in Hadleigh with my parents, I would take a few steps but have to stop as my hip locked tight. Once it relaxed I would start walking again and my hip would lock up again, this would happen several times a day. My doctor was of no help and he said “you have had major surgery what do you expect?”
I had a two year period where I could not even push doors open as I would experience severe stabbing pains in-between my shoulder blades, so I would use my full body weight to push doors open.
The Doctors only answer is pain killers and anti-inflammatory tablets.
The pain in my back has progressively got worse over the years, two years ago I was ready to give up work. I could not stand up with any speed or sit as it was just too painful. Doctors offered me more surgery which I could not accept, after taking such a long time to recover from treatment in my teens. I was now faced with being a single mother of 3 children and recovering from major surgery.
I did not have much choice other than to carry on with the day to day life suffering from pain.
Things started to improve when I went to my children’s school fete, where I met Stuart from Spinal and Natural Healthcare. Stuart strongly believed that he could help improve my quality of life.
Although this has been an expense that I could ill afford, I am glad I made the decision to go ahead with this schedule of care as I feel able to carry on working and being active with my children. We even went to the beach and I was able to join in and build a sandcastle!
I have an active job history. I was a life guard and went on to become a swimming teacher. I also joined a diving club in the late 80’s. (Sub aqua diving) I had a medical examination before being allowed to join by my doctor. Looking back I don’t think I should have been passed fit to dive, especially with my asthma and potential silent bends. At the same time I was fencing for a local club, which after many years I gave up due to back pain. I did do a lot of sports after the operation, maybe went over the top a bit, but, I could not do sport before, even though I enjoyed it.
Stuart at Spinal & Natural has added years to my life, I feel young and more able.