Diary of a sick black woman

It’s been a while since I decided to blog about my health and health related issues but things have changed a bit for me. I wont be jumping back and forth through my story so I will let you know the full background now.

I’ve never been happy with my body but then again I think that’s what Society is about. I remember was wanting to lose weight but now when I look back at the times when I wanted to lose weight I wish I was that size again.

But being overweight it’s just a small part of it. I had random back pain over the last couple of years but never thought anything of it. I thought I’d slept badly or maybe that I pulled a muscle lifting something that was a bit too heavy. I never thought it was anything more than that. It was on the 6th of April 2018 that I tried to lift a box that was filled with books was when I first had excruciating pain that would change my life. I managed to get myself back into my room but I could barely move with the pain. I took some codeine and lay down for a couple of hours. It was then that I called my mum, you know when you’re sick mum is the one to call, and she told me to call the out of hours GP to come and see me. She advised me to try and get to my front doors to leave them open so they could get in and call the GP. I managed to get the doors on latch but as I went back towards my bedroom away for pain hit me so hard I couldn’t get back onto the bed. I slipped and ended up being stuck on the floor. I called for an ambulance and was on the floor 40 minutes before they came. I was taken to hospital where an MRI showed that I had ruptured a disc in my back at L5/S1 the base of my spine.

This injury had me off work for 2 months. And it was quite an eye opener going from being bed bound to being in a wheelchair to walking with a stick but I try to get on as much as possible. Pain became the norm. I learned how to live with pain in the background at all times. The hardest part for me was going back to work. Not because of the work that I did all my time at work but it was the actual travelling, the commute to work. The stations nearest to me and nearest to work do not have step free access so I have to climb stairs. In addition to this, I’ve got the jolting of the trains while I’m sitting on the hard seats and changing from one line to another during my journey. Commuting is the most painful part of my day but I had some hope when DWP’s Access to Work said that they would help me with the journey by paying for taxis to and from work. Unfortunately, although they have awarded me help with other aspects of remaining in work, I was excluded from getting taxis to work because my injury did not affect my ability to drive. This decision did not take into account that I did not own or gave access to a vehicle. In order to remain in the job I have I would have to do the same commute ongoing. I decided that I would have to work from home. There was no way that I could do this commute and being this much pain with no light at the end of the tunnel. Whether this can be worked out with my current employer or if I have to look at other careers is yet to t be seen.

Luckily I had had a call from my hospital to invite me to have a caudal epidural. This is a steroid injection which goes into my spine and it supposed to relieve all the pain that I get through my back. Unfortunately I would probably still have my limp as that’s more to do with my nerves and the pain but I was still happy to be anywhere closer to be pain free. I was on the waiting list and had a projected date of October 2018 but there had been a cancellation. So on Thursday the 23rd of August 2018 I came to thehospital in order to have day surgery, an epidural would relieve the pain in my back.

I sent a WhatsApp message to my sister, who was due to collect me, at 11:49 am saying going in now. I sent her another message at 12:51 pm saying just come out. I felt fine when I first came out. Half an hour later when I try to use the toilet I realised that my legs were not supporting me. They felt very pins and needle-y and not just my feet like I’ve had since my back injury. All of my legs felt really fuzzy and like they couldn’t hold my weight. The staff in the day surgery centre tried to get me to stand up 3 times but I couldn’t. Also I had no feeling of wanting to go to the toilet. This worried them until, after some time, they scanned my bladder to see how much urine was in there. I had almost double that was expected. The worrying thing about it was that I hadn’t felt the need to urinate. It was obvious that something was wrong. So at 8 o clock that evening I was catheterised and transferred to a longer-term ward within the hospital.

Today is 26th of August and I am still at the hospital. Over the past few days I have tried to mobilise and I have managed to stand using my old walking stick but it is very painful and I cannot walk. My back pain is worse than it was and this is with me just lying down. I dread to think what it will be like if I start walking around. My catheter was removed but unfortunately my bladder function did not return so it was reinserted. I have no idea whether all this is because they did something wrong or I am a very unlucky person but things seem to have gone downhill.

All of a sudden lowering my resting heart rate and reducing the number of inches on my waist have paled off into the background. Funny enough I’m keeping my spirits up I have a belief that this is not long term, that I will get through it. The only thing is that I have to have patience and wait for this to resolve itself.

So while I am here confined to this bed I will bore you with various anecdotes or maybe just the one if I can’t think of any others. They have the strangest contraptions here. Including the one that they used to take me into the shower room which I’ll put video below.

If you have had to go through anything like this or just want a bit more detail about what I am going through. Please feel free to comment below, asking questions or letting me know your experience.

I can hear them ringing the bell for lunch roll on chicken mayo sandwiches and the world’s smallest fruit juice. You’ll hear more from me soon.

10 thoughts on “Diary of a sick black woman”

  1. A hard read, even harder for you to write and live through. I do hope that things improve for you, keep writing and you are so right in that we sweat the small stuff too often and we should look after ourselves not worry about how society says we should look. Xx

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I hope you recover and come out ready to invest in your health and put yourself first. I type that knowing full well I ignore all of my health problems, but we have to stop doing that and focus on self. Especially women, we just ignore the problems and ignore what makes us uneasy. Get better!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It seems to be a symbol of strength to just get on with it but we are putting ourselves at risk. Like putting your oxygen mask on first before you help others in an emergency on an air plane – we have to care for ourselves first. Thank you for reading

      Like

  3. You’re a fighter and you will fight through this and come out on the other end even stronger.
    Health first, physically and emotionally. You’re on the right path xxx
    Always beautiful to me 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m really sorry to hear your going through this Ticia. Hearing your story and going through my own experience of Clinical Negligence which has affected my mobility somewhat makes you realise half of the things we place so much value on are not important. I trust it all works out for you and your health improves. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry to hear you’re going through something too. Keep in touch and not only can we keep each other smiling but we can share litigation advice too.

      Like

  5. Oh Kels, Leticia or strong woman…
    Thanks for sharing. Wished you asked my advice in advance – I would have told you ‘Don’t do it!!’ Alas, it is done and you can only move forward. This is not good. Please get copies of your medical/surgical records. Get another expert advice.
    You may want to consider getting an acupuncturist in to see you. Nothing to lose and everything to gain. I believe fully in Chinese traditional medicine.
    I pray you keep that smile going and your spirit strong. Sorry I’m not there to hold your hand, give you a hug.
    I’m loving the shopping trolley though, could do me with one of them…lol!
    Always here
    Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Andrea, I should have known to come to you first. I now have a full copy of my medical records. I have also been referred to a private hospital and have received a second opinion (See post “I don’t know what to say”). I am pining for one of those shopping trolleys now! Thank you for reading.

      Like

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