I was a police officer from the age of 18 and had always been fit and active. Unfortunately I had a number of bad back injuries at work causing me severe problems. At that time I knew nothing about CES or its symptoms and was left unable to walk. I had a discectomy on L5 / S1 and was able to walk again.
However in 2011 I suffered sciatica again and lost bladder control. I saw my GP who suspected CES and phoned an ambulance immediately. I went to Blackpool Victoria Hospital and was later transferred to Preston Royal Hospital. Again I had surgery on L5 / S1 but this time suffered severe nerve damage to my left leg and foot and also my bladder. I was also left with sexual dysfunction.
A few years later I had surgery to have a spinal cord stimulator fitted which does provide some pain relief. However I cannot walk without walking aids and I am in constant pain. I cope with my condition by doing my best to help others affected by CES and by getting on with life.
Work with CESA:
I remain positive throughout and hope to ensure others do the same with my work at CESA where I run a dedicateed mens Facebok support group called 'CESA Mens group'. The Facebook group provides a private and confidential area to discuss the issues surrounding CES and encourages others to stay positive whilst sharing tips and advice for dealing with it.