Ok in the beginning I had a normal active life, I played cricket for my home town (not too bad) and worked for the RNLI as lifeboat crew in my first year as a probationer, I knew the risks of being at sea and saving life and took it head on! And so it started like a normal day out on the inshore lifeboat in a bit of a sea – long story short – waves have patterns and every now and then there’s one missing thus creating a hole in the sea (big hole). So from powering up a two meter wave there wasn’t another wave the other side to land on just a low gap, that’s a four metre drop whilst on my knees onto what seems like concrete. Yep there and then I knew life was a bitch, it hurt like hell (little did I know but I had prolapsed my L4/L5 Disc).

I still walk unlike a lot of people with Cauda Equina Syndrome, although being left for 6 weeks by the docs and told I was ok yet with no reflex left side at all, no anal reflex and impotent prior to the op! All the evidence pointing to CES, they even said prolapsed disc but still did nothing about it, 8 years later and still in pain, now in debt and not even allowed on a boat (As after the op the RNLI told me I was a risk) GEE THANKS FOR NOTHING grrrrrrrr.

With going to A&E and being told, “Hey don’t worry it will pass”! or “Your Ok just a muscle in your back.” I informed the A&E Doctor of these side effects and that things weren’t working as they should. Banging head on the wall at that point.

So with one last call to A&E by my wife as I was in tears with pain and begging her to stop this pain she picked up the phone. As luck had it, the one person that should have seen me was the guy who picked up the phone. Consultant neurologist picked up a phone in A&E as it was ringing (go figure) my wife gave him a brief rundown and was told that as soon as we get there to only ask for him! He had a Blue light ambulance to me in under five minutes.

Straight into A&E a Doctor came up to me and said (this bit get’s me every time I think it!!), “Mr Hurst there’s nothing to worry about as it’s probably just a pulled muscle” (All with no notes or info to go with) My wife at that point snapped at him and demanded to see Neurologist Mr *****, well trust me oh boy did he get out of Dodge!

Said Neurologist came over with his 2IC and both gave me a full medical there and then. Their reply was simple, “Mr Hurst you have an issue with your disc at some point and it is crushing your spinal cord! We will have you in the MRI in five minutes and see what the damage is.”

Now trust me when I say this, lying down on your back was hell on earth and then some x100%. I lasted 20 seconds in the MRI due to the searing pain!

I was dragged out of the MRI and put on a bed and comforted by staff as they could see just how bad this was. Consultant arrived to see what was happening and gave me a jab straight into my spine, well this lasted all of five minutes but afforded me the chance to lay down so that the staff could get enough image from the MRI to diagnose the issue.

That was when I was wheeled out of the MRI room to the control desk and met with my consultant and got the message, it was not good, the words “Where is my guy with the freebie in his back?” rung out.

Oh hello I thought, I was taken back to A&E where my transfer was being discussed on the phone with Kings College London.

My consultant’s words after that conversation were simple, (guess he had had a look at all my notes from the previous visits). “I strongly suggest you seek legal advice, oh and were sending you to Kings as there the best at this and you need an operation tonight.”

One hour later I’m in the second A&E of the day, then told I’m being taken to the high dependency unit and will be readied by them for an op that evening. Wow 11pm I’m in theatre and being put under for my op. (The most stressful time of my life bar none right there and then). I have an allergy to one particular general anaesthetic and had been given a two red bands wrist and ankle stating this. Alas those notes had not been passed over as this was what I was to be administered!!! Oh hell NO……..

Ok, so that was changed and his team got to work, next thing I know, back in the HD ward I can smell curry. Then it dawned on me, 1. I had not eaten in I don’t know how long and 2. What the hell was that pain in my back? Oh err my legs don’t burn but I can’t sit up. All became clear with a staff nurse saying “Looks like you have a curry here as its dinner time, oh and the staples that sting!” Out for Thirteen hours holy crap.

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