Hi, my name is Vicky, I’m 33 and married with 2 children.
I am a Registered Nurse and had suffered from intermittent back pain for a number of years but always put it down as an occupational hazard.
In January 2019 I had lower back pain and sciatic pain which resolved after a few weeks. In May 2019 this returned with a vengeance and resulted in me being admitted to hospital for investigations, 5 days later I was diagnosed with Cauda Equina Syndrome and transferred to another hospital for emergency surgery. I spent a few weeks in hospital for rehabilitation before being discharged home.
After my diagnosis I felt alone, I didn’t know where to turn for support and struggled to accept how things had changed. I didn’t know if I’d ever be able to walk again, work again or be the mother and wife I once was. I slowly started to put the pieces of my life back together, I worked hard with physiotherapy and progressed to walking with elbow crutches and with support from my family, friends and employers I have been able to return to work.
I am now able to walk very short distances with elbow crutches, and have a wheelchair and mobility scooter. I have had adaptations made to my house which makes my day to day life easier. I use a self intermittent catheter and have a bowel regime to manage my continence. I have saddle numbness and altered and reduces sensation in my left leg and foot. I continue to suffer from pain and work closely with my medical team to manage this so that I can continue to function.
Adapting to life with CES has been and continues to be difficult, there are hard times, but there are also good times. I celebrate the good times as those are what really pull me through. Becoming a Peer Support Champion is something I am proud of and passionate about. I hope that we can raise awareness of CES but also be there so that no one feels alone, that people can reach out in those dark times and share with us those good times.