Hey everyone, it’s been a while.

I say a while, I think it’s been about two months which was not the plan at all.

So where have I been?

Let me give you my back story and that is a pun intended.

Two months ago I twisted my back really really slightly.

Literally no movement at all, no trauma, no fall, no nothing.

I just twisted and I felt my back go straight away.

I knew it was bad.

I wasn’t quite expecting it to be as bad as it was.

I felt my back in the past and I’ve just taken painkillers for a couple of days and I’ve been back to normal.

However this was not the case this time and this is just me a quick update of where I’ve been, what’s been going on, where I’m at and what the next steps are.

So this is why I call this my back story.

Essentially like I say, twisted it really gently, nothing major and it just went.

The next couple of days I basically did nothing.

I just rested and hoped that taking some painkillers I had before would do the trick.

However it became very apparent a couple of days later on the Monday that I wasn’t improving quickly and that this was going to be a longer journey.

However that said, not quite the journey that I was expecting it to be.

I spoke to my doctor and they just gave me some additional painkillers.

I’m not going to name any of the painkillers in this by the way for reasons basically but essentially throughout this I’m going to be stepping up through various different painkillers.

But yeah I’m not going to name them because it doesn’t feel like the right thing to do.

I spoke to my doctor on the Monday, they prescribed me with some additional painkillers and they were like keep moving, keep resting a bit and it will eventually get better.

That’s what I did for the first two or three weeks really.

Painkillers, moving a bit, trying to be as normal as possible but my mobility was massively restricted.

Going from sitting to standing is difficult for me anyway.

Doing it with a bad back was making it almost impossible.

There were a couple of times that I pushed myself to do stuff and to go out and hopefully give it a bit of exercise, give it a bit of stretch but those times just made it worse.

Every time I did it felt like I was taking 10 steps backward so it was a real challenge for me to try and take it easy because I was of the mindset of I’m not as young as I used to be but I’m not old either.

I can shake this off, keep trying but I very quickly realised that I need to listen to my body and take it easy so that is what I tried to do.

There was various other appointments with doctors and increases in painkillers because they stopped working like they used to so they kept stepping up the level a little bit but I wasn’t really getting anywhere with my GP.

As great as they are by the way, no disrespect to my GP, they’re amazing, they’ve been amazing on this journey but essentially all they were saying was it would just take time.

I then decided to reach out to some other options I’ve got available, really lucky that I didn’t cancel my private medical care.

I nearly did because I never used it, it cost me a bit of money each month.

I was like what’s the point in me keeping it, I haven’t used it but I decided at the last minute not to cancel it this year and I am really really grateful that I didn’t.

I reached out to them, actually they’ve got a specific part for what they call musculoskeletal issues, any muscle injuries, any sort of back pain, pain anywhere basically and they essentially do an assessment on you and their assessment was I need some physio so that was literally started within a couple of days which was pretty efficient to be fair.

The first couple of sessions genuinely after I had it I came back and I felt you know pretty good, I felt better but that only lasted a couple of days.

After a couple of days I was then kind of back to where I was which was a bit unfortunate.

I then had my third session which was a bit of a harder session and straight away after that I knew something was wrong, I knew it was worse and it was that point actually that I got a little bit put off from physio.

So I gave my insurance company a ring back and I said look you referred me for physio but my third session I don’t think he’s done me any favours, obviously I’m a slightly more complicated case with a mandolin condition, what are my next steps here.

They essentially decided to book me in for an MRI, it was about about two and a half weeks after they did it.

I’ve had it done very recently, I’ll come on to that in a second but also as part of the insurance service they also got me speaking to a separate GP as well and it was this GP service that actually changed the game quite significantly.

When I spoke to that GP they very quickly decided that I need someone that’s a specialist in spines and backs and all that lovely stuff to have a look at me and I need someone that’s good at pain management to actually get me settled down and back on track.

So they did a couple of referrals that happened fairly quickly as well, unfortunately just with the planning of dates both of my initial referrals to the spine management person and the pain management person were before the MRI could be booked in.

We tried to get it around the other way to get the MRI done first and then the appointments but that was just going to push things out even further without anyone sort of giving any additional opinion.

So we decided to do those two appointments first and then get the MRI.

They had a good look at me, both of them poked me around a fair bit.

The first person was the spine management person, they didn’t really think I’d done anything serious, didn’t really give any suggestion on what it could be but they essentially as I predicted wanted to look at the MRI first before making any decisions.

The very next day was the pain management person, I just thought this was going to be what pain are you in, where does it hurt and then them saying what they can do to relieve that a little bit and make that pain go away.

But actually they were quite hands-on as well, if anything maybe a bit more hands-on than the previous doctor looking at my spine and what they were trying to do was, which makes sense, is to try and just sort of see where the pain is, what hurts.

They very quickly located an area around my lower hip and I’m probably going to mispronounce this but I think it’s the saricolic joint, I’m probably not saying that right at all but it sounds like you’ve torn that joint essentially.

Basically four options to deal with that sort of pain.

Option one is physio and exercise which I’ve been doing, already tried the physio.

Option two is painkillers which I’m already on, they’re sort of doing a little bit but nothing major.

Option three is a special type of steroid injection into that area to numb the pain for a couple of months to give your body a chance to recover and option four, the one that I hope I never have to do, is to operate a surgical option.

They said again I need to see the MRI but I’ll do a suggestion of a next level painkiller that’s a bit longer lasting to help mitigate the issues in the short term.

I left those appointments a bit not downhearted but they didn’t really go anywhere for you know, they hadn’t seen the MRI so they didn’t know really what to say but at least it was good to get another opinion.

The week after that was the MRI, this was fascinating because I’ve never had an MRI before.

I’ve googled them so much now, they are fascinating machines, very very clever technology just with how they work so anyone that’s curious just go and have a little look and a little bit of a read about them, they are fascinating.

The main reason why it was, I’m not claustrophobic so those that don’t know you get slid into a small round tube and then there’s a magnet in there that uses electricity to image your body.

I wasn’t concerned about the small space, that’s not an issue, I’m in lifts all the time so if I was claustrophobic that’d be a bit of a problem but because of my condition I’m actually very jumpy and I’m actually referring to it now as a startle reflex, unexpected sounds, movements etc cause a little bit of a jump and I knew that MRIs were noisy before this anyway, looking at the YouTube videos, watching those you can get a feel for the noises they generate and how they work.

So yeah I was already uneasy about having an MRI but it needed to be done and luckily managed to remember that a good few years ago now I met someone that was a radiologist, hadn’t spoken to them for a long time just because life gets in the way, thought I’d just reach out see if they still were a radiologist and actually their last stint of work was on MRIs so it’s perfect, they dedicated a load of time to literally walking me through the process, how it’s going to work, what they can do to make it easier, so things like for certain scans you can go in feet first, obviously this is lower back so that was an option and that means you’re not as far into the machine as you would be if you were getting like an upper body scan or a scan of your head for example, it makes it a bit easier.

Learning things like that was good to say to the radiologists, can we do this, is that an option, how can we make this as easy as possible.

They did use earplugs and headphones in some scanners certainly in this one you can pick a radio station to listen to, so obviously I’m trying to still be youthful so I picked Radio X and got to listen to Toby Tarrant whilst I was having my MRI done which was really helpful, but even with earplugs and headphones you could still hear the noise of the machine, you knew it was going on.

It wasn’t super loud but obviously every time they start a scan, on my one there’s officially eight scans they do, they had to redo a couple because I did jump and they blurred, so I did about 10, even though they were warning me that the next sequence was going to start, I still jumped ever such a tiny bit when they first started.

Once it was going I could settle down, you could relax and it was not a problem at all.

They almost need to make a bit of a noise before the scan starts, because then if you do jump you can then settle back down and then the actual scan starts, so maybe that’s a recommendation that can be taken on board.

So that was fine, it took about 20-25 minutes in the end with the re-scans, the only other odd thing was they get warm in there as well which I wasn’t expecting, but apparently that’s to do with the enclosed space and the technology and the magnetism and stuff I don’t understand.

So that was the MRI completed and I had to wait a few days for it to be checked and to be properly looked at by somebody and they send it back to your consultant that requested it, they will then chat to you and go from there.

I also did ask for a copy of it because I like that kind of stuff to be fair, I’ve had copies of x-rays and stuff like that so again it was good to see.

I have no idea what I’m looking at in terms of an MRI but they are very fascinating and they certainly do reveal a lot more than an x-ray which is incredible to see.

I don’t know whether I’m going to post any pictures on this blog, I probably won’t but I may change my mind.

That’s where I’m at right now, officially I’m waiting for my review which is next Tuesday in a couple of days time, depending on if I get this blog out before then, I think I will.

Officially next Tuesday I’ll be told what the issue is and what the next steps are, however somewhat unofficially I text one of my consultants a question, probably going to cost me a fortune by the way but I did.

At the same time I said my MRI is done, if you want to go and have a look then feel free and they unofficially replied back saying it looks like you’ve got a bulging slash slip disc which I guess explains a lot.

If you google those symptoms they’re exactly the ones I’ve been having, particularly the sitting to standing one is in there and it just makes sense right, a slip disc as far as I’m aware is pretty painful, it kind of adds up.

It’s just odd that the spine doctor didn’t really pick up on that but I guess they can’t see right, they can just examine you from the outside so the MRI reveals a lot.

I feel like that is what it is, I need to wait until Tuesday to get that confirmed and then decide on what to do next.

There is however some potential light at the end of this tunnel.

Last week I was just moving around a bit and my back just cracked fairly significantly, you know like a little mini earthquake in my spine I guess is one way to describe it.

I thought oh no I’ve made this worse and again took it easy for a few hours overnight but then surprisingly woke up the next day and things felt better, like there was still pain there but I could move a little bit more freely and the pain was a lot less.

I could bend down and reach the floor, couldn’t really do that before, it felt like it had improved.

It felt like it was a good, a good snap, a good crack.

I’ve done a bit of research and potentially it’s the disc inflammation maybe calming down a bit or the issue calming down your body healing itself and they can, as far as what I’ve read, again I’m no doctor, they can work their way back into place so maybe that’s what’s happened and this links back to what I’ve been told all the way along, this is going to be a time related issue.

My three weeks when I first started was nothing.

I was told that from 12 weeks onwards wouldn’t be unusual for a recovery time for this sort of injury.

I’m not that far off now, I’m kind of nine weeks in.

Maybe it was just a time thing but my argument on that is I had an issue that was really impacting my life, that was hurting, no one could explain it and it wasn’t getting any better.

I didn’t want to just wait and see for 12 weeks and then be there at 12 weeks in exactly the same position, no improvement, no nothing and then I’ve lost that 12 weeks of investigation, of doing scans.

I feel like getting it looked at was the right thing to do.

Whether or not it’s actually helped, I guess not because I haven’t had any treatment but at least it’s got people engaged.

I mean overall in this and people are going to frown at this because they’re going to be like well other people needed these appointments but I’ve had six GP appointments, two consultant appointments, I’ve had the MRI, I’ve had some physio, there’s been a fair amount of engagement to try and get me back to normal.

Some people won’t agree but I feel like it’s the right thing to do to try and get this fixed and done as quickly as possible.

I fully appreciate there’s people out there that don’t have the opportunity to speed this kind of stuff up and the wait times out there are not great to put it lightly but it is what it is, you do what you need to do.

So that’s where I’m at, I just need to wait for the official review in a couple of days time and then go from there.

I didn’t write any notes before this actually by the way so I’ve done this off the top of my head and I’ve just realized I missed a fairly significant event over Easter weekend.

So Easter weekend in the UK is a four-day weekend, you get Good Friday off as a bank holiday and you get Easter Monday off as a bank holiday.

I’ve also got a holiday approaching in a couple of weeks time, I wanted to see whether or not I could get out the house, whether or not there’s any chance of me being able to go on holiday.

That’s been a goal for this as well, can I actually go and I will come on to that in a separate vlog.

Easter weekend I wanted to get up and out and I got everything done, I was ready to go, ready to step out the house and again I just twisted a little bit too much and my back went even worse, like the worst it’s ever been.

So I gave up on trying to do that, this was Saturday, then Sunday annoyingly I managed to slip slightly as well and again ruined my back even further, so the worst it’s ever been in this entire journey.

Pain makes me actually groan about it and I’m not one to do that, I normally put a straight face on pain to be fair.

I needed some help, doing that over an Easter weekend in the UK is pretty much impossible.

We have an out of hours service in the UK that you can ring, 111, that’s a little bit less priority than 999 and they will essentially triage you and decide where you need to go and their words were I can’t get you to a GP for 25 hours, this was Sunday, Monday’s a bank holiday, going to be at least 25 hours to get to a GP, I can’t wait that long, I haven’t moved for like a day and a half.

Their only advice was you can go to hospital but I was stuck in the house, I couldn’t even get out of my bedroom at that point, the only option was for an ambulance to come which I know is a bit over dramatic but that was the only way, I needed something to get me out of the house, fully appreciated that I wasn’t a priority so happy to wait.

I did wait about six hours for this ambulance, turned up about midnight, got into A&E about half an hour later.

Actually to my surprise it was remarkably empty, once I was in there they moved very quickly so again no detail, they couldn’t find anything else wrong, gave me a good look over but just gave me some much much stronger painkillers, actually I’ll name this one, they gave me some morphine which worked very quickly, took me off the planet for a good couple of days to be fair but got rid of the pain and then essentially that restored me back to where I was pre-Easter weekend once the morphine had worn off.

Not good, not what I’d planned, I feel bad for wasting important people’s time which is part of this journey, in some ways I wondered whether the morphine was the constant relaxation I needed to give my back an opportunity to properly heal.

I’m no doctor so who knows, I think that is everything now, I think I’ve covered it as much as possible, probably rambled on for a bit too long, I will update you once Tuesday is over and go from there and then I’ll do a separate update on what’s happening with my holiday, am I going to go, am I not going to go, still not fully decided yet but fingers crossed.

I apologise for being away for two months, I had a whole lot planned of stuff to do, still will do those, I’ve still got a long list of stuff that I want to cover, some more useful information ones, some more Stevie TV recommend ones and just some general stuff that I’ve wanted to talk about over the last couple of months.

To be fair I haven’t been in the right mood or mindset to do so, so again apologies for the delay, I know I’ll be back soon.