So I wanted to post my story so far as I hope to help others and possibly hear some feedback on my concerns so far...
I believe where my problem started was in May 2014 in Egypt on a water Park. Going down a flume type slide with 2 other friends at the same time. ( yes very silly thing to do ) at the bottom one of them crashed into me causing the bottom of my back to hit the pool floor with force! Since then something didn't feel right , but was nothing to painful. When back in the UK I carried on as normal and returned to the gym. I was a regular at the gym doing strict bodybuilding routines. Started to have some pain in the back so I cut back on certain exercises I knew strained the lower back, but Carried on as normal otherwise.
In July 2013 I went to Ibiza . One evening when we was all getting ready the floor was wet outside the bathroom. I slipped and fell cartoon style ( legs In air flat on my arse but slightly right hip ) . Again felt some pain but didn't think much of it and carried on as normal when i got back to the uk with work and the gym.
Bang !! After a couple of sessions at the gym that was when I first experienced pain in my buttock mainly when getting in and out of my car for example. As you do I just assumed this was muscle pain and cut down and rested , but generally carried on with my usual life. Theses pains I was getting didn't go away even after stopping training at the gym which lead me to see the doctor for the first time.
Doctors gave me anti inflammatorys and his advice was have a few days off the gym and I could return. If only I was as clued up on spines and nerves then as I am now!!!
Returned to the gym but was avoiding certain exercises with the weights. The pain got a lot worse . Pain in buttock and right leg. so I went back again to the doctors . gave me stronger anti inflammatorys and of I went . These did help with pain but i knew something wasn't right so I stopped weights all together.
Weeks later i started to feel better and went for a session at the gym to train my chest. Days after was in absolute agony with pain and returned to the doctors . i made even clearer the history of the lead up to this pain and I managed to get an MRI finally.
This showed a large disc extrusion l5s1 right sided. I started seeing a physio and over the next few months I was up and down with flare ups , good days and bad days. I was on anti imflammtorys , muscle relaxers and paracetamol every day for months . Was only doing what the physio said which was swimming , walking and specific exercises such as core strengthen.
Now.... Back in September when i wasn't in that much pain or knowledged at the time I booked a 4 week trip to Vietnam and Thailand. I was meeting my girlfriend out there on the 1st of december. He plan was to come home for Xmas on the 19th but i booked to stay 10 days more to come home on the 31st .
On the lead up to this trip I considered cancelling so many times due to the flare ups and worry of it ruining my trip while I was there, but I was very determined to go. Things started to get better but I was still getting random flare ups , muscle spasms and sciatica. I was being very careful but carried on working right up until the trip.
One week before I went my final conversations with physio and doctors was that I was fit to go but needed to avoid strenuous activities which i was anyway , but if when back if I was still getting flare ups and the pain it would be time to see a specialist and look at injections and surgery as treatment .
So of I went on my trip with all my medications previously mentioned and a careful mindset. Did lots of walking In the first 2 weeks in Vietnam and felt good. Had the odd flare up but very manageable .
When I got to Thailand it was the same for the first week. By this time my gf had gone home. On the morning of 22nd of December i flew from Phuket to koh Samui on a short flight. That morning i slipped and jolted my body but did not fall over. Had a bumpy taxi ride to the airport and flew. My sciatica started to come on strong where my only relief was when I was lying down. I tried to settle it down that evening with ice i brought . No help and when I woke the next day I was in agony unable to stand , sit or walk.
I decided to call my insurance to get me to hospital . I had to be carried out of the hotel and ambulance to the hospital there. I was In 10 scale pain and was on morphine injections which wasn't really helping with the pain. I literally couldn't walk so was admitted . My only relief was when I was lying down but still in pAin most of the time . Luckily this hospital was very good and had a neurosurgeon there. I had another Mri out there and it was confirmed that part of the extrusion had broken of and had moved down further and compressing the nerve canal. I was told I need a Microdisectomy ASAP to avoid nerve damage. After some arguments with the insurance they agreed that it was needed before I could fly home . I had the Microdisectomy on New Year's Day!!
I am now 3 1/2 weeks post op back in the uk and doing well.
The sciatic pain was pretty much gone straight after surgery . I do exercises and walking advised by my physio and doctor each day.
I'm very happy so far but I have and will be carry on being very careful and following correct advice.
My only concerns at the moment is I'm still struggling with the leg raise on the effected leg which is one of the exercises given and get some pain and tightness After the exercises. I understand this is quite normal because of the operation moving the nerves around to remove the broken of disc material which by the way was described as 1/4 by the surgeon of that disc and of course the fact the nerves were compressed for many months before.
I'm now taking 0 medications for pain which is great considering I was swallowing 15 pills a day before.
I know this is a strange and long story , but I've probably left out a lot of details so feel free to ask any questions. I have a lot more feedback on my views of the NHS, Physio , Thailands medical care. I can honestly say i probably know more about backs and spines than most GP's i know in the uk!!
Would be nice to hear some feedback on there post op experience.