Back Pain in the UK

I was nearly 22 years old; 10 years ago I was moving a small chest of draws from my bedroom so that I could decorate. I thought I would move it over just a little bit more so that it was not in the way. As I bent down to pull the draws across, I heard an almighty crack and knew immediately that something was wrong.

I was positioned at a 90 degree right angle, feet flat on floor and body leaning over the draws. I wasn't in pain at first, as I was too scared to move. Then I tried to move and even trying to move a millimeter each way was agony.

I was completely stuck. No one was in the house. No one was due back for another 5 hours. The mobile and house phones were downstairs so had no way of getting any help.

I was also just by the top of the stairs and I was scared if I moved and my back twinged that I might also fall down the stairs.

So slowly I hung to the top of the banister and tried to move towards the stairs, but every movement was still agony. I was crying my eyes out by now, but had to keep going to make it to the phone.

I couldn't sit, so I had to crawl down the stairs using my hands and feet and trying not to touch the stairs with my back.  It took me 1 and half hours to get to the bottom of the stairs.

I made it to the phone and called my mum. Then called the doctors and explained what happened and they said I would have to come into the office to be checked out.

I repeated the fact that I could hardly stand up, let alone walk, but still they wouldn't send anyone out to me. Really, I think I should've called 999 for an ambulance.

The doctor’s office is a 10 minute walk from my house, but as I could hardly move, it took mean other hour and a half.  By the time I arrived, my back had loosed up a little and I could straighten up.

I saw the doctor, who asked me to do some arm stretches and said I was fine. I was told to take a few days off from work.
I reiterated my story, but the doctor didn't even touch my back and sent me away. As he was my doctor, I assumed that he would be right.

Months went by and I was starting to feel some real aches in my back muscles. I went back to the doctor and again they just brushed me off and told me I was not allowed to go to get a scan or an x-ray, as I could still walk.

I changed doctors after a while and complained about more back pain, but again got brushed off. I was told that I was too heavy and that's why I have back pain.

Time went by and I still had serious back pain every day and every night.  I was only getting minimal sleep. I joined a gym to loose weight, which I think probably didn't help.

I went to another doctor, complaining about specific pain in my legs, near my hips, but he said I need to just exercise more.

Not at any point was I given any pain killers.

Once more, I changed doctors.  In 2008, after being fobbed off 6 years, I went to the doctor and cried my eyes out.  I explained the story and told them I just couldn't cope anymore. It made me depressed, but this was never acknowledged either.

It was a very confusing time for me, as every time I tried to do something about my back, I was told its all in my head. Well not anymore. Finally they listened to me, gave me heavy pain killers and sent me to hospital to do some physiotherapy. I had to do it twice a day. I did that for a year and nothing changed.

I went back to the doctors and told them I didn't feel any different. They told me to try Pilates, which of course I had to pay out of my own pocket. My Pilates instructor was great. I explained my whole story and she made me do a few stretches to figure out the extent of the damage. Then asked me to show her the physiotherapy I was given.  She said I shouldn't have been given the physiotherapy, as it was too hard for the strength in my back.

I'd given up on doctors at this point.

I tried Pilates for a year and kept changing my pain killers. I asked for a scan again to see the damage and again was told no. I asked for the injection that relaxes your muscles, but I was told no.

I started yoga last year in 2012 and have to do an hour each morning just to feel slightly normal. I have purchased more mattresses than I ever thought possible and still I am in constant pain.

Without sounding like I am playing the poor me card too much, I had life to deal with too, moving a few times, being depressed, grand parents dying, no boyfriend to help me through it, got made redundant a few times, lost my house and my mind.  I had to do all of this completely by myself.

My 20s were a absolutely miserable write off. I don't want my 30s to be the same. There were one or two positives in my 20s but the negatives far outweighed them.

I am now nearly 32 and at the end of my tether, although I am persevering still and trying my best to stay positive.

My next step is to go back to the doctors again and keep pushing for some kind of scan. I also want to get all my medical records, as I feel I have a good case for compensation providing the damage, I still have, can be proved.

The thought of being like this forever really is traumatizing. It has affected the way I feel about myself, as I have constant chronic back pain. Pain killers don't seem to work any more. I'm too scared to have sex these days too. I used to be so happy and care-free.

If you have read my full story and can offer any advice, tips or links for treatment I would be very grateful.

Thank you for reading, Michelle

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