Sometime back I revealed on Twitter that I am having serious problems walking. I have had back problems, which have got steadily worse, for more than twenty years that make walking unpleasant but, as long as I don’t overdo it, can be mostly ignored. However, since about five or six months, whenever I start to walk my legs feel tired and heavy, a feeling which gets progressively worse as I continue to walk. A kilometre is about the limit of my mobility at the moment and at the end of that kilometre I’m fucked!

After various visits to doctors, my orthopaedist x-rayed my spine and thought he had detected a spinal stenosis in my lumbar vertebrae, which was confirmed by an MRI. In fact, I have a double stenosis. A stenosis is when a vertebra touches or puts pressure on the spinal column, causing problems with the nerves affected and the parts of the body those nerves serve. He referred me to the specialist spinal unit of a local hospital for conservative treatment, which consists of epidural injections and physiotherapy. 

MRI of a lumbar spinal stenosis L4-L5. L4-L5 antherolisthesis of grade I Source: Wikimedia Commons My double stenosis is between L3 and L5

The clinic’s spinal specialist after examining and questioning me decided that my double stenosis didn’t explain my symptoms, and sent me for more tests and MRIs of different parts of my spine. The end result was that they still don’t know what is causing my symptoms, so they have decided to take me into hospital for more tests and for the conservative treatment initially suggested by my orthopaedist. 

I go into hospital at eight o’clock tomorrow morning, initially for three to five days for a series of epidural injections and further examination by orthopaedists, neurologists, internal medicine specialists, Old Uncle Thom Cobley and all. I have scheduled my normal weekly blog post for 10:00 am CEST on Wednesday; I have never done this before, so I hope it works. Theoretically I should be out of the clinic in time to write next weeks blog, but if I’m not I shall announce that here. 


Filed under Autobiographical

14 responses to “Hospital!

  1. Gavin Moodie

    I am dreadfully sorry to read of your health problems. I hope the investigation is informative and leads to a successful treatment. Of course your focus should be on recovering your health, so we will perfectly understand if you do not meet your publication targets.

  2. I hope that they find out what is wrong with you soon and can treat it. Best wishes.

  3. Ash

    Feel better soon Thony. #histsci awaits you.

  4. Micaela

    Best wishes for a legitimate diagnosis and a speedy recovery.

  5. Michael Traynor

    Sorry to hear of your spine trouble, Thony. I’ve got scads of stenosises in my neck and lower back, but I’ve been fortunate that they’ve responded to conservative treatment. I hope yours turn out to be no worse than mine and preferably much better.

  6. Jim Harrison

    I had a bout of back and leg trouble caused by stenosis two years ago. I was scheduled for surgery when my symptoms decided to resolve for some unknown reason after a miserable couple of months during which I couldn’t have walked a kilometer with a gun to my head. Here’s hoping your problem resolves. I definitely know what you’re going through.

  7. Thanks to everybody for the kind comments

  8. Jane Rogers

    Hi Little Brother, hope you are comfortable in your hospital and whatever they are doing to you helps to make you better! Hugs from your big sister. Do as you are told and keep taking the tablets! xxx from us all.

  9. ned

    my very best wishes mate

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