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In your Own Words: Kerry’s Story


I had ongoing back pain for a year or so but the stabbing in the calf was the worse pain I have ever experienced. I was back and forth to the doctors and had several visits to our local hospital because I was in so much pain and could barely walk, fortunately one day a doctor at the hospital was very understanding and sympathetic and referred me for a MRI scan.

I had my scan on a Friday morning and that afternoon I had a phone call from a spinal nurse who said they needed to see me urgently, I was seen in clinic and told I had a Cauda Equina (this meant nothing to me) and was asked lots of questions about loss of sensation etc. and was told I would need an urgent major operation, I had a herniated disc which was causing severe nerve compression.

I was admitted to hospital a couple of days later and had a L4/L5 decompression with stabilisation inserted in my back. I was in theatre for hours and had to have a blood transfusion. After spending a week in hospital I returned home and recovered slowly, but after a couple of years I started getting a numbness and tingling in my left foot and calf.

I visited my doctor who referred me again for a MRI scan but no compression was shown, although my upper and lower discs are not great. Unfortunately I have been left with nerve damage in this leg which led me to have to give up work due to the pain and my loss in mobility. I started to feel very isolated and incredibly lonely being at home all day everyday so I started helping at my son’s school.
I really enjoyed helping the children and it is something I can do where I can pace myself and sit or stand as I wish. Although I’m in pain I am so much happier that I am out of my house and helping others.

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If Kerry’s story has inspired you to share your own experiences with Cauda Equina Syndrome then please contact us, we’d love to hear from you!