Cauda equina update – final edition (hopefully!)

Four years ago I’d had one of those life-changing events that you read about on Facebook.  I’d just undergone emergency surgery for cauda equina – one of my discs had slipped out of place in my spine and was crushing my spinal cord. Fortunately it was caught early and I was rushed in for emergency surgery.

After a week in Derby Royal Hospital, I was discharged from hospital and began the slow rehabilitation back to normality.  Walking was the first battle I won, with nerve damage to the muscles/skin down the back of my legs I had to walk with a stick. A large patient German Shepherd got me walking again and whilst I have reduced sensation down the back of my legs/feet I walk miles, the same as before my condition started.

The second big change was learning to self-catheterise.  The first few times I did this I felt like I was going to pass out (if you’ve seen the length of a male catheter you might appreciate why!) but I learned to do it quickly at home and at work (who had special equipment installed at work).  It’s been a year now since I was discharged from urology as my nerves had regenerated sufficiently that I no longer needed to use the catheters (saving the NHS around £1.50 per visit to the men’s room!)

I still have a rise and fall desk at work but very rarely need to use it in the upright position, and I have an amazing memory foam seat that prevents backache (and it drives me mad when anyone touches the myriad of levers on the underside of the chair as I don’t know what most of them do!)

So why the update – I still get lots of messages from people who have suffered from some kind of spinal/back trauma and either suffered cauda equina or something similar.  I know that your recovery might be slower than mine, or may take a different route but don’t give up.  Hang on in there and keep doing the things you want to, it will get better!

Follow my cauda equina history here

Review: Kill Me Again

Kill Me Again
Kill Me Again by Rachel Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this book after reading the back road, not having realised I’d missed out some books between. Although there were some convenient coincidences (including links to a crime spree 12 years ago) the story is extremely well told and the characters developed really well as we go through the story.
The story telling is really good and I actually looked forward to the next instalment to find out what would happen next. There are a few twists and turns as the story progresses to an excellent ending (the close of this story is very well done). Rachel Abbott is rapidly coming one of my favourite authors – I love her style and will return and read the novels I’ve missed out in the series

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Review: The Back Road

The Back Road
The Back Road by Rachel Abbott
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book. It differs from lots of crime stories as it doesn’t focus on an investigation by a detective. Instead the story starts to develop from a dinner party and develops from there to an unexpected conclusion. The story opens with a hit and run and the location of the incident (on the back road) would suggest that the killer lives at the local village since the road doesn’t go anywhere else.
I loved the way we found out something about each character in turn, all of which kept the plot twisting and turning as you try to work out who the hit and run driver is. I enjoyed the book so much I immediately ordered the next (and previous) book in the series.

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Review: The Secret

The Secret
The Secret by Katerina Diamond
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A great story and like the first in the series it extremely well told. As the book went on I began to question the characters as they seemed to change from the last book. Imogen Grey seems to lose some of her strength and grit to the point you start to ask yourself if she is the same character. As the book goes on you have to suspend disbelief and accept the number of coincidences including the cliffhanger at the end!
Worth a read! 🙂

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Review: Nightmares And Dreamscapes

Nightmares And Dreamscapes
Nightmares And Dreamscapes by Stephen King
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Classic Stephen King. It’s always a pleasure to listen to Stephen King’s books and this one is narrated by a variety of people. I like reading Stephen’s short stories because it’s a bit like dipping into a box of chocolates. Each one is different but they are all linked by his excellent storytelling. I’m not sure how this collection passed me by the first time but I enjoyed it years after release (and it was an extremely long audiobook!)

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