There’s an old saying about sea sickness, it won’t kill you but you’ll wish it did. Well a bad back can be worse, as I’ve just found out.
I woke up on Sunday and just getting out of bed sent shooting pains down from my lower back. I thought the best thing to do was to move around as much as I could and hopefully it would ease off.
No such luck. By Monday it was worse. Much worse. Not just a pain in the back but leg was aching too. I decided to ring the Welsh version of 101 for advice (see the end of this). After explaining the problem and giving them my history they said they’d call back within 4 hours.
A couple of hours later I was in agony, not just the back but the big muscles in the thigh were cramping. I couldn’t find any position to sit or stand in that didn’t hurt. A friend who’s an alternative medical practitioner came round and reckoned it best to call 999 in case it was something like a blood clot.
Yes, we have ambulances… but
Well I didn’t get an ambulance or even a paramedic but a doctor rang up from the ambulance service and, after questioning me, decided it was most likely sciatica and the muscles were in spasm. At this point I could hardly speak coherently it was so bad. She arranged for my local GP to dispense some high strength codeine and diazepam (a muscle relaxant), which Val drove down to the surgery to collect.
2 hours later it was much improved – felt as if the dagger was pulled out! I don’t know whether to say I slept or went into a drug induced coma that night. Honestly, I’ve never experienced pain like it.
I think the doctor from the ambulance service rang back to see how I was but things were a bit hazy. I do think that phoning me was an excellent use of resources. Of course they could have sent an ambulance tying that up and then time at A&E waiting to be diagnosed. This sorted me out for the cost of a 10 minute phone call. So well done and thanks to the Welsh Ambulance Service.
Over the week I’ve tapered off the drugs. Things have improved to the point where I can hobble about without a stick for a short distance. I’ve an appointment with the doctor next week so we’ll see what he comes up with. In the meantime, I’m afraid I’m not going to get much done outside or in. Still, an opportunity to catch up with my reading and maybe a box set binge.
Welsh Version of 101
In Wales, rather than ring 101 we have a special number – 08454647. However, not to be outdone, England will soon be replacing 999 with this easy to remember number: 0118 999 881 999 119 7253