Back goes – Arghhh!

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

Posted in Allotment Garden Diary
7 comments on “Back goes – Arghhh!
  1. Brian Purdy says:

    Hi John So glad to hear your are on the mend, Back pain as now you well know is no laughing matter. I suffered from an accident at work in 1967 and since then have had the problem recur from time to time. However, the most relief I have ever received has been from Osteopaths, I’m sure you could find one close to you. I also spent a small fortune over the early years with Chiropractors but the relief was only short lived. Now even if I am feeling ok I usually have an annual checkup with my Osteopath who is Mr Peter Andrews who practices in Sutton Coldfield which is about 14 miles from my home.
    All the best for Christmas and 2020 and hope to hear that you are much better in the January Newsletter. Kindest regards. Brian.

  2. Frank Smith says:

    Hi John
    sorry to hear of your back problems I can really sympathise, ater 50 years in the building trade ( long before health and safety) when all the heavy lifting was carried out by manpower, lifting concrete lintols etc up onto scaffolding I have had my share of back problems. I agree with your idea of keep moving no good sitting about. I did on one occasion visit a very good physio he was ex army and very experienced with all sorts of injuries, and that helped me no end. He gave me exercises to do at home which I did and still to this day in retirement visit a gym. I would suggest you seek out a good sports physio and give it a try they will also give you exercises to strengthen the muscles’to help to prevent further problems. In the meantime the very best of luck.

  3. Dorienne Robinson says:

    Hi John
    I am an alternative practitioner, as well as an allotmenteer. My speciality is the treatment of sciatica. My website is:
    I have been in practice for 28 years with an 80% success rate.
    You might be too far away for me to help you but I am happy to advise over the phone for free if that helps.

  4. Tudor Taylor says:

    Im no spring chicken myself Im 72 years old,and have my own business which we operate seven days a week, Now having made that clear Im going to tell you a little story,Two years ago I did a delivery to a block of flats at 11pm at night approaching Christmas Eve, I gave the lady a parcel,and as I turned around she put the light out,and I was walked in pitch blackness of a December nightI went to walk down some concrete steps,and I trod on a childs toy,and went flying down two flights of concrete stairs,and over the top of the safety rail,crashing down below into a bush were I hung upside down for over two hours semi unconscious until a taxi driver going home picked my outline of a body in his taxis headlights, the rest is a long story but I lived to tell the tale.Now the pain for the next couple of years has been pretty painfull and all the trips to Pyso in hospital have been pretty useless—-so yes I know about pain as the fall didn’t do my skeleton much good. Months later a lady came into my shop and saw my agile body,and we got into conversation like you do and I learnt later that this lady knows a thing or two about medicine,and she introduced me to a product called muscle rub balm from a company called live well cbd she told me what this stuff contained and I was extremely apprehensive when she informed me that it was a bye product of the Cannabis industry, Any how I went on to their web site and found this balm which you wont get off the National Health service but most health shops sell this product in a little tub,and being a balm it goes a long way when you rub it on.
    Eventually I relented and tried it out, strangly enough BBC Country wise featured the product a couple of weeks ago,and showed how farmers in France are cashing in on the product,anyhow I tried it??????

    Now changing the topic,having spent my life standing on my two feet I am blessed with Varicose veins, my legs swell,and are extremely sore,so having found this cream did wonders for my aching body I thought I would try it on my legs, and over a period of two months my legs have stopped swelling and the pain has disappeared The BBC IN their programme interviewed people who made claims about their health inproving,and I have to agree I am in absolutely no pain anymore.
    Each morning when I go to work in the carpark I meet a lady who is excersising her retired,and rescued greyhound dog,I frequently comment that his backlegs are giving away due to arthritis and she comments that she is trying to put off that final decision,and I understand her feelings, so some weeks ago I suggested that she rubbed some CBD into his muscles,and see if it helps him. Yesterday the dog RAN ACROSS TO ME,AND WAGGED HIS TAIL.AND JUMPED UP,AND LICKED MY FACE!!!!!!!! Yes I couldn’t help but cry to see this dog happy again——so my friend put your hand in your pocket,and try it,is cheaper to purchase it from a health food shop that the internet but if you live in the sticks then obviously they post it to you,after your initial purchase you get a 25% off voucher for your next purchase WHY SUFFER THE PAIN WHICH YOU HAVE DESCRIBED.


  5. John Harrison says:

    Thanks everyone for the sympathy, suggestions and the offer of help Dorienne. It’s improving and I’ll be able to do a few exercises that I know will help soon.
    I’m also shedding a few pounds, which should help. Weight does tend to creep up if you don’t keep an eye on it as you get older.

  6. Sean James Cameron says:

    I went into hospital on Friday with back pain. Just taking lots of drugs to ease the pain, won’t be digging for quite a while. A friend has put me onto this book ‘Healing Back Pain (Reissue Edition): The Mind-Body Connection’, it’s arriving tomorrow but from what I’ve seen on YouTube about the author, Dr John Sarno, seems very interesting.

Leave a Comment Here on Back goes – Arghhh!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


April 2024

What to do now on your plot!

Monthly Free Newsletter

Allotment Photo History

Our Books – A Growing Offer!

Our bestselling books for growing success!
More Information


Allotment & Garden Online Planning

Free Trial - Allotment Planner
Personal Planting Updates & Tips
by email twice a month
Allotment Garden Planning Software