Babies, bumps and backs!

For as long as I can remember, I have lived with pain. During my teens I developed a number of health issues which later contributed to a diagnosis of Fibromyalgia, a condition which means that for pretty much every minute of every day, I’m experiencing pain on some level. And so it was really quite unfortunate that, to add to my existing issues, I started to develop problems with my back, something which has deteriorated over time.

At high school, maybe in year seven or eight, I can remember a nurse coming into school to check us all for scoliosis, curvature of the spine. I remember lining up on the corridor to the girls changing rooms, where we were told to remove our shirts (I specifically remember this as, sods law, I wasn’t even wearing a crop top that day!), bend over and touch our toes. And two weeks later I can remember my Mum receiving a letter, a hand written letter, from the hospital to say that I had scoliosis and needed to go to the hospital for an X-Ray.

I wasn’t at all worried, I was simply excited to have a morning off school, and I had lay on the bed, had my X-Ray and, at the follow up, half listened as the doctor told my Mum that I should carry my school bag on my right hand shoulder to try to correct the curve, but other than that, it may simply straighten over time. And that was that.

The back pain probably started in my teens, waking in the night with stabbing pains in my upper back, pacing back and forth across the landing, unable to find a position which helped the pain, nor bend my arms in a way that meant I could knead the area where my pain was at its worst. By the time I hit my twenties I was relying heavily on pain killers, heat packs, hot baths and infra-red massage apparatus, bought from Argos, in a desperate bid to find some relief – all of which did nothing!

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During my pregnancy with Lewis I developed sciatica, the worst, shooting pains through my lower back, down my leg and into my foot. For the last twelve weeks of my pregnancy I went to weekly physiotherapy sessions with the midwife who assured me that after I gave birth I would feel an instant relief, which I did.

It was only when I fell pregnant with Joseph, eighteen months later, that my sciatica returned. This time, I found the pain only slightly improved after giving birth and so, for the next few years, I managed on a cocktail of drugs from the doctor – pain killers, nerve blockers, back and forth to physiotherapy, but never really getting anywhere.

Just a couple of months after getting together with Gaz, during our first romantic weekend away, I had fallen getting out of the shower, slipped on the wet floor, and smashed my back onto the rim of the bath, breaking it in the process. And I have never known pain like it!

The recovery was long and frustrating, lay in bed for the first few weeks, taking massive amounts of pain killers, watching endless DVDs, with Gaz having to help me shower, dress and care for Lewis. If I hadn’t known it before, I realised then that he was a keeper, and we often joked that I had fooled him into thinking he was my boyfriend when infact he was my carer.

By the end of the year, after months of physio, I was pregnant with Eva, and my sciatica returned. And although I felt some relief after she was born, getting pregnant with Megan so soon after, whilst having to lug around a 6 month old baby, meant that the damage to my back was worsening every day.

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So when I fell pregnant with Harry just three months after having Megan, my sciatica was at an all time worst. To add to that, at eight months pregnant, holding Megan in my arms, I had slipped at the top of the stairs, fallen right the way to the bottom, and broke my coccyx.

Given my history, and my fears for the safety of my baby, I refused all pain relief other than paracetamol and opted for acupuncture to try and cope with the pain for those last four weeks. The acupuncture gave an instant relief initially, although the effects lasted for only a day or two, but towards those final days I was in constant pain and in all honesty, I was utterly miserable.

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Giving birth is painful enough, but throw in a broken coccyx, and a baby who is lying back to back, and it wasn’t the most pleasant of experiences!! Afterwards, the recovery was slow, and I was passed from pillar to post in the hope of finding some relief.

Over the last two and a half years I have seen countless physiotherapists, orthapeidic doctors, chiropractors and even an osteomyologist. I’ve had months of hydrotherapy, relied heavily on pain killers, and spent hours in the shower with the hot water providing temporary relief. And in terms of the impact on my life, it has been huge, to be in that much pain, every single day, and still have to go about my daily routine, lifting the children in and out of their car seats, running the hoover round, lugging in the shopping bags from the car, the things that I once took for granted now such a struggle.

I think the biggest relief came from the chiropractor who offered a range of services from acupuncture, massage therapy, nutrition, autogenic and functional training. After each session I felt as though I could move a little more freely, that my pain was significantly less, that there was finally some hope of reaching a point where I would finally be pain free.

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Unfortunately, and I should know by now that things are never straight forward when it comes to me, things have become a little more complicated. Following a series of X-rays and MRI scans, I have now developed bulging discs in my neck and spine, something which cannot be corrected without a more surgical approach. I am waiting to see the orthopaedic surgeon next month for my pre-op appointment and I am hoping that by the spring I will be well on my way to taking my first steps to recovery!

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72 Comments

  1. January 23, 2017 / 11:10 am

    Oh my gosh, you poor thing. My friend lives with a disease that causes pain and she finds it very draining. Good luck with your steps to recovery xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 23, 2017 / 11:12 am

      Thank you Kerry. It’s a nightmare especially with having the children. Hoping that by the spring things will be improving, I wish I had taken more care of my back over the years! xxx

  2. Halina Vie Choufleur
    January 23, 2017 / 11:18 am

    Oh gosh, what a nightmare 🙁 Back issues really are absolutely awful – my nanna has suffered all of her life with pain that leaves her unable to walk sometimes. I really hope some kind of surgery sorts things out for you x

    • Laura Dove
      January 23, 2017 / 11:28 am

      Thank you, it really is difficult at times, back pain is debilitating! Thank you for reading. xx

  3. January 23, 2017 / 11:30 am

    Oh no, doesn’t sound good. It’s bad enough when you sleep a bit weird on your neck, let alone having to deal with something most days.

    • Laura Dove
      January 23, 2017 / 11:52 am

      Haha yes! It’s that kind of pain but all over, every day! Ouch! xx

  4. January 23, 2017 / 1:22 pm

    Goodness I don’t you how you managed with sciatica, it sounds so painful and for all your pregnancies too. Fingers crossed for the pre op and a spring that is pain free. #MarvMondays

    • Laura Dove
      January 23, 2017 / 4:02 pm

      Thank you Fiona. Back pain is the worst! It’s so debilitating, I had no idea just how awful it could be! xx

  5. January 23, 2017 / 4:56 pm

    I feel your pain! I have a scoliosis, hypermobility and disalligned hips. My pregnancy was an absolute nightmare. Hope you don’t end up needing an op!

    Cat x

    • Laura Dove
      January 23, 2017 / 5:13 pm

      I’m having the ops on my bulging discs, two in my back and one in my neck, but the scoliosis pain is crippling! I also have hypermobility, is that common to have with scoliosis? And hip issues too! How strange, I’m sorry that you are dealing with this too. xxx

  6. January 24, 2017 / 12:33 pm

    I totally get this I have huge back issues which started in my early twenties and the demands of motherhood can really take their toll on your back. I really work hard to look after my back that being the case though as usual there are not enough hours in the day!

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 12:52 pm

      Back pain is just the worst isn’t it? I found pilates really helped but since my discs went I’ve been unable to go. I feel like an old woman hobbling about some days, it’s so important to look after your back! xx

  7. January 24, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Oh my, I can not imagine the pain you went trough breaking your back 🙁 I hope everything goes OK and you start recovering soon.

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 12:50 pm

      Thank you. My back has taken a real beating over the years, I;m hoping sorting my discs is the start of an improvement! xx

  8. January 24, 2017 / 1:34 pm

    I’ve had persistent shoulder / back pain for about 5 years now, and bouts of sciatica. That was bad enough, but reading what you have been through is so much worse. Let’s hope 2017 brings a way to manage this horrible condition and a little pain relief!

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 4:45 pm

      Thanks Grant. It’s crazy how many people live with back pain on a daily basis, and it’s one of those things that unless you lay flat and don’t move a muscle, it’s very hard to recover from as you never get the chance to rest it!! I’m hoping that next month sees the start of some improvement! xx

  9. January 24, 2017 / 3:02 pm

    Oh gosh I didn’t realise you were a fellow back pain sufferer Laura! You poor thing, you really have had a lot to deal with but you seem to be coping so well. I have scoliosis, I was diagnosed when I was 13 and had my thoracic spine fused with a metal rod when I was 12. The rod is still in there and I do get occasional pain but given the severity of the curve I get away very lightly! I’m also married to a physio which helps ; )

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 4:43 pm

      Oh wow that must have been awful at that age but good work on marrying a physio!! I was in enough pain with my scoliosis but after breaking my back, and then my coccyx, and then my discs going, I was seriously in agony! I’ve taken that many pain killers over the last decade that my kidney and liver function is dire, but without them I literally can’t function. It’s awful isn’t it? Back pain is just debilitating. My scoliosis was never severe enough to operate and I was literally just sent away and left to deal with it. I see my orthopaedic surgeon in a couple of weeks for the pre-op, not quite sure what they are going to do but fingers crossed it helps!!! xxx

  10. January 24, 2017 / 5:36 pm

    You have been through so much with your back 🙁 I hope your pre-op appointment goes well x

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 9:04 pm

      Thank you Jo, me too! xx

  11. Sav Chin
    January 24, 2017 / 6:52 pm

    I have a bad back from years of terrible posture but it sounds like you’ve been through a lot! Good luck with your surgery.

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Thank you, I also have terrible posture, it’s very difficult to correct bad habits though! xx

  12. January 24, 2017 / 7:14 pm

    I literally feel your pain, there honestly is nothing like it. When you have a bad back it is so limiting to other areas of your life, my husband sometimes feels more like my carer. The amount of pain relief I take some days is scary as I don’t want to be reliant on it but on the flip side I also want to have a life that isn’t constant pain. I hope the surgeon can offer a solution do you know who it is yet?

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 9:02 pm

      Yes!! Exactly that! I feel like Gaz is my carer sometimes too, especially when we had only just got together and I broke my back! I’m under Dr Baker, I think it is, no idea what they will do, I’m hoping something that works!! xx

  13. January 24, 2017 / 7:52 pm

    I’ve wanted to go to a chiropractor for a long time but I’m scared, it looks like it might work

    • Laura Dove
      January 24, 2017 / 9:00 pm

      I was terrified the first time – I thought they’d broke my neck, ha! It was only afterwards when I realised I could move in ways I hadn’t been able to previously, that I realised just how amazing it is! xx

  14. January 24, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    Jesus you poor thing, I have scolosis as well but you have a broken coxyx and many other issues which must be so painful. Its great that you are raising awareness though x

    • Laura Dove
      January 25, 2017 / 9:31 am

      Thanks lovely, I sympathise with the scoliosis. It’s actually way more common than I realised. Do you find anything helps at all? I found the chiropractor massively helped but it’s a huge expense to maintain regularly! xx

  15. January 25, 2017 / 8:24 am

    oh no, that’s really bad. I hope everything get sorted for you, or at least things don’t go worse. Maybe you can ask the doctors if there is something else that you can change in your lifestyle such as the shoes, the bed… I don’t know, those little things may help x

    • Laura Dove
      January 25, 2017 / 9:30 am

      Thanks Natalia. We actually invested in a Tempur mattress that is supposed to help with back pain, and it really does, but I think my back issues are too far gone now to be corrected. Hoping a more surgical approach sees some improvement! xx

  16. January 25, 2017 / 8:51 am

    Gosh what a lifetime of back ache – you are such a trooper to look after your gorgeous ones whilst in so much pain. I really hope the surgeon can help and it’s a bit of a game changer. It seems you have tried so much! good luck and thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 25, 2017 / 9:29 am

      Thanks Sarah, I hope so too. It would be amazing to be pain free, or even just in slightly less pain!! xx

  17. Sarah - mud cakes and wine
    January 25, 2017 / 11:44 am

    Oh my what a tough time you have had and are having. Knowing what it’s like to be in constant pain it’s just so draining and can get you down. Do not know how you coped during pregency and I had a back to back baby wow pain pain pain. Hope this op all going can offer you some help #bloggerclubuk

    • Laura Dove
      January 25, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you Sarah. I think of all my back issues the broken coccyx was the worst, I genuinely have never experienced pain like that!! Fingers crossed for some respite! xx

  18. January 25, 2017 / 6:42 pm

    Back pain is the worst, I had a car accident when pregnanr with Kian and it took a good couple of years for the pain to ease. Hope you get the treatment you need

    • Laura Dove
      January 26, 2017 / 11:09 am

      Thanks Kara. It’s awful isn’t it? I had a car accident while pregnant with Megan and that damaged my neck too, I am literally falling to pieces! xx

  19. January 26, 2017 / 6:46 am

    My gosh you’ve been through so much. It must be so hard to live with. I can’t even begin to imagine what the pain was like giving birth with a broken coccyx. Good luck with your pre op appointment x

    • Laura Dove
      January 26, 2017 / 11:05 am

      Thank you, I think I have reached a point where I need to find some way of helping the pain as the years are flying by and being in constant pain is really taking its toll. Giving birth with a broken coccyx was horrific, even more so given I only had paracetamol for pain relief!! xx

  20. January 26, 2017 / 10:08 am

    Sorry to hear you suffer from sciatica, its not pleasant at all 🙁 Hope your back pain eases for you x

    • Laura Dove
      January 26, 2017 / 11:03 am

      Thank you. I hope so! xx

    • Laura Dove
      January 26, 2017 / 10:30 pm

      Oh I can imagine! Pregnancies destroy our backs! xx

  21. January 27, 2017 / 12:22 pm

    I hope the surgeon offers insight into how best to get you better, back pain is so awful x

    • Laura Dove
      January 27, 2017 / 2:22 pm

      Thank you, I do too, and more so that the recovery is manageable with four children!! xx

  22. January 27, 2017 / 6:26 pm

    I get terrible migraines that also come with neck and shoulder muscle knots and stiffness. After seeing a ton of neurologists who prescribed prescription meds, the only thing that ended up helping is intense massage therapy. Sometimes the most simple option is the best 🙂

    Gennifer Rose | http://www.GenniferRose.com

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:31 pm

      Oh I get terrible migraines too! I’m under three different neurologists and on a whole host of drugs, I really need to get booked in for some massage therapy!! xx

  23. January 27, 2017 / 8:43 pm

    I feel your pain, I have disc disease in 3 of my disc’s which have caused them to crumble, I also have 2 herniated discs, I v just received my date for a procedure there going to try, which will be the day before my birthday, 72 hours flat on my back, but hey if it helps this pain even a little then its bloody worth it!! Having children and living with a pain like this is really depressing, I hope you get answers and they find something that can ease the pain for you.

    #bloggerclubuk

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:28 pm

      Oh I’m so sorry to hear that. I see my orthopaedic surgeon in a couple of weeks and I should find out more about the surgery he suggests. It’s hard to recover with children but so important that we do. Good luck with your procedure! xx

  24. Keoshia
    January 27, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    Sorry for your pain and having to have surgery. I has had Crohns for some years and finally had surgery and I feel much better. I will pray for you! Good Luck.

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that. Crohns must be awful! Thank you. xxx

  25. January 27, 2017 / 11:17 pm

    Argh Laura – poor you! I also had scoliosis in my teens and had to stop my swimming (I was doing quite well and had just started competing locally) to wear a corset 18 hours a day. This went on for quite a few years (I can’t remember exactly, but I stopped wearing against doctor’s advice because I hated it!), but thankfully it took care of the pain and allowed me to be comfortable for many years after. Until at 28, when I was pregnant with my first, I ended up with sciatica pain (at saw a chiro for most of that pregnancy) that put me on crutches for the last 2 weeks of pregnancy! After a back-to-back labour, at least I walked out without crutches. Things weren’t that bad with my following 2 pregnancies, but I had another 2 back-to-back labours, and I know that a lot of the pain I experienced in labour was due to me anticipating it and stressing about it, because I knew it’d be in my back. My vulnerable back, which can start hurting at the slightest bump. That’s why I had my head in my hands when I read about you breaking your back and coccyx! I feel for you! I really do hope you find some relief! #BrilliantBlogPosts

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:25 pm

      Thank you Sara. Back pain is the worst isn’t it? I sympathise massively, it sounds as though you have really been through it! Sciatica is awful, mine did ease up between babies but it has been constant for the last three years due to my bulging discs pressing on the sciatic nerves. I’m hopeful that my orthopaedic surgeon offers an option for permanent relief – fingers crossed!! xxx

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:19 pm

      Thank you Dorothy. I’m willing to try anything now! xx

  26. January 28, 2017 / 3:33 am

    Wow … I’ve dealt with my share of pregnancy whoas but nothing like that. Goodness. Good luck to you moving forward!

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:18 pm

      Thank you Jess, I hope that this time next year I’m in a better position with my back! xx

  27. January 28, 2017 / 5:29 am

    I’m sorry for your pain I know the feeling, but I will say this working at a neurosurgeon’s office after surgery it’s very important that you listen to the doctors’ recovery instruction to the T. We get patients who don’t listen and are right back at the office with other issues, I wish the best for you!

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:17 pm

      I completely agree, I have done way more damage to my back by lifting the children and pushing myself too far, I know that I need to start listening to the doctors orders!! xx

  28. January 28, 2017 / 7:35 am

    I salute such a brave woman like you. Thanks for taking time to share your experiences to us. I, myself, is hesitant to bear a child but thanks to you, you inspired me.

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:14 pm

      Thank you. I worried a lot about having my youngest three given so much damage to my back but it was worth it, absolutely! xxx

  29. Ruth I.
    January 28, 2017 / 4:23 pm

    Praying for your complete healing. You went through a lot of pain, i hope for our fast recovery.

    • Laura Dove
      January 29, 2017 / 9:05 pm

      Thank you Ruth, I hope so! xx

  30. January 29, 2017 / 9:08 pm

    That sounds terrible. Hope you manage to get yourself sorted and pain free.I can’t imagine having to go through all that.

    • Laura Dove
      January 30, 2017 / 1:31 pm

      Thanks Clare – I hope so too! xx

  31. Milica Momcilovic
    January 30, 2017 / 5:43 am

    I am so sorry you are expiriencing this kind of pain. I know it is so hard, my mom had back pain problems since I was in elementary school. She was often hospitalized too. I paused my college education to take care of her fir a few months. I hope you will feel better!

    • Laura Dove
      January 30, 2017 / 1:28 pm

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that about your Mom. Back pain is a nightmare, I hope to find something that helps soon! xx

  32. January 30, 2017 / 12:42 pm

    Sending you healing thoughts and prayers. Sounds like you are taking all the right steps and that a complete recovery is on its way. Be well and thanks for sharing your story.

    • Laura Dove
      January 30, 2017 / 1:16 pm

      Thank you Rosemary, I do hope so! xx

  33. January 30, 2017 / 3:23 pm

    Ouch – you poor thing. I’ve had a similar experience since the age of 15. I have never had any answers and I try to find my own methods of maintenance, the most effective for me has always been exercise. One of my children bought me a kettle bell for Christmas and that plus a foam roller which ‘cracks’ my back when the pressure builds up is my solution at the moment. Like you it’s a daily thing. Big hugs x Thanks for linking to #sharewithme

    • Laura Dove
      January 30, 2017 / 4:58 pm

      Oh no I’m sorry to hear that you also suffer. It’s hard with exercise as I’m sure it would help my back but at the same time, with bulging discs I have to be so careful not to cause them to worsen! I’m hoping once the discs are treated I’ll be able to start to exercise and strengthen my back. That’s the plan anyway! xx

  34. January 30, 2017 / 4:54 pm

    Back pains are the worst!! Hope you recover soon!!

    • Laura Dove
      January 30, 2017 / 4:56 pm

      Thank you! xx

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