Living with chronic conditions (Dustin’s Story)

Hello everyone.

Following on from my blog post yesterday, I am happy to share another story with you all about people living with chronic conditions/pain.

If you haven’t had a chance to read my first story by the wonderful Hannah Gerken suffering with chronic conditions and how she lives with it day-to-day then please feel free to scroll down and give it a read. It’s an eye-opening read and shows how brave these people are out there in the world who suffer every day with a painful and debilitating condition every single day – an invisible condition. I feel so passionately about this because not only do I currently suffer with an invisible condition – severe chronic back pain that has so far lasted over 8 years and I have had very few people around me truly understand and support me, but also because for years I couldn’t find any support or reassurance online either. I didn’t know anyone else who suffered with chronic pain or a chronic condition so I felt completely and utterly alone and this made everything so much worse for me. I couldn’t find any support groups or blogs online either talking about chronic pain and/or conditions and that, too, made everything seem worse for me. So, I want to be able to share as many people’s stories on my blog as possible so that people can read them and feel less alone in their suffering and people who don’t suffer with a chronic condition can read these stories to become more aware and educated on the subject to help others.

As I have said in my previous blog post, I want to completely dedicate these posts to the heroes who wrote them and shared their stories with me. None of this is my doing, none of this is me, it’s all completely them and if it wasn’t for these amazing people I wouldn’t have a blog post in the first place. This is all down to the bravery of these people who want to share their stories purely to raise awareness hoping to help, reassure, support and educate others.

My second story is written by the incredible Dustin Steeves. He suffered with severe, debilitating, chronic back pain for a few years. Here is his story:

My story started in 2014.

My back had started bothering me at work, but since I work in construction I had just assumed it would pass. I was already no stranger to bumps bruises and aches in the workplace.

A few weeks later, the pain had t subsided, so I went to my Dr, who immediately referred me to a spinal specialist.

From there, I went to the Spinal Pathways Clinic in Saskatoon, Canada and was slated in for a CT scan.

They had found severe herniation between my L4 and L5 vertebrae and the two vertebrae themselves had begun to degenerate and rub against each other, cutting into my sciatic nerve.

A short while after this, I was declared unfit to work due to waking up and not being able to feel my legs, and I couldn’t walk. That day was one of the scariest of my life.

I was sent to a chiropractor, sent for spinal injections, and after a year of trials and experiments, was finally advised to start thinking about surgery.

Because my condition was so advanced, surgery was not initially recommended due to the amount of trauma in my back.

I was made aware that there was a chance I may not be able to walk again if anything went wrong while I was under.

In spite of this I opted for surgery, as I hadn’t experienced a day without excruciating pain in nearly two years.

Waking up the day of surgery was absolutely terrifying. I thought that may be the last day I’d have control of my legs.

Luckily, everything went fine. I was in the extremely capable hands of my surgeon and woke up from my surgery without pain in my back and legs for the first time in ages.

I immediately went into tears of joy.

The road ahead was long, and I had to basically learn how to walk again.

I had my L4 and L5 vertebrae shaved down, and had an artificial disc injected in between them.

Eight weeks later I was cleared for work and sports, and jumped right back into everything I loved.

It was the most satisfying feeling in the world being able to play hockey again. Being able to work again. Being able to take care of myself again.

My back will never be as strong as it once was, and it may cause me problems in the future, but I would highly recommend surgery to anybody experiencing even an eighth of the pain I was in.

A big thank you to Dustin for sharing his story. 🙂

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