Health knowledge made personal

John Evans

California
     I am a 41yr old man. I've been an electrician for 22yrs, most of which i've been a workaholic. "A walking forklift", I've been called. In May of 2007 I lifted my toolbag wrong (which I found out later weighed 80lbs) and felt a sudden sharp pain in my lower back that almost put me to my knees. I reported this but kept on working (old mindset "just work through it and it will go away"). It seemed the harder i worked the better it felt.... Full Bio
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Birthday: July 17
Height: 6’ 2”
Weight: 295 lbs.
 

Bio

     I am a 41yr old man. I've been an electrician for 22yrs, most of which i've been a workaholic. "A walking forklift", I've been called. In May of 2007 I lifted my toolbag wrong (which I found out later weighed 80lbs) and felt a sudden sharp pain in my lower back that almost put me to my knees. I reported this but kept on working (old mindset "just work through it and it will go away"). It seemed the harder i worked the better it felt.

     That summer I undertook a huge addition on my house with just the help of a labourer I hired. I took 2 weeks holidays and went nuts. In 2 weeks we had the addition built, the old roof off and the new roof on. So I went back to work and when I would get home I would work, usually until 11pm or so to get the house closed in. Doing this job alone made progress a lot slower and I was finding every night when I would stop working to relax and try to go to sleep the pain in my back and radiating down my right leg would get so bad that i would get little to no sleep. Then in the morning it was so painful to get moving again.

     By November 2007 I was eating 2 boxes of Robaxaset Platinum every day. I could barely walk and finally i could not physically get up off the floor (where I would lay in the fetal position to try to get some releif). With the help of my wife I went to the hospital and after a lot of x-rays and finally an MRI they found I had an 80yr old mans back with 2 herniated discs and the bulging disc material was pushing into my spinal canal (stenosis) and my nerves were being crushed by my vertabrae. Physio was there answer, so I went to physio for about 6 months and it didn't do much good and it was torture. Surgery was the only other way.

      Near the end of July 2008 I had spinal surgery in Sudbury Ontario. At first i felt great after the surgery but soon realized it was only the drugs doing that. 3 days after the surgery i was rushed back to the Newliskeard hospital. I lay there for five days before they even found out that i had absesses formed in the surgical area and the pressure was squishing all the nerves. I've never felt more pain in my entire life and couldn't move my legs. The Doctors overdosed me on antibiotcs which gave me thrush and one antibiotic they tried on me broke me out in a rash all over my body. It was the lowest point in my life. I thought i was going to die, and without the use of my legs I kind of wanted to. It was 8 days until I could move my legs and another 10 days of very painful moving before i could even walk on my own. With the help of my angelic wife we had beaten this. I was climbing out of my pit of self despare.

     It has been a long painful journey, one i pray no one will ever have to make. All the physio and reading the right book (Consultation With The Back Doctor - Dr. Hamilton Hall) was the key to my healing. Work through the pain he said, the results will be great. So thats what i did. This pain wasn't anything compared to what i've already been through I thought, as i walked with the correct posture and no limp on the treadmill. It worked. The pain day by day was less.

     So now because my back is done and my right leg from the knee down is numb from nerve damage (shouldn't have kept on working, bone on nerve, not good), I'm back in school to become an Instrumentation Technologist. I do have issues with standing for long priods of time, sitting for almost any period of time and walking for a good distance. I also have to support my upper body with my arms and on my elbows all the time, so sitting in class doing the work has created another problem, now with my neck. It seems because i have to sit now a certain way which supports my upper body, my shoulders are up high and my neck does not like this position. Now my shoulder is always in pain which radiates down my left arm and my left hand is always numb and weak. Just another step in the life altering journey of the injured worker.

     I'll update this sight with my progress.

     Merry Christmas and may God bless everyone.