From having a first consultation from my wheelchair I am now working again
Although the injections I received alleviated some of my pain and gave me more mobility it became clear that without an operation no further improvement could be expected. Mr Ishaque warned me that is would be a lengthy operation and not without complications - particularly as my health was not as good as he could have wished. However, he guided me through the procedure and explained the possibilities.
As my back was unlikely to improve, with the guidance of Mr Ishaque I was able to make an informed choice and decided to undergo surgery. I am delighted to say that the operation has been very successful with improvements still being experienced.
My wife and I were amazed at the amount I could do within a very short time. I returned home from major surgery on the 12th November and on the 27th November my wife sprained her ankle. With no-one else around I was able to take her to our surgery some two miles away and was quite comfortable driving.
On the 29th November I again drove my wife to a local hospital and then we shopped in a supermarket close by. In early January I drove to Aberdovey where we had a long weekend break. In March 2013 I did some tractor work and as long as I was careful how I handled the job and how I got in and out of the tractors I found that I could manage very well. From having a first consultation from my wheelchair I am now working again and, in fact, only 8 months after leaving hospital I was driving our combine harvester. Although I am not sure that all of this would have been recommended by Mr Ishaque as an entirely suitable form of convalescence, I didn't feel that I was "pushing" myself and it was a pleasure to feel almost back to normal.
Prior to the surgery my back had rendered me completely immobile and in chronic pain on several occasions including one Christmas Day evening spent in A&E and on holiday at 3 o'clock one unforgettable morning. These occasions had a psychological effect which meant that I was reluctant to go far from home in case of another attack. If I did venture more than a few miles from home the wheelchair had to accompany me. All of that pain and concern has been removed since the operation. It was explained that recovery time would be over the course of about 2 years and this has proved to be the case.
I consider myself most fortunate in having been recommended to Mr Ishaque and his team; his anaesthetist Dr Da Silva was also prodigious in the amount of time and care he gave not only to me but also, along with Mr Ishaque, in keeping my wife updated and relieving her anxiety.
Perhaps the greatest recommendation I can give is to say that my wife has suffered back problems for 22 years but, although she tried everything possible to ease the problem which is deteriorating, she steadfastly refused to even consider an operation. However, having witnessed the care and expertise which I have received and seen and its life changing effects, she has gained every confidence in Mr Ishaque and his team and is to undergo an operation herself this month.