It has been a year…

On July 5th, 2021, accompanied by mum and my brother, I checked myself into the St. Paul’s Hospital for a surgery that I had been long waiting for and yet skeptical about, even at the moment that they pushed me into the operating theatre. My instinct was telling me that it’s a big mistake but it was too late to change my mind. I held my surgeons and anaesthetist’s hands, looking into their eyes, asking them to take good care of my life. I asked them to let me know in advance when I was about to go to sleep for that nine hours’ surgery as I was praying to Holy Father.

It all started in summer of 2020 when I noticed pain under my right scapular while running or jogging. It wasn’t too bad so I only underwent physical therapy twice a week, at most adding on some medicines for the pain when needed. But it didn’t heal and the pain was spreading to my whole back and my neck. In January 2021, I started looking for alternative treatments which was a lethal mistake. I walked into a chiropractor clinic at Yau Ma Tei without any referral to see if that could help. After a few sessions’ of treatments, my condition deteriorated rapidly and I could feel very severe pain at the back of my head. Terrified of course, and hence returned to physiotherapy hoping to correct any damage that could have been done, along with nonstop doctors’ appointments looking for advice and treatments. That physiotherapist had years of experience and he’s a clinic manager, so I trusted him. He tried many times of cervical manipulation, another deadly mistake, after which I felt like as if my head was about to fall off with excruciating pain on my neck and back of my head.

From beginning of the year to July last year before my surgery, I should have consulted almost two dozens of doctors, with four MRI, two brain scans, and NCS, EMG, you name it. Doctors from public hospitals, professors of universities, and many at private hospitals charging thousands of dollars for consultations, and yet none of them were willing to offer surgery saying it’s too risky.

St. Paul’s Hospital, July 2021

From April last year, my pain was so unbearable with very limited mobility, and I couldn’t sleep at all. Hospitalised again and again, without any resolution. Feeling desperate, I returned to that orthopaedic doctor who I first consulted when it all started. He was the only one willing to, in fact keen on offering surgery. My brother accompanied me to see him. In fact, he made the decision for me as I was too scared of making another mistake. We were in there for almost two hours. It was a hybrid surgery as what they called it, C4 to C7, a combination of artificial disc replacements and fusion. Terrified but I signed thinking that was my only chance left, which turned out as a disaster destroying my whole life, without knowing.

Hybrid, C4/5 & C6/7 artificial disc replacement, C5/6  discectomy and fusion

To be continued….

Published by Des Syun

Physically challenged with relentless chronic pain, but it doesn't define me.

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