Patient Stories

Living with Cauda Equina

I was diagnosed with Cauda Equina in Oct 2011 and had surgery for a discectomy and laminectomy. After being discharged from hospital I was left to my own devices on how to recover. I had no feeling in my right leg from the buttock down to the foot and no feeling in my left foot as a result of nerve damage thus leaving my legs very weak. I had joined the gym before my op and in May 2012 started to re-attend in the hope I could regain my fitness, that’s where I first became aware of Mend Physio.

I approached Helen and was pleased that she said she would be able to help. After an initial assessment, she advised that I had very weak core control but after a few weeks I noticed gradual changes in my abilities to do certain things. As I got stronger the exercises got more challenging but nothing ever put any strain on my back and I have never come away from a session feeling in pain. As time went on I saw Helen less frequently and I incorporated the exercises into my gym routine so they became a daily thing for me to do.

If I ever needed to be seen before my next scheduled appointment I called or emailed Mend and was seen either the same day or the next and that was invaluable. I’ve carried on seeing Helen up until earlier this year and she then advised that I saw her colleague Kate who has introduced me to Pilates exercises specifically for my areas of weakness.

Over the last 6 years, I feel Mend have improved my overall fitness and well being and I am much more aware of how to move and use areas of the body to minimise strain on other parts of the body. I remember Helen saying to me at the beginning that the aim was to get me stronger to be able to do day to day things rather than to climb Everest and that has stuck with me throughout my ongoing treatment and I feel I have achieved that.

Karen Gibson