A.S. Face 1015: Andrew Gordon
I was a fit young man of 16 who worked three part time jobs for pocket money and was a very keen amateur cross country runner and swimmer. On a weekend I would do shopping for the elderly people on the street I lived. When I was 17 I got an apprenticeship in the Steel industry,that`s when all this kicked off, I battled to go to work every day and college when it was time. Two years later I was told by the works medical officer due to time off that I could no longer do the job( too heavy a job) for someone with back problems as this was all I knew at this point,That day I cried my eyes out as I loved my job. From that day till diagnosis took a full five years. I was living with the horrendous spasms and times I could not even stand. I was misdiagnosed and the treatments I was having done more harm and accelerated the fusion process. Too many tests to list and yet nothing.When the local hospital had run out of torture treatments they sent me to a specialist hospital in Glasgow (Scotland) where I Met the greatest man iv`e ever know,Prof Rodger Sturrock a man who had spent his working life studying this hell that is A.S He diagnosed within three weeks The battle started for real from that day as a lot of damage had already been done.He had me doing physiotherapy ,hydrotherapy and a drug regime that settled me down for a short while.It was just after this that disaster struck as I had a fall,down a flight of stairs.From that day on I have been unable to hold down any sort of job and I hate that fact. I was and still am “in my mind” a grafter,the only problem with that is the body won`t do as the brain tells it. July 1991 after being given the all clear of a duodenal ulcer after an endoscopy ,two weeks later I was within 30 mins of death due to the ulcer perforating while on a fishing trip in the middle of nowhere.The endoscopy and doctor who did this had missed the Ulcer.The ulcer itself was caused by long term use of NSAID`s in my case it was Indomethacin, Strangely enough this was the drug that I found the only one that helped.(go figure ) On my 40th Birthday I spent 4+ hours on the operating table having a Lumbar osteotomy,Again I only got two years of relief from this,another tumble managed to break one of the pins,which is now rubbing on the spinal fluid sack and causes a different problem each and every day depending on how I have fallen asleep,bed is a luxury as I cannot lay down for more than an hour at a time.I now lay on a reclining chair or wherever I pass out through exhaustion,has been known for me to go about a week without sleep though once I pass out I can sleep for 24+ hours as my body only closes down. Latest problems. 13th April 2013 whilst getting into my stair lift I lost my balance (a regular occurrence) cracked my head on a wall switch,to avoid full impact I twisted my body so severely I have been told I have permanent nerve damage. Now the battle is really on as I now have to use a wheelchair for any distance over 45 feet,under that I can “walk” with two sticks.I get excruciating headaches and every joint in my body feels as if they are rubbing bone on bone. Full spinal fusion,fused sacroiliac joint, osteoarthritis in hips and knees and more. Feels like the list is endless but have to battle through as I am a survivor not a victim. In January of this year I had a really torrid time and decided I was going to end it all. I went into my garage and arranged a kit to do the job. Fortunately I had a moment of sanity and stopped. I then immediately made an appointment for my general practitioner and now attend a therapist for my depression and anxiety. This was due to the fact we have a lot of family memorial days Dec-Feb ,the main one being the death of my son on my 43rd birthday, so this was coming up to the tenth anniversary. He was only 20 years old and chose the wrong path in life (drugs) and alas it took him from us. His mother left me at my lowest as she claimed she could not cope with my “laziness” forgetting I was bringing up three boys on my own while she allegedly working as a barmaid. Left home at 10am only to return early hours of next day.. Knew what she was up too but put up with it for my boys. She eventually wanted a divorce and I gave up my house and had to leave my boys,Fortunately my mother took me back in and became my carer,she lives close by and I could see my boys every day but was powerless to stop what they were witnessing,drunken parties,fighting with new boyfriends et al. Two years of fighting later I was granted full custody of my boys but the damage had been done and i had lost controll of them.The two surviving sons ae both addicts as well even after i had taken the to a doctor (quack) who insisted they would grow out of it, that was over fifteen years ago,no change oldest is now 32 youngest 28. So not have i only had the A.S to cope with but all this on top of it. So please forgive me if i get cranky online now and again.I am so glad to have written this down as it has been such a release to get it out as i cannot speak to my family about it.
Feels like the list is endless but have to battle through as I am a survivor not a victim.
Scotland, United Kingdom
Scotland, United Kingdom