Sunday, 21 April 2024
Sunday, 21 April 2024

Cauda Equina Syndrome: Living a Physically Painful Version of Groundhog Day

James Martin, from Bournemouth, was just 32 years old when Cauda Equina Syndrome (CES) was introduced into his life for the first time.

James and his wife Kate had arranged to go for a walk around their local forest in Bournemouth with their friends, but when they arrived James realised his legs were aching and decided to listen to his body and stayed at home. 

The following day, James, Kate, and their children went to do their weekly supermarket shop and as their beloved toddler went running off – James went to retrieve him when … POP!

James Martin said:

“Walking out of the supermarket was a struggle but getting into the car was even harder. I felt like I had been electrocuted. I had to fold myself, hugging my knees towards my chest to stand any chance of getting home. It was then that I knew something was seriously wrong…

“That night, Kate called an ambulance as I was practically rolling around on the floor screaming in pain. They gave me gas and air, which helped to get me upstairs into the comfort of our bed. I was as high as a kite but finally in a position that I could tolerate. They told me to get in touch with my GP tomorrow morning if the pain resumed. So, when I woke in the morning and noticed I had wet the bed – it was clear things had not got better at all. 

“We went to the GP that morning and he signed me off work with sciatica – and gave me some seriously strong painkillers. They did the job for a little while and I managed to get some rest, but it was just a mask. 

“It was only when I went to an acupuncture session and asked the lady ‘Are you going to stick any in my legs?’ and she responded rather concerned ‘I already have’…she stopped the session and told me to get to A&E immediately.”

This was just the start of James’ journey with Cauda Equina Syndrome and getting a correct diagnosis, and after spinal surgery, a successful fundraiser and rehabilitation – James can now walk intermittently with crutches and on long distances must use a wheelchair. 

‘The Lost Tribe’ is the first book the Cauda Equina Champions Charity which James is a member of has launched and all proceeds of the book sales will be going to the charity to continue to raise significant awareness across the United Kingdom.

The book also contains individual stories including James’, written from the heart of medical experts, CES patients across the nation, plus the charity’s celebrity sponsor and fellow CES patient – Duncan James. 

‘The Lost Tribe’ is available on Amazon and is number one in the charity book chart – paperback RRP £6.99 and Kindle RRP £3.99.

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