I was a Health Care Assistant in a Nursing Home at aged 16y and unfortunately didn’t get much in the way of training in lifting patients. I hurt my back.
I didn’t think too much of it as my Mum often had back pain. Fast forward a few years and I was an Orthopeadic nurse at St. George’s Hospital in London.
My back hurt all the time
- but isn’t that just what happens as a nurse on your feet for 12h shifts?
I had loads of training in lifting patients by then - and access to lots of equipment. But not easy access. We were often understaffed and under huge pressure. So we would just grab another nurse and lift - sometimes very heavy patients - ourselves.
The pain got worse and worse, and began to move down my right leg too. Still it didn’t occur to me that I should do something.
I understood it was Sciatic Nerve pain
but with a couple of days rest it would go away. I was busy - and young! - living for my days off and the fun I could have.
When I finally left ward based nursing for a Nurse Trainer position, I was often in considerable pain but it had become so normal that I didn’t question it. Eventually my back locked and I was stuck bent over and unable to walk. Physio helped a lot to release it. But it just kept happening.
Do Pilates, everyone said. But I was a couch potato! Always had been. I hated exercise - I’d always avoided P.E. in school as much as possible and, apart from a few brief brushes with Aerobics in my 20s, never did any! And then I got pregnant…….
Part 2 - the effect of 3 pregnancies in 5 years on my back….and the final straw.