Mr S Smith
by Stuart Smith
(Sheffield United Kingdom)
I was born perfectly normal(ish!) but was involved in a road traffic accident as young teen which caused major muscle and nerve damage to my left calf; But due to medical negligence the wound became massively infected damaging catastrophically the surgical repair.
The cast was left on for longer than the surgeon prescribed and the wound was not inspected or the cast windowed as is normal practice these days (this happened nearly thirty years ago) and a series of major holes were formed two large and one slightly smaller all through the muscle (Gastrocneimus & Soleus)and nerve(Median Cutaneous & Lateral Cutaneous,Tibial)tracts almost down to the bone not forgetting the peripheral skin and vessels. Miraculously the arteries where not damaged.
These wounds eventually healed with the aid of a debridement and a skin graft. The mental wounds have taken longer to heal than the physical ones.
Over many years I was active, working, playing and living a full and active life. But Slowly I developed mononeuropathy this happened over about ten years from a mild tingle and a slight loss of sensation graduating into Complex Regional Pain Syndrome with it's surrounding issues starting with the blindingly obvious constant chronic pain, loss of employment,skin damage I have a permanent pigment change over my foot and calf a dappled effect,loss and altered sensation in my foot, loss of balance due to my brain having difficulty in locating my left foot this leads to some interesting dance style moves especially in the nocturnal hours, memory loss is another symptom that most folk don't
think of.The medication grew from simple over the counter medication to the big opioids anti convulsants and out patient procedures such as Biers blocks. One could go on adnausium at the losses but it appears to be all loss but I have met some amazing people along the way from all over the world I have come across a wonderful doctor in Dr J.Jessop at the pain clinc at the hospital in Mexbrough, and I have gained a Herniated Neuroma mid calf which is always there to remind me somedays it's a good thing others not quite so good.
I know this isn't a classic proprioception issue but my balance and location finding of my lower left leg leave me swaying unable to stand for any period longer than a few seconds.
Along the way I developed chronic gastritus due to a non steroidal anti-inflamatory drug that goes by the name of meloxicam this drug ravaged my intestines for six years without protection I had a major post rectal bleed spending five days in hospital till the bleeding stopped. So guess what I stopped taking them and from know on I'm on lansoprazol for the rest of my days.
The love of my amazing wife is the central core of my dealing with my condition and to live not suffer. This woman didn't flinch when I finished work and my income ceased but this goddess didnt bat an eyelid and is still going to university to do her degree in criminology and pscychology, this woman is a force of nature.