So, after my Jobcentre visit i prepared to look for another job. Confident that i would get alternative employment without too much trouble and also confident that my leg pain would recede, i started to search in earnest.
I went online and subscribed to various job sites. I subscribed to the Government job site on jobseekersdirect.com. I went and bought all the local papers and started to trawl through all the situation vacant columns.
There wasn't much available, but after 14 days i had applied for five possible jobs. I only got one reply and that was for meter reading. They wanted me to start immediately and it involved a lot of walking during the working day. Unfortunately i had to turn the position down. The pain in my back and leg had got much worse and i could hardly walk at all.
I returned to the doctor who put me on much stronger pain killers and made an appointment for me to have a MIR scan and to see a back consultant at my local hospital. After a further wait with the pain now bordering on the unbearable, i had the scan and then saw the consultant a few days later.
The consultant informed me that i had a disc profusion and was in urgent need of surgery on my spine. He explained that one of my discs had degenerated and the gel interior had escaped and solidified causing the spinal canal to become narrower. This in turn was pressing on the sciatic nerve which was why i was having so much pain in my lower back, buttock, shin and foot. The consultant said that my condition was serious as it had been going on for some time and i was duly booked to have the operation less than three weeks later.
I informed the Jobcentre that i was to have this operation and that the recovery time was six to eight weeks. They immediately took me off Jobseekers allowance as i could not accept any employment if it were offered and put me on Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which meant that while i was recuperating i would not have to prove that i was actively seeking employment. Sounds good, but i needed an income to help pay the bills!
The operation has now taken place and eight weeks later it's mid January 2012. I have improved albeit slowly. I still have pain in my foot and toes with occasional pain in my shin and back. I have had physiotherapy and have just enrolled in a spinal stabilisation course which lasts for four weeks. I had my first class this morning.
The consultant says that still having pain is expected and should go in severl months. It is possible that the nerve has been irreparably damaged. It is just a waiting game now. Meanwhile i am back on Jobseekers allowance and back looking for work. I have an interview on Friday so wish me luck.
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