09/12/2016 11:40 GMT | Updated 10/12/2017 05:12 GMT

Chronic Pain Christmas

I suffered with a ruptured disc a year ago which caused the most crippling back pain. It felt like I'd been cut in half and the pain even caused me to lose consciousness and pass blood. On the day the disc ruptured, an ambulance was called and I was literally screaming all the way to the hospital until they could give me medication to knock me out. It was terrifying. I'm not one to make a fuss, I've had three children and I had my third child with no pain relief so I've experienced serious pain before. But the ruptured disc was far worse than this, it was completely unbearable.

I was sent home from hospital with plenty of medication to help my body switch off from the pain, but the medication also had its difficult side effects, so it felt like I was in a no win situation. My recovery process has been long and slow but I'm nearly there now. There were days that I couldn't walk as I lost all power to my legs and would just collapse. It went on for months, in the end, after many Doctors visits I went to a pain management service, which helped me through my recovery. They gave me advice on diet, bed-rest and also helped me to improve my sleep. I did experience dark days during the recovery process as it felt like there was no end in sight, which really affected my quality of life. I was unable to move some days so it meant that little simple things like walking the children to school, standing to cook a meal and seeing friends were all impossible because of the pain. It also dramatically impacted the amount of work I could commit to.

After plenty of rest, visiting a pain management service, medical help, taking turmeric and exercise I have fully recovered and it feels great to be back to work. I'm 100% well and my yoga is keeping my back supple but I always remain mindful that it could happen again. In the meantime I'm enjoying being pain free, the experience showed me how difficult it can be to try and live with physical pain on a daily basis, and has made me feel really grateful for getting my health back and how we just can't take it for granted. It also makes me appreciate the number of people who are struggling each day in pain, but will never tell you. A lot of people feel embarrassed to talk about being in constant pain for fear that they look like they're complaining constantly. I know I felt guilty at times for not being able to do all things I would normally do, but talking through practical steps of managing the pain really does help, as does giving yourself permission to rest!

LloydsPharmacy offers a free Pain Management Service which involves a private, one-to-one consultation with a Pharmacist. They may advise on adjustments to your current medication, or to your lifestyle, that could help you manage the pain. See here for more info: