Doctors couldn’t find anything wrong with me. But back home, I still couldn’t walk properly.
Unable to care for Patrick or work, I begged specialists for more tests.
But they thought that my symptoms were ‘remembered pain’ from my previous brain surgery.
As months passed, I missed out on so much with the boys.
Mike’s mum moved in with us to help.
But with the hospital saying there was nothing wrong with me, everyone started to believe it and it was a very lonely time.
In March 2014, we even moved to a specially adapted home that catered for my lack of mobility.
Frustrated and distressed, I made an appointment with a new doctor.
‘You have to help me,’ I pleaded.
By now, I’d been in constant pain for three years.
When he referred me to a specialist in Chiari malformation, I thought I might finally get answers.
After an MRI scan, the specialist had shocking news.
‘I don’t know how you’re still functioning,’ he said.
He explained my brain had burst out of my skull, slumping onto my spinal cord – and it had been triggered by the pressure from the 76-hour labour!
‘If you didn’t come in when you did, it wouldn’t have been long until you became paralysed or died,’ he said.
I immediately had surgery to have a plate fitted to push my brain into place.
Within days of returning home, I started vomiting and my head felt like it was going to explode.
Then I began having seizures and was rushed back to hospital.
‘Am I going to die?’ I asked a nurse, but she couldn’t answer me.
More brain surgery followed, then six weeks of recovery, which meant more time away from my precious boys and Mike.
Finally, I was discharged, but it’s been a slow journey.
I’m still in pain and rely on a walking frame. Patrick, now five, doesn’t understand why Mummy can’t play with him.
I feel so guilty I haven’t been able to spend as much time with him or Jacob, 14, as I’d like.
Now, I just want to concentrate on my family.
As long as I have them, I’m the luckiest woman in the world. ●