As a husband and a father of four I have a big responsibility to bring consistency to my family. Not only emotionally but also as far as my physical health goes.

Dealing with triplets takes a level of physical fitness, and on top of my full-time job I rarely get a chance to rest. As someone who is not academic my work has always been physical. From working on building sites in my earlier days to now working with metal I am not one to shy away from hard graft. In a way I pride myself on my work ethic.

My lunchbreak office

Over the years I have had little problems that most in my line of work suffer from. The occasional back ache and the odd pinched nerve and in my chosen proffesion there is a get up and get on with it attitude. It may seem a bit stubborn but at the end of the day work pays the bills. No work – no money. I also want my girls to grow up knowing that a man works to support his family. That he doesn’t shirk from his responsibilities.

Over the last few months I have gradually been struggling more and more with nerve pain in my face and my head. And an angry bad back and hip pain that has slowly gotten worse. It has made physically dealing with home-life and work almost intolerable. I have had to give in to taking medication for the pain and am exhausted from my daily activities. I have not been myself and have had to keep myself in check. There has been constant temptation to get lost in fear in not knowing what is wrong with me.

An MRI scan before Christmas has ruled out MS as far as we know. But it has also revealed a number of problems at the base of my spine which could mean corrective surgery to fix the damage in the coming weeks or months. Problems that have been caused by nothing more than wear and tear from the job I do. I could be facing a long spell from work which will bring its own set of problems.

It has left me concerned about what we may be facing as a family. At the moment I am struggling to walk for any length of time and am run down by the pain. Everything is hard work. Thankfully we are away at my wife’s family over the Christmas period so we have plenty of help and I get a chance to rest a bit and take stock of our situation.

It seems the challenges keep coming our way. And I am having to stay watchful of the negative emotions that are arising from my situation. Negativity that could affect my family if I allow it.

But for now we will make the most of the help we have and enjoy the time away. We are blessed to have such a big family on my wife’s side to offer us a hand. And whatever the near future may bring we’ll deal with it. Because that’s just what we have do.


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