From Wheelchair to Walking

Kate Loukes is a professional actress and office worker who retired 20 years ago at the age of 61.
Many years ago she had two bad falls which she thought had affected her legs and had treatment for years on and off. “In 2015”, she said, “I fell up the stairs and soon I was going to the GP all the time.” She couldn’t stand for more than 5 minutes and had chairs placed carefully all around her home so that she had things to lean on. After a time she was on paracetamol and the highest level of morphine patches.
In 2016 she had a cortisone injection into her back and saw a neurologist, “…but nothing worked. My daughter invited me to go on holiday with her to Florence and I was in a wheelchair.
“Last year someone suggested I should go to a pain clinic. I’d never heard of such a thing. I saw an advanced practitioner, a physio and the pain consultant Tom Smith. He organised an x-ray and, for the first time, it was taken with me standing”. Mr Smith told Kate that he could see the spur which was causing all the problems and she had two injections.
“I told Mr Smith that he had given my life back to me. A few weeks ago I was at Sheffield Park all day and walked around with a friend. I kept sitting down but I could do it. I have started walking into town and am aiming to walk further. My morphine patch dose has been reduced and will go down every two months. I’m also working hard at losing weight – I want less pressure on everything.
“It was a joy coming into Sussex MSK East’s service. Everyone listened and they were helpful. Staff were polite and charming. Nothing was too much trouble – a receptionist even printed off a map for me unasked when she could see I was struggling. I was not talked down to. Staff were human and they treated me like a human.
“I’ve got my life back”, she repeated.