Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher flown to Brisbane for surgery
MELBOURNE Cup day 2020 certainly wasn't the winner Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher hoped for as he was stuck down with severe sciatica after an old work injury flared up.
Still on a high from his election victory, Mr Butcher said he took his family to the Gladstone Melbourne Cup Day race meeting where his back pain became excruciating.
"During the election campaign I kept it hidden, but I had really severe back pain and sciatic nerve problems," he said.
"I took my family to the Melbourne Cup race day at Gladstone and during the day the pain got really, really severe and by the time I got home I could hardly walk.
"Since the Melbourne Cup day things went down hill, and I basically have spent two weeks in bed, in hospital, or flat on my back on the floor.
"I was at a stage where I had to get an MRI in Gladstone and I was in that much pain I had to lay in the back of the car and then crawl and try to walk over to where I got the MRI done.
"That was the pinnacle of it, I couldn't walk, it was embarrassing and painful."
When he woke on the morning of November 4, Mr Butcher said hospital was the only option.
"I ended up at the accident and emergency by ambulance in Gladstone and then I was flown out by the Royal Flying Doctor Service to Brisbane," he said.
"I was transferred on the Wednesday evening to Brisbane and I got an operation on the Thursday night.
"All this other stuff was going on, we'd won government, we were trying to form the ministry and trying to work out who was going where and I couldn't do a thing about it.
"I basically had to lay in bed and do nothing, so it was frustrating."
After an initial consultation with the doctor who he saw for his injury 11 years ago, Mr Butcher went under the knife of a neurosurgeon.
"I've got four bulged discs in my back from a workplace injury about 11 or 12 years ago that I've sort of put up with it and battled away with it," he said.
"But something went wrong and one of the bulged discs perforated and exploded.
"All of the stuff out of the disc crunched in to where my sciatic nerve comes out of my spinal column and that's what caused the pain.
"The day the ministry got sworn in I was getting operated on to get a discectomy in Brisbane at St Andrews hospital."
Immediately the intense pain disappeared.
"On Friday morning I stood up, straight as an arrow and it has been pain free ever since," Mr Butcher said.
"A neurosurgeon Dr Ma did the operation and he was fantastic.
"He was absolutely amazing, his care and the job he did was absolutely brilliant."
Mr Butcher said he would remain in Brisbane in case there were any complications with the operation and for the swearing in of the new parliament next week.
"My poor wife, she went through hell and back with me every step of the way," he said.
"She flew down with me and stayed with me, and for my family there was nothing they could do, they had to just sit down and go through with it, so they are all really relieved.
"The people helping out and offering to help was absolutely amazing, we are very blessed."