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Richard Tasker

Richard Tasker

Hello, my name is Richard Tasker. I am an Agricultural Auctioneer and Chartered Surveyor at the York Auction Centre and I was 54 years old on 9th August 2009, when I was fortunate to have Mr Krishna operate on my back and give me a new lease of life.

Prior to my back problem, I was always able to work hard and play hard. Work was high speed, long hours, on the feet and physically demanding; I have always loved playing sport, including rugby, football, cricket, hockey, squash, water and snow ski-ing and, most of all, tennis.

In 1999 I dug up a tree in the garden and, in trying to pull out the roots, I slipped a disc in my lower lumber spine and which trapped the sciatic nerve running down my left leg. Those who have experienced a trapped nerve will know the extreme and acute pain and the trip into orbit that it takes you on.

So began a very miserable 10 year period, with endless trips into orbit with the disc slipping out at ever increasing regularity as it deteriorated, and eventually the pain and discomfort was constant. The worst experience I had was driving round the York Outer Ring road one day when I must have moved awkwardly in changing gear, trapping the nerve and losing control of the car, swinging across the oncoming traffic and finishing on the opposite verge. Thankfully I did not hit anything.

The changes to my life were dramatic:-

  • Difficulty in ever getting comfortable, whether sitting, standing or sleeping.
  • Constantly tired from restless nights and wearing pain, making me miserable, bad tempered and irritable.
  • Restricted to playing limited amount of tennis and then only when I took extra pain killers and was willing to suffer the consequences afterwards.
  • Unable to enjoy a walk without extra pain killers or stopping every 200 yards to crouch and stretch the back to relieve the pressure.
  • Sitting through a performance at the theatre or cinema was subject to getting a seat on the end of the row for regular walks outside to stretch.
  • Working with animals in the livestock market and long periods on the auctioneer’s rostrum was increasingly more difficult.
  • Generally, when at work or play, concentration and performance was affected by what became an ever present nagging pain.

During that 10 years, I had physiotherapy, acupuncture, cortisone injections, MRI scans, X-rays, as well as seeing an orthopaedic surgeon and a neurologist; for ever waiting for the next result or the next appointment and getting nowhere. I resigned myself to a life of painkillers and restricted activities. It was only when seeing my GP on another matter that he suggested I try seeing a man he had heard of called Mr Krishna. That first appointment was memorable when Mr Krishna, in his wonderful laid back and matter of fact way, simply said “We can fix that, it is not a problem.”

And so he did. The degenerated disc was removed and a titanium spacer (which incidentally does set off the alarms at the airport!) put in, coupled with a fusion of the vertebrae above and below.

And so to the recovery. I do not think I can put into words the joy and excitement experienced afterwards when I found myself without pain and able to accomplish more and more each day. The speed of recovery was remarkable and my achievements have been beyond my highest expectations. Some tennis friends, who are also GPs, suggested I do as much as possible in exercise and Pilates before the operation to strengthen my core muscles, which would help recovery, and this was definitely the case.

The first week was about rest and taking it slowly, gradually building up strength. The only two problems I had was weaning myself off painkillers and getting my socks on!

Just over a week after the operation, I was back in my car and into the office. Every day brought new strengths and achievements; by week two I was back on the auctioneers rostrum again and moving quite well; by week three I was able to do a seven mile walk at Hutton-le-Hole and Lastingham, although ready for a sit down and pint at the end. I was then soon back handling livestock and other physical work, as well as running, swimming and cycling – enjoying them all and feeling ten years younger again.

The big test was then getting back onto the tennis court and playing competitive tennis again, involving the twisting, turning, lunging and impact that goes with the game. I started playing after eight weeks, gently at first, but improving all the time and it took about four months to regain full movement and flexibility in my back, particularly for the service action. But the greatest moment came for me in playing again for the David Lloyd Men’s 1st Team in Division One in the 2010 season.

My back I now look upon as bionic and able to do anything and everything I have wanted to do and without pain. It is fantastic to have a normal life back again and I would certainly have no hesitation in recommending anyone with a similar problem in seeing Mr Krishna and allowing him to operate. There could not be a better, safer or more caring set of hands to trust in.

If you would like to contact richard directly please email rtt@stephenson.co.uk

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