'Surgery has cured my months of agonising back pain' - chef Dylan
Celebrity chef Dylan McGrath has revealed he had to spend months lying on his back as he recuperated from painful back surgery.
The former MasterChef judge (40) spent the best part of a year recovering from an operation in the Mater Hospital to fix disintegrating discs in his back.
The problem is linked to his two decades spent working and long days standing in kitchens. McGrath first sparked concern over his health after an appearance on the Brendan O'Connor's show when he appeared to be slurring his words.
He said it was down to taking a mixture of Difene and Tramadol to deal with the intense pain.
"From the TV appearance it became apparent I couldn't do it anymore. I needed to do something," he said. "When you are that sore and someone hands you something and says that's going to make it better, no matter how strong and disciplined you are, you are going to take it."
He said the medication he was on was "serious s**t".
"These were serious painkillers and, in turn, you've got to give yourself enough time to get off that serious medication and to get on the standard paracetamol and the Nurofen," he said.
"And then you get off those to being medication free. And that is where we are now." He said he has had some "down days" over the year as he struggled to recover his health.
"My lowest moment was when the doctors still didn't know what was wrong," he said.
"When you are walking around on a stick, it is very draining. I am a creative person, but when pain is at the forefront of my mind there is no room for anything else and you are just not happy," he added.
"You try everything. You try swimming, you take a hot bath, you do physiotherapy, you go and have a massage, you try medication. You're prepared to try anything."
While he has had to start using a walking stick after spending so long out of action, McGrath told the Sunday Independent's Life Magazine that he's determined to get back to work.
The Fade Street co-owner said he can look forward to better years ahead now that he has had the operation.
He also thanked his business partner, Vincent Melinn, and his family, especially his brother Billy, for support in keeping the restaurants running while he was on medical leave.
"Without (Billy's) support, consideration, genuine love, cooperation and proper partnership, I couldn't have got through the last nine months."