Strictly's Natalie Gumede confirms injury agony and reveals she STILL doesn't know if she'll dance on Saturday - EXCLUSIVE BLOG

Corrie star Natalie Gumede is blogging exclusively for Yahoo as she tries her luck at Strictly Come Dancing this year with partner Artem Chigvintsev. She topped the leaderboard (again) with her rumba on Saturday night but was struck down on Tuesday with an agonising back injury and fears she may not be able to keep dancing...

By this point in the Strictly process, I'm learning to expect the unexpected. No surprise shocks me.

Saturday's rumba was fraught with mistakes, getting heels caught in my dress, and erm....shall we say 'improvised hairography' which was disorientating.

None of which happened in the dress run or any other rehearsal, but Artem supported me though all my faults, and because of the emotion of the dance we were lucky enough to get a great response.

By the end of the evening when we made it through the eliminations we were both feeling quite choked after what had been a long and tiring week, and I am really starting to realise just how much I love this process and how I want to soak up every moment and learn everything I can from the very BEST in the business.
 
This week we are dancing the quickstep, and upon hearing the music we were dancing to - a reworking of Usher's 'Yeah' - I was immediately excited. Artem's choreography is incredible, and we were having such great fun interacting through the dance that we knew were going to have the time of our lives on the Strictly stage.
 
Tuesday's rehearsal however, brought a nasty halt to the good time we were having. Part way through the quickstep I started to feel faint, and upon repeating the dance I started to notice my back seizing up to the point where I was unable to lift my leg. The next time I tried, an agonising pain shot from my bottom down my leg, and my lower back started throbbing.
 
What was particularly terrifying was that the pain was all too familiar, as I had had a back injury 10 years ago that has given me problems on and off ever since.

I was just so lucky to be with Artem at the time who kicked straight into action, as well the lovely people at Strictly. My life for the last 48 hours has been The Only Way Is Harley Street, and what a scary 48 hours it's been.

I've been through three GP appointments, two back specialists, an MRI scan and now an epidural/steroid injection - and I STILL don't know if I can dance on Saturday night.

The original fear was a slipped disc which has now been eliminated, but there is still some bulging of the disc and wearing of the facet joint which is causing nerve pain through the legs. Under normal circumstances, rest would be the order of the day - under these circumstances, I need to get physical in less than 24 hours to stand a chance of making the live show.

I am now waiting to have the steroid injection, a few hours after which my verdict will be delivered; but for now the jury is still out.