I’ve been off work most of this week, having only managed one day, before my back and hip decided that they were going to cause me a living merry hell and make sitting at a desk – or doing much of anything useful really – an extremely painful process.
So midway through the afternoon on Tuesday I finally gave in and left work, heading straight to the Doctors, wanting to get some help.
Another two prescriptions and a referral later, I limped my sorry self off home, and promptly made an appointment for the next day, for the referred Physiotherapist.
Now…I went to a physio after my last hip&back flare-up back in January, but was thoroughly underwhelmed by the treatment given; which equated to about 20mins of a ‘tens’ machine on my back, whilst I did some prescribed knee-to-chest stretches, whilst lying flat on my back on a hard skinny table, and he consulted with another client, in a different room.
I left there feeling less than encouraged, with instructions to do 2 certain exercises for the next couple weeks, and see how I went.
I really felt like the care-factor was hovering around zero!
BUT – just on the off-chance that he did have a clue as to what he was talking about, I spent the next four or five weeks doing said exercises.
I can’t in all honesty though, say that I noticed any discernible difference in my healing or core-strength, than I had at other times, when my back and hips had been bad, and I had just let nature take its course.
And whilst over time my pain lessened, it didn’t fully go away, and I felt within myself that something wasn’t right, and that it had left me ‘damaged’ – and then it blew up big-time this week!
This time around, I went to a different Physio.
I’d heard a few people talking about this particular business, and all of them have been glowing reports – so I bit the bullet, made the appointment, and at the allotted time on Wednesday morning, I fronted up for my appointment.
The Physiotherapist that I was allocated was named Emma…She looked about 12… 😐
Well, says I to myself – I went to a bloke who was older than me, and it was a definite disaster – so going to a girl who looked young enough to be my grandchild (not really, but you know how it can feel like that sometimes…!) couldn’t be any worse, and with a bit of luck, her knowledge base would be fresh and current, and she’d still be in the first flushes of passion in her career, and be really good.
Well, I gotta say, and very happily so – that Emma blew me out of the water!!
She was incredibly knowledgeable, in ways that none of the previous Doctors or Therapists had been about bodily mechanisms.
She listened to my history; took a full examination of not only how I walked, what ranges of movement I had – both active and passive, but also a manual physical assessment examination was carried out.
She then taught me how and why the chronic pain was an ongoing issue, showed me just what was happening inside my body each time there was a flare-up, and explained in great depth about what “we” needed to get started on, on our way to getting it under control, and possibly even remedied.
She spent time massaging those areas of muscle that had atrophied, to get them to loosen.
She showed me a different way of ‘consciously’ walking – as the flare-up in January had left me with quite a limp, along with some noted muscle damage.
She showed me a better way of lying to sleep, so as not to aggravate the condition.
And she showed me three seperate exercises to do a few times a day, each day, at home – to help strengthen the muscles, tendons and nerves that all needed help.
We parted with an agreement that we would meet up each week for the next three weeks at least, so we could see if there was suitable improvement; to add extra treatments like acupuncture (which I’m a big fan of!) , and to reassess if we needed to change up the plan at all, or if we found that xyz wasn’t quite working.
I left the Practice feeling like I finally have someone who is “on my side”, with getting this issue sorted.
I feel like I am part of a team that is working on this, and I feel like this girl gives-a-damn about me, my pain, and my recovery.
For the first time in a long time, I’m feeling optimistic about there being a time in the future, when everything that I do, isn’t in some way impinged upon or limited by either pain, or range of movement.
Yes, I’m getting older, and we all age differently – but I can’t help but feel a certain amount of envy when I see people in their 60s, 70s and 80s who appear so much more agile and able than I am.
It’s also actually quite embarrassing when one can’t do ‘stuff’ that the average person my age would be ‘expected’ to be able to do…
I’m only a few days post-visit, and I’m not about to tell you that a miracle has happened or that I’m healed and bouncing about like a 20 year old again.
I’m still having considerable pain for the first few hours of the day, but my 10 or 11, I can get about without much if any of a limp at all, and without having to hold on to the furniture or walls for support.
That alone is a huge relief.
I’m pretty sure my large dog was getting fed up of being my mobile walking stick, but unfortunately for him, and fortunately for me, his back and shoulders are just the right height for me to hold on to, to move around!
Over the last few months, he has been an amazing help to me, especially in being able to get up the front stairs of the house in town, of which there are about 20.
I can hang on to him, and he pulls me up the stairs.
I bet he wishes I were a more successful dieter!! lol
Ive been doing my prescribed exercises; though one of them I have been doing to a lesser extent, due to the pain that it induces, which according to the printouts Emma gave me: it should be uncomfortable, but not painful.
Its been interesting to monitor myself with how I walk, sit and sleep – and to correct each of those in the ways she has taught me.
Our built-in ways of doing sub-conscious things like these, can be difficult to retrain, and take quite a bit of conscious effort!
So – even though its only early days, and only time will tell how this will evolve – I am definitely feeling quietly optimistic…
I’ll be sure to let you know how its all going, after a few weeks of being in treatment!
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