Gym Voluntary Placement

Hey folks

Shit got real this week.

I don’t know if you remember that I’m on the InstructAbility Gym Instructor course?Well I started my voluntary placement this week. The wheels are turning.

So I went over on Monday and met the Gym manager Chelsie for a little chat and have a look round. It’s quite an amazing gym. Plenty of equipment and very big. So got my uniform ready for starting my 1st shadowing shift on Wednesday.

Met some lovely F.I’s (Fitness Instructors) on the Weds & Fri called Guy, Lucy & Ronnie. Who chatted with me. Shadowed Ronnie giving a induction on the Weds & Lucy giving an induction on the Fri.

I thought that this wouldn’t be too difficult to do but I underestimated the brain power that I have used up and the stress and anxiety that I’ve put myself under.

I think part of that is because I have to create a new routine. Now there are more elements that have to be fitted in. Whereas before i had to fit gym, personal trainer, exercise class, dog walk, physio and rest into a day. Now I have to add 3 x 6hr shifts into this. At the moment as well they aren’t set in stone as to what I am doing which is very frustrating to say the least but hopefully that will all be sorted today/tomorrow.

It’s another learning curve with my thought process too. You see sometimes I see things as very black & white. “It should be done like this so why isn’t it”! Whereas life isn’t black & white. There are plenty of grey areas, and more people in the equation now. Not just myself, Debbie, PT Lee, Headway, and Physio James. My responsibility has changed. So that’s giving me plenty of headaches.

Hopefully things will settle and I’ll get routine.

Let’s see what this week brings………

Laters 💋

Muscle spasm & colds

Hey everyone,

Hope you are well.

So what have I been up to since my last post?

Well I got another bloody cold! 3rd one in 4 months. It seems this has been the lurgy household. After all this time I still can’t get used to how they knock me on my arse! How dysfunctional it makes me. This last cold wouldn’t bloody leave either! But it’s ok as I had my trusty Allens Pine & Honey Syrup. It is herbal and kicks cold & flu’s arse! I’ve had that medicine since I was younger. I rely on it more now as after the sah & stroke I’m not allowed ibuprofen & so it’s hard to find cold & flu meds so I look at herbal alternatives.

So I haven’t been to the gym since New Year’s Eve!! Thanks to the cold and to some new muscle spasms in my back.

I’ve been waking between 3 & 4am for over a week with in my back on my right side near my kidney. It been horrendous! I’ve had to go to bed with a hot water bottle so that when I’m woken with the pain I can shove the bottle there so I can get back to sleep. I thought it might be a kidney infection. I was already booked in with my Doc to talk about my lack of loosing weight so I thought I’ll see him about this too to see what he thought. He believes it’s muscle spasm as it’s higher up than my kidney and thinks it’s because of my walking. So has referred me back to my old friends at Danesbury for some physio as I can’t afford private. I’ve also got to have another bunch of blood tests to check my liver, thyroid, glucose, electrolytes and a few others to see is there is any reason for my struggle to loose weight, even though I walk the dog everyday, am normally in the gym 2-3 times a week and am at slimming world.

I woke up this morning with minute pain in my back for the first time in 6 days. I couldn’t believe it. The only thing I did differently last night was instead of having the hot water bottle on my back I had it on my feet. So maybe keeping my foot warm kept the muscles in my leg relaxed and prevented the pain. I going to try again tonight and see.

Anyway I need to get up.

Laters 💋

Update after my walk yesterday

Hi folks,

So I thought I would give you a bit of an update on my body after my little walk yesterday.

I’m still really chuffed with my achievement yesterday but I don’t think I’ll be forgetting my stick again anytime soon.

A little reminder of my walking challenges………….

I have a drop foot all thanks to the little vasospasm I had after my aneurysm was clipped. I have a inverted right foot. So when I walk my foot goes outside heal, little toe then big toe then flat.

My muscles in my hip aren’t strong so I hitch and swing. In other words instead of my right leg coming through like someone not affected by walking issues use my left hip to hitch my right to swing my foot round so that my toes don’t catch on the ground and so I don’t fall over.

I’ve tried to explain in this pic but not great . Hopefully you have a rough idea of what I mean.

Anyway back to the update on how I am today………

My right foot is sore all down the outside, my knee hurts as it was locking a lot (not good) and my left leg hurts completely from hip all the way down. Having my walking stick takes some of the strain away from my left. As I use it on my left it’s like it doubles the strength on my left leg.

Today is going to be an interesting day. Even just getting out of bed was fun. It’s like my body is sulking. My legs are like children who won’t do as they are told and aren’t going to behave and my brain is like a parent who is stuck on repeat……………and contemplating if it’s too early to start on the wine 😊

Fatigue wise I don’t feel too bad this morning but I’m not sure how much charge there is in the battery. As soon as I start getting grumpy I’m going for a nap.

I’m still pleased with my achievement yesterday but next time I attempt it I’ll will be over a small distance with walking stick there just in case.

Have a great day folks!

Laters 💋

HaPpY nEw YeAr to you all

Happy new year folks!!

Hope you all have a lovely Christmas.

To my fellow brain injury crew I hope the busyness of Christmas and New Year wasn’t too stressful and overwhelming. I hope you found your coping strategies if it was. Please feel free comment anything you found helped you. If it wasn’t an issue for you the please too tell how.

So a new year and new challenges for everyone. I’m sure there might be some of you out there thinking “no just the same old thing. Learning to walk, talk, speak, move my arm, to stand, to keep balance”, the list could go on forever. But………..

Think of it this way. Everything is a new challenge. It might not seem like it to you as you are the ones doing it day after day but it is. I know as I have those thoughts of nothings is getting better I’m just going round in circles. Take some time to reflect of what you have achieved over the last 12months either by yourself or with family and friends. I recommend with family and friends as they will tell you more about your achievements then you notice as you live it everyday. Each and every one of you have achieved. No matter how small you have still achieved something.

Here is a new challenge I had today.

Today I took my dog to the woods for a walk. Nothing different I try to most days. Only today I forgot my walking stick. How did you get to the car then I hear you say. Well it’s only a small hobble from front door to the lift and then lift to the car. I didn’t think anything of it until I was half way to the woods. I looked over and realised the walking stick wasn’t on the passenger side.

Now I was in a pickle as it was about 1hr to sunset. If I turned round and went home to get my stick and I didn’t get the dog out now then it would be too dark and being a sprocker she has lots of energy to burn. So we got to the woods and I decided that we was going to do our usual walk even though I didn’t have my stick. And we BLOODY WELL DID!! It took longer than normal, I was hitching more that I with the stick and swinging my leg out but I concentrated and focus and achieved it! I’ll pay for it a bit tomorrow in brain fatigue and my right leg not wanting to work, but I will suffer that tomorrow for the achievement I have made today.

Don’t get me wrong my little anxiety demon appeared on one shoulder telling me that I should not bother, I might fall over, how would you get up if you fall over it’s not safe and just go home. Then the courage demon turned up and said try. What’s the worst that could happen? So you might fall over and cry like a baby through the shock, so big deal. You will figure out how to get up again just like you have done every other time. For once the courage demon was a lot stronger that the anxiety demon. I done it! Like I said I will suffer tomorrow but the success today will always out weigh the pain.

If you had asked me last January what I would be in 12 months I would never have said or thought I would be about to embark on a new career in fitness!!

I am going to become a disabled gym instructor through a programme called InstructAbility. I have my physio James, my pt Lee and my exercise class instructor Fiona to thank for pushing me in that direction. With the support of them, my partner and family I have the confidence to achieve this.

Over the last few months there has been a positive change in my mental state. Something that I never thought was going to happen anytime soon. But it has and I’ve turned a corner.

Right I need to sleep. I started writing this at 9:30pm and it’s now 11pm.

Again happy new year to you all.

Laters 💋

Merry Christmas

Hello everyone

I just would like to wish each and every one of you that reads this blog a very Merry Christmas & good health & happiness in 2019.

I know I’m not great at keeping things up to date but 2019 is going to be big year with big changes and I have so much to tell you all.

Thank you again so much. It means so much to me.

Love to each one of you and your families.

Laters 💋

A bit of a catch up

Hey there folks,

I’m so sorry I’ve been so slack with my blog. Since coming back from Scotland it’s been quite a bit of a rollercoaster really. Lots of things have happened, lots of things have changed. There has also been bitter sweet moments.

So where do I start? I won’t delve too deep into things as this wouldn’t be in a very very very long blog post and I’m sure as it’s coming up to Christmas there was quite a lot of stuff that people have to do. So I’ll give you a bit of an overview.

Well there’s been some hard times for me and Debbie but bit by bit we are working through them. I think that anyone who says that after traumatic life event says that nothing has changed is in denial to themselves and don’t want to face the truth. That’s the hardest thing to face is the truth.

An old school friend of mine Shelley, who was only two days older than me sadly died of heart problems at the age of 37 years old. That hit me hard. Especially as I understand it she was in hospital and had had heart surgery to replace a valve. The operation was a success but she died the same day or the day after while still in hospital. I think it kind of also brought back to the surface the actual reality of how lucky I was that I survived all my fight. Yeah it’s been difficult to deal with. Harder than I realised until I started writing this blog. And the bittersweetness of Shirley’s untimely departure from this world was the fact that after 20 years all of us that used to hang around together at school Miriam, my best mate Sarah (rah), Emily, Linda, Alec Nick, Rebecca, Emma and myself were all there to say goodbye to Shelley. Stephen and another Sarah (smurf) couldn’t make it otherwise there would’ve been a full house. But we have all planned now to all meet up again at the beginning of February. We have rented a big house for the weekend so something to look forward to.

So I really The end of October and beginning of November was spent in Suffolk spending time with family as it was my sisters birthday so I thought for once that I should be there for her birthday although I couldn’t afford to treat her. Also caught up with friends and had a lovely night out with my best mate Sara which we haven’t done in years so that was lovely. Also said goodbye to Shelley.

The beginning of November I caught a beautiful bloody cold. And that wiped me out for nearly 3 weeks. I still haven’t adjusted to the way a cold wipes me out. Even three years down the line. I remember physio called Dave at Danesbury who explained it like this

“remember that through everything that has happened to you, your immune system is weaker and you are only running probably at about 75% of what you used to. So when you get a cold it will knock you below 50%”.

It’s true and I still cannot get used to it. And I get very frustrated.. But in the words of my aunty suck it up princess!

I haven’t been to the gym since my cold. So basically a month if not five weeks. I haven’t worked with Lee again for five weeks. I will get back into the swing of it and I will work with Lee again just got get it all in focus again.

I’m getting better with my hand therapy. Seem to have a new focus on that at the moment. As it seems my brain can’t focus on two areas at once. Which is so frustrating. I have a new cunning plan to aid my therapy. I am a massive chocolate fiend. So I have to do at least 90 repetitions of one of my many tasks for my hand before I can have A Malteser! And it works it’s a really good motivator for me which is so daft but that’s the way my brain wants to work. Because if I try and do it with no reward and just for the fact that I need to bloody well do it my brain has other ideas because obviously it’s a very big challenge for my brain. It has to try and connect the pathways between the nerves and muscles and tendons, all the way from my head to my fingertips. A very difficult to ask that takes up lots of brainpower. I’m slowly gaining more control of my brain to carry out the difficult tasks. And not allowing my left side to take Ava because it’s easier and quicker.

All my physio with Helen for the car crash is over as it’s fixed. I’m a little bit sad as she is very good and puts you at ease straight away.

Also my sessions of neurophysio with James are over too as now I need to really focus on doing the hard work and pushing my boundaries. Again I’m very sad about this too as I enjoyed my sessions with James. Sad sad times in the physio story ☹️😩😭

My final piece of news for this blog post is…

Back at the beginning of September, I think, I completed and application form on site called InstructAbility in conjunction with a charity called Aspire to get the opportunity to become a level 2 gym instructor. Well I’ve only bloody done it, didn’t I. I have been successful and I have been given a place on the course. I am amazed. Even now nearly 2 weeks down the line I still cannot believe that I have been lucky enough to get one of the places.

The induction is in a couple of weeks and then in January I start I four-week voluntary placement in a gym followed by the course and then finished off with another three month placement with that gym all voluntary. Providing that I manage pass the course, the gym I work in are happy with my work and I also encourage another 10 disabled people to use the gym then I’ll get my qualification. I can’t bloody wait. It’s going to be amazing. I have another new focus and path forward. It’s excellent.

Laters 💋