Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Line dancing

When I first met my physio Lana about 11 months ago, she terrified me so much that there was no way I wasn’t going to do everything she told me. She wasn’t at all unkind, but something told me there would be no messing with her, so I diligently did all my exercises (not unlike what I have been doing the last few days) and slowly, slowly felt the differences. Lana pushed me quite hard with my exercises - she was half the reason I think I managed to recover as quickly as I did. (For the record, and in case she ever reads this, I was only scared for about two sessions until I got to know her a bit better, she's lovely really!)

There are two main things I remember from that first physio session. My mum’s face when she realised just how wasted my legs were – when I lay on my side I could barely lift the top one up off the bottom one. And how amazing it was to have someone touching my legs – not even I had really been anywhere near them for weeks, scared to feel the damage. Scared to do any more damage. Lana not only put her hands on my legs to move them and see how much they could move, but she encouraged me to start breaking down the barriers and touch them, moisturise them, get the circulation going by rubbing them. The next few days, as I did this, it felt incredible – such a simple thing but after so long without any contact it was magic.

Today I went back to see Lana for the first time since May last year, when I moved to Bristol to start my job. I need a few sessions of physio to get me back on track. No running yet – just some gentle swimming, cross-training and a series of leg-strengthening exercises. We ran through what she wants me to do daily for the next few weeks and it all felt fine. Until this afternoon and into this evening. I feel like I have just run a half marathon – that’s it, mission accomplished, a lot quicker than expected. I feel broken! But the most strenuous thing I did was lay on my stomach and kick my legs a bit, bending them from the knee.
At least I know that all I have to do is plug away at these exercises and things will get easier. I have done it all before this time last year, from a much weaker starting point – it can be done. At least this time I can skip the really ridiculous line-dancing-esque exercises like stepping side to side for a few metres, and then criss-crossing my feet on the way back. Even if it was highly entertaining to watch or join in with, I’m glad I don’t have to go back there!

Grace and Matt helping me with the line dancing


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