Hydrotherapy week 4 started with the panic of the nursery run beforehand, and even though this actually made us earlier, arriving before 9.00am still there was no disabled bays free out the front or in either of the two closest parking areas. We found a space nobody could block my side (having previously had a car park on a pavement next to me preventing me from opening my door fully, without which I cannot get in, still it is all about educating people who park like this next to cars displaying Blue Badges, one challenge at a time though).
My session started at 9.30am so we had a bit of a wait being early. In the waiting area we were amazed that the NHS has some sort of cloning machine hidden in a TARDIS for a store cupboard. When I arrived close to 100 Walking Frames like the one below were lined up outside the cupboard and in a nearby skip type container. Two people were in the cupboard and when they left they shut the door. A few minutes later a lady entered, when she left a man also exited, but from where? My wife and I laughed at this and wondered where he came from.
A few minutes later another person emerged again without going into the store room. I could see the door and into the store room where I was sat in my wheelchair, it was like an Occupational Therapists dream store room with so many types of mobility aids I was in heaven, only questions were where did these people keep coming from, and where were all the walking frames coming from, it was like some sort of Ward amnesty and they were all being returned en masse.
This amused us whilst we waited and then went through to get ready for the Hydrotherapy session, whilst connecting the hoist chair to the electronic arm they missed the hole and started to tip the chair in, we laughed about it being the new quick entry hoist where you get tipped in and I was concerned about emptying the pool if they did that.
The 30 minutes in the pool with the Physio Daisy, does go really quickly, but also seems a very long time, I know that is so contradictory but I leave tired, knowing I’ve worked the body and use a number of spoons. I started with seated cycling, then moved on to scissor control opening and closing my legs. Horizontally this was no problem at all, vertically no chance. It sent pain through both legs right into my head so we parked that on the progression route pile and did horizontal opening.
Then we went for a little walk, up and down the edge of the pool crab style sideways. Concentrating on breathing out as I held in my pelvic floor and transverse abdominis corset muscles that wrap around the spine. Holding these for support makes the side step movement feel more controlled and less effort, however holding these muscles is painful. It took me back to doing stomach exercises every hour on the half hour of Harper’s Gym floor two decades ago – oh how life has changed.Then I worked the thoracic area with some hand float stretches and side rotations with a noodle. Whilst sat doing these I was speaking to some others in the pool about the Pain Management Centre.
A young lady (I would guess around 18) was saying her mum had a bad experience of them many years ago. I explained that I have been going off and on for nearly 15 years now and that their approach to pain, pain management and the pain management jigsaw had changed greatly in that time. I sung the praises of the 10 week programme I went on and the support of Norfolk Against Chronic Pain. I cannot sing the praises of the staff at the NHS highly enough.The pain clinic got me back on my feet so to speak when I really needed help and support. The physio team at West Norwich hospital were great and the Hydrotherapy sessions have been fantastic. Daisy is a lovely person who not only listens to what you are saying she also has keen eyes and can spot when you are either over doing it or doing it with the wrong technique both of which are equally disastrous on the spoon count.
As I was being transferred back out of the pool I continued to sing the praises of the staff, up until we banged my knee on the door as I was transferred through to the changing rooms on the door frame! It was the whack and the lump on the knee that hurt, it was the unexpected movement/stretch of my groin that sent pain whizzing through me.
The staff felt awful about it, I did tell them not to worry though, accidents happen, it was one of those things. I will however be sure to wind them up about it next week when I have my next session.