This is the start of my last week its also the last of my 5:30am starts! The drive up took an hour longer than normal this morning so I was feeling pretty rubbish by the time we finally arrive, (kinda desperate for the loo too!) My first order of business after un-pacing was to request a visit from the ward Dr. I was assured she’s pop in before lunch. I headed off to the first session (still itchy and covered in allergic rash) we had a quick group recap of the weekend, it would seem I wasn’t the only one who struggled over the weekend. Upon reflection I actually met more of my goals than I thought I had so thats good! Our next session was on anatomy and healing but since we covered everything in the last anatomy and healing session there wasn’t really much to cover. Usually the week 3’s anatomy and healing session would be shared with the new group 1’s and 2’s but since we’re the last group in there was nobody to share our session, that kinda limits the discussion elements of the talk.
The physio taking the session gave us a choice on what we talked about for the remainder of the session, we decided on a discussion about friends and family since not all of us have family coming to the group session tomorrow. The discussion was very interesting and we talked a lot about how our pain affects others, its easy to see everything from the ‘sick person’ role but actually being with someone who’s in pain and not being able to ease their suffering kinda sucks for friends and family! We also talked about the ways that friends and family can help you and how important it is for everyone to be honest and open about what can help and what can hinder. Sometimes the easy option isn’t the one with the most benefits.
After the talking was done we headed back to the ward and I got a visit from the Dr lady, she seemed a little annoyed I’d ended up on the anti-fungal tablets (the ones that caused the allergic reaction) when she’d actually wanted me to use a topical version! Anyway, its too late now. She’s prescribed me some piriton to go with my normal anti-histamines so I can have 2 of my normal ones plus up to 4 piriton a day until I shift the rash, I’d like to see my body maintain ANY histamine after that many anti-histamines! Hopefully I’ll shift the rash pretty quickly now since the itching is driving me crazy!
After lunch (chicken and chips AGAIN) I had a bit of a break before wheeling down to out patients to see my physio. I once again told the story of my weekend before we got down to some exercises, since this is my last week he’s happy to work on whatever I like, today’s session focussed on proprioception and balance! (both things I’m somewhat lacking in!) Physio got me stood on various wobbly platforms and observed me standing and attempting to bend my knees a little, he also asked me to maintain my balance while closing my eyes, I got some hints on posture and after standing on a wobble cushion, a foam roller and a squishy foam block I was all wobbled out and ready for a break! After watching me ‘balance’ for a while my physio had noticed the number of ankle subluxes and my naturally wobbly ankles so I got some calf raises to do, but balanced over an edge so I could drop my heels lower than my toes before lifting up again. Man was that hard! I decided to call an end to the session after that, I’d been getting little sharp fizzy nerve pains in my back and bum intermittently and I don’t want to over do it so early in the week!
I finished at the same time as one of the other ladies on the ward so we wheeled back together and had a chat 🙂 Once we were back on the ward there was another short break before we went into our last talk of the day. I took advantage of the break to sneak outside a look at the sunset, it was beautiful and the photos I snapped just don’t do it justice.
Our final session of the day was on PACING – everyones most frequently said word of the last few weeks!
We walked a bit about the benefits of pacing and how to go about pacing an activity. We talked about the importance of not pacing to pain, so rather than taking a break when you start feeling pain you’d be much better off taking a break before you end up in pain.
An important part of pacing it to work out your baseline, so what is the usual amount of any given activity you can do before experiencing negative effects? when you’ve worked out your baseline, you pace the activity by taking a break before you reach that point.
Say, for example, you can sit up unsupported for 3 minutes before you experience back pain, when pacing sitting activities you might like to sit for 2 minutes then relax, take a walk or stretch out. This approach prevents you from reaching the point where the activity is causing you pain or fatigue, if you sat for 5 minutes you might then need a long break before you can return to that activity. If you pace properly you might actually find you’re more productive than before! By taking frequent little breaks you can avoid big stretches of time where you can’t do anything!
After another little break I headed to the (really cold) conservatory for dinner with the other inmates. Since I’m now taking antihistamines all the time I’ll probably have an early night tonight! Hopefully I can stay awake long enough to paint my nails this evening!
Ciao for now ladies and gents