Our day started off with some psychology which seems to bore us all to death. We were asked to imagine that we are 80 years old and look back on our lives as they are today and think about what we would change and what advice we would give ourselves. We also thought about what we spend too much and not enough time thinking about. I spend a lot of time worrying about my health and my future as both seem so difficult to keep under some sort of control. My health at the moment has a very big impact on what the future will look like for me as my condition physically holds me back from progressing socially and independently in life. If I could go back I would not take anything for granted and would really make the most of the time I had before pain took over and grabbed my attention. If the older me was to give the present me some advice today it would be to just keep going. Things will get better although that may not seem possible right now. Keep your sense of humour because if you don’t laugh you’ll cry.
In our first session of physio, we practised some simple yoga moves such as the child’s pose, the warrior and the tree. In the second we talked about balance as this is something that people in pain often struggle with. Balance can be affected by things such as tiredness, pain, stairs and particular footwear which can leave us feeling frustrated, upset and embarrassed. I constantly find myself walking into door handles and furniture as I can lose my balance or sense of direction without warning. I regularly find bruises and have no idea where they have come from. Weight distribution, muscle reaction, our hearing, eyesight and the brain are all factors that can affect our balance. We went through a balance workshop to see what sort of things we found easy and more difficult. We also threw a tennis ball around the group to test how well we could balance and catch at the same time. I never knew something so simple could make us laugh so much. We were all in hysterics.
Occupational therapy was mainly based around goals again. We had all set ourselves a goal to achieve over the weekend and used this time to feedback to the group. I had planned to go out to see one of my favourite comedians on Sunday night with my boyfriend, however, the build-up of pain and fatigue from the busy week caught up with me and I was just in too much pain to venture out. I was a bit disappointed that I had not managed to achieve what I had set out to do and pretty much everyone else has but, I knew that I just needed to let my body rest. He also introduced a scale of 1 – 100, 100 being all of the things we want in the future and 0 being bed bound and achieving nothing. I placed myself at 25 as I was up, dressed and at the program so I had accomplished something but, right now I am nowhere near what I ultimately want to achieve.
We spent our second hour pretty much unloading a number of our queries about the program. He asked us whether we felt that the team were giving us tips or have just been telling us to set goals and get on with it which sparked a discussion that went completely off topic but was very relevant. I pointed out that I feel like the people running the program seem to misunderstand pain and place thoughts, feelings and ailments all into the same category, something I do not agree with. The poor man could barely get a word in edgeways but, to be fair he probably wouldn’t have had that much to contribute anyway.
We spent the last part of the session practising more mindfulness but, this time actually found out what it actually is. Mindfulness is about bringing your attention to the present moment and is a type of meditation. There are 2 types of mindfulness, 1 being formal which is when you take time out for that particular purpose and the other is informal which you can practice anywhere at anything.
My mum, dad and boyfriend came to visit and we went for a lovely meal which improved my mood after another long day. Am now curled up in bed, ready to get some sleep.