I made my planned trip to the Commonwealth Pool (the Commie)today. It is a great set up. The main 5om pool is set up for serious swimmers being 2m in depth throughout. This is too deep for me as I can’t touch the botton to do my hydrotherapy exercises. I was relegated to the learner’s (kiddie’s) pool which is 1m deep throughout.
I crutched my way to the pool and slid in. I started doing my exercises. I became aware that I was becoming a curiosity with many people looking at me. At first I thought it was because I was a lone male in a children’s pool doing strange exercises. I soon realised it wasn’t anything to do with that. I was the only adult in the pool without any tattoos! I was out of place.
…which is something the young lady in the physio waiting room this morning was lacking. Flanked by 2 security guards and handcuffed to 1, my fellow patient this morning was looking decidedly glum. I assume this was a day out for her rather than an extreme reluctance to get physiotherapy.
I am becoming more liberated though. On Tuesday I was released from hydrotherapy. I have progressed as far as this therapy can take me. I will be carrying on some of the exercises at the Royal Commonwealth Pool but most exercises will be progressed on land. This was taken further today’s physio appointment. I am to attend special exercise classes at the clinic and to be referred to my local gym for more exercises (I am so chuffed about this!). I am also to be weaned off my crutches. I have the all clear to walk outside crutchless. I have to start with short distances (20m) and build it up. This is very liberating!!
Yesterday I really pushed the boundaries of my fitness and resilience. The day started with the standard lollop to the local shop for paper and rolls (350m). Having rested up watching the World Track Cycling Championships (well done Team GB!) it was time to head out. Hazel and I wandered to the bus stop (175m). We got off the bus in town at the Caledonian Hotel and went to Mathers Bar to meet my brother, father and sister-in-law (300m). Having taken on refreshement (a full fat coke) we went back the bus stop to go to Murrayfield (300m). Once at Murrayfield we wandered to our seats (750m plus lots of steps). There was a fantastic atmosphere for the rugby. The second half saw Edinburgh come back from behind to secure an amazing win against Toulouse. The game over, and nerves calmed, we headed off. As we were in the upper tier of the East Stand I had a lot of steps to negotiate – always harder going down. The biggest challenge was yet to come. I needed the loo. Getting through a big crowd with crutches is hard. This is even more difficult when a large proportion of the crowd has enjoyed a few ales. The soggy floor in the loos was another challenge – nice. I only got my crutches kicked twice! So, it was back to the bus stop (750m). Once back in town I got off and lolloped to the Doric Tavern where I was meeting the boys for beers and a dinner (1.5k). Aaaargh….more stairs. The arms are getting tired now with all these stairs. However, I am becoming extremely proficient at negotiating them. So much so, I allowed myself some beer and wine (only in moderation for safety reasons!). Meal over, I headed for a taxi leaving the rest of the boys to continue the night out. Exhausted, I got home safely.
Today, I am completely bushed but feeling mighty satisfied. Thanks to all for a brilliant day out.
Today saw the return of winter. Whilst I write this, there is a blizzard blowing outside. When I saw the snow lying on the path this morning I was suprised by my reaction. Whilst I was concerned how I was going to negotiate my way to the car (I had to go to hydrotherapy), I felt that old tinge of excitement inside. Given what I have been through you would think that the last thing I’d want to see is snow. No, I still have the same excitement I’ve always had. It was tricky to negotiate this morning with lots of mincing involved but inside I really relished the challenge – it was snow to be negotiated! The taxi driver on the way back asked me if that was me giving up skiing. If the body allows, the answer is now a definite “no!”. Skiing is too much a part of me. Let it snow!
I had my latest trip to the physio yesterday. (I’m certainly getting my money’s worth out of the NHS!) After all the splashing about in the hydrotherapy pool, it was good to get a measure of the progress I’ve made. Well, there is more good news. I can walk. Okay, it is only about 10 metres without the crutches but it is major progress. I also don’t have much of a limp to sort out. I’ve still got lots of hard work to do though. I still get very tired following exercise. I asked the physio about this. Apparently, all my cardiovascularfitness has gone (she didn’t say where). All that fitness as a result of those years of training for and doing half marathons and marathons has gone…I’m back to square 1 (well I did say I liked a challenge).
Another thing I need to work on is something I’ve termed ‘tight sock syndrome’. My right foot is frozen due to lack of use. All the joints and muscley bits have seized up. It feels as though I am constantly wearing a very tight sock. To get things moving the physio manipulated my foot (brave woman going near the smelly foot). This involved a lot of pulling and pushing of the joints. This was a little uncomfortable but got things moving. To keep things going I have a new exercise that I have called ‘the chimpanzee’. I have to put a towel on a tiled floor and haveto try and pick it up by curling my toes. Not easy when you have tight sock syndrome.
This ridiculously unseasonal weather is magnificent. I can’t recall it ever being this hot in March (or for this long). This has been a great assistance to my rehab. According to an article in Runners’ World, vitamin D is essential for bone development. I have a desparate need of bone development if my broken leg is to heal fully (I have big gaps where bone needs to fill in). The great news is that an essential source of vitamin D is sunshine. I have, therefore, forced myself to sit in the sun with my foot up. I will continue to do this until the weather gets back to normal (Saturday, I believe). The arduous things you have to do to recover……
It has been a busy last few days with the excellent weather. This has enabled me to get out and about. I have also begun to get quite adventurous.
On Saturday, I decided to treat Hazel to an Italian meal at the restaurant in Colinton village, Dantes. I decided that it would be good to walk down and be decadent by getting a taxi back. The walk is 1.37k (yes, I measured it) all down hill. I really find it hard walking down hill, so it was going to be a challenge. I set off a good 5 minutes ahead of Hazel as my walking pace is too slow for her. She caught me up after 600m. We then wandered the rest of the way together. The last part consists of a pathway with lots of steps. I negotiated my way happily down the steps until the last set…my foot caught the top step. I then skipped my way down the reamining 4 steps leaping athletically from foot to foot to stay upright. I got to the bottom in one piece! Hazel didn’t think it was so athletic…she described me as a ‘mincing Gene Kelly’.
Sunday saw more mincing. I managed to get across the kitchen without the use of crutches!! It was definitely mincing, though. It is not a huge distance – we have a wee kitchen. I also did my longest distance of Sunday – 2700m – and , on my return, promptly fell asleep in the back garden. I also managed to wander round Sainsbury’s. However, I am think I over did it as I am exhausted and a bit achy today. Lots of ‘feet up in the sun’ required.