Hydrotherapy – Heaven or hell? Part Two – Part Three – sessions/weeks two & three starting 08/02/2017
Okay, for those of you that know my story and know me well… you know and understand the distractions that I have had going on recently surrounding my PIP beneifit claim.
It is because of those distractions that I have chosen to combine weeks two and three after experiencing serious #fatigue, #anxiety, #distress, #depression and at times really #chronicpain and have actually spent a lot of time unsure of what day or time it is!? 😉 Fatigue has that effect on me, I can lose days at a time.
Sure! I started writing this at the end of week two and I had my data to input ready and everything, but, things don’t always go according to plan 😮
Our mental state is important so I knew all of the stress etc was making it difficult to focus on my hydrotherapy as much as I should have been. Having a chronic anxiety disorder is very hard to control and manage under normal cirumstances so my levels have been tested/overused. Distraction therapy works wonders for me so I’ve kept myself distracted whenever possible. Obviously, I had many days feeling worthless but I have good support
However, it is like I have said before many times, when having a treatment such as hydrotherapy, which is for rehabilitation purposes as well as, or, for therapeutic purposes, you have to take into account everything that’s going on in your life. This is because it does all have an impact on how well your treatment will pan out, be successful for instance With that in mind I have been trying to remain as calm and restful as possible whilst trying to keep our home a calm and positive environment.
Pain Management teaches us that it is in connection to our ‘Pain Pathways’, which you can read about via the blue link.
Mental Health Matters
- Lots of relaxation this last few weeks as well as my daily PMR planned sessions 🙂
- Great friends providing light humour based distractions
- Family and friends providing an ear or a shoulder
- Fantastic support from varying support groups online and from home
Hydrotherapy – Sessions Two & three
Wednesday 8th February – Session Two
I was late getting there again but got ready and was then chair-hoisted into the pool to begin treatment. The session went pretty much the same as week one but with a few more exercise variations, and me testing my range of movements against my lack of balance. Yep! that’s right even in the pool I can fall over.
We began with very gentle stretching before slowly walking the length of the pool, which is a small distance, and walking backwards which I didn’t like again, and, again, because of my balance problems I struggled. I had the side of the pool to use as an aide thankfully 😉
I found it difficult to walk with my left leg and my left foot doesn’t point forward so moving heel-to-toe is impossible even in water. It confused me many times and made me feel like I couldn’t walk, almost like there was a malfunction somewhere. Not an unfamiliar feeling and one I have experienced alongside paraesthesia on and off for a number of years.
We finished off walking heel-to-toe again forwards and backwards and I was hoisted back out of the pool. I was in the pool approx 15 minutes. I went home feeling really sore from going shopping afterwards again. My left knee was rather unstable also, you’d think after 20+years and what I experienced the week before that I’d have learned a lesson LOL
I discovered a few limitations regarding my arms and shoulders during this session as well as my back.
Just as a reminder I have posted these pics that I posted in week one starting 01/02/2017
Gentle motions – image acquired from Pinterest
Hydro exercises from Melbourne Australia
Slideshow: Graphs and charts mapping pain & fatigue levels throughout the week starting from 08/02/2017 – 14/02/2017
Wednesday 15th February – Session Three
This session really brought it home to me as to how bad a condition my body is in.
The session began with me walking into the pool because I felt strong enough to do it and I was. The warm-up stretches went ok and I managed to walk the pool, but then noticed my heel-to-toe problem again so ended up feeling really stupid saying to my hydrotherapist ‘Why can’t I walk properly?’
Of course she wasn’t sure what I meant until I explained about my foot not pointing forwards, and something she hadn’t noticed before LOL I’m not surprised with all the dilapidation that is my body Hehe 😉
I felt like a fool stumbling about trying to get my left foot to perform heel-to-toe, I even referred to myself as Bambi, it threw me off for the rest of the session.
The session followed the usual kind of exercises as previous sessions but this time using a foam bendy thing for support not the wall of the pool. I couldn’t help myself but laugh because I kept floating off unable to keep my feet on floor, on the sad side that’s how much work I have to do in order to regain some strength and power in my legs and back. I just hope that it is possible for me to regain it and keep it.
I was only in the pool approx 15 minutes but I felt I’d worked out and my back had had enough. I was hoisted out of the pool and I got changed and went home feeling really sore also, my left knee was rather unstable. Having learnt my lesson I went home and arranged to go shopping a different day. I’m having to re-arrange my weekly planner around hydrotherapy so that I’m not overdoing it before my sessions or afterwards.
Pacing! pacing! pacing! a crucial tool 🙂
Slideshow: Graphs and charts mapping pain & fatigue levels throughout the week starting from 15/02/2017 – 21/02/2017
How am I doing so far? Without performing proper scientific analysis!
I was asked by my hydrotherapist if I’d felt any improvements since beginning the hydrotherapy as this was the third session and all I could do was look blankly and reply->
‘I don’t know, I suppose I’ve toned a little but my balance and co-ordination hasn’t. The water is therapeutic’.
From the graphs and charts from the last couple of weeks I can see that some changes have occurred, but whether it is because of the hydro, or just life stresses changing I don’t know! One thing for sure is that everything is fluctuating, and they never really remain the same with exception to the weakness down my left side and my knees being particularly unstable 😦
Of course I have had years of experiences to help teach me when to back off and when to push forward but I am unsure at the moment of how things may turn out.
Current negative thoughts
- Is it worth it for me to pursue this treatment?
- Am I flogging a dead horse, is it too late to recover from the level of deconditioning I’ve actually gone through?
- I’m concerned that I may never regain my balance and co-ordination, and truly do think that I have muscle wastage in my left leg that I can’t change.
Current positive thoughts
- I can do this because I want to improve my mobility so badly, and have done for years!
- I picture myself standing, even with my sticks, and not wobbling and/or falling over!
- If I don’t try I’ll never find out if this treatment can actually help me to improve my quality of life.
- There is something massive for me to gain if this treatment works.
I’m glad that I am keeping this Hydro blog diary because it is helping me to evaluate many things, not just my state of physical affairs. I suppose it is time for me to finally accept that my left side will most likely remain weaker than my right, for whatever reason that happens to be causing it 😮
This is actually a positive manifestation of thought that has been staring me in the face for some time, but I always thought that hydro and working my way to physio would fix it. Got to take little steps but also realise one’s own realistic limitations.
It is not easy to manage multiple #chronicillnesses simultaneously alongside the treatments either!
There’s no session next week 22/02/2107 so I will know more about how much the hydro has helped me after missing a week.
So far in relation to strength and stamina all I can say is there’s a lot of work to do, and I’m not sure if I’ll succeed at increasing my levels but I’m going to try very hard! It’s difficult because at this point I was feeling very low and negative because of things going on in my life.
Now those things are hopefully, and positively, being sorted I can focus much better on my treatment. (At this point I was still waiting to get a response to my Mandatory Reconsideration for PIP mobility).
For the week starting 22/02/2017 with no session I will still record my pain, and, fatigue levels, and I will post a ‘Hydrotherapy – Heaven or Hell? Part 4 with the graphs etc.
Many thanks for taking the time to read and I hope that you can join me for Part Four.
Wishing you all wellness and less pain
Remember… be positive Xx 🙂
Please click these links to learn about hydrotherapy exercises as they explain the differing aspects to hydrotherapy treatment.