Slow and Steady

Archive for the ‘Chronic Pain’ Category

I went to the Aztec Centre today. The website says

The Aztec Centre in Croydon has the largest selection of assisted living and mobility aids in the area.


I went there to get a stick with a stool. When I’m walking I tend to stop a lot because it hurts my back. I tend to lean forward to stretch my back. I thought having a stick with a stool would be handy. When I get to the centre, there is a young lady who was very friendly and came to help me straight away.

Then it all went a bit wrong.

She showed me the 2 styles of stool sticks they stock and told me quite bluntly that they were both rubbish and a waste of money.  I appreciate her honesty, but I couldn’t help but be upset. I didn’t say anything to her because it’s not her fault, she’s just selling them.

Truthfully though, I did cuss her out on the way home in my car. I thought that if she knows a product is crap, why isn’t she reporting it and getting something done?

Then I remembered the amount of times I used to complain about products at my old workplace that were rubbish, and the powers that be never responded.

This pisses me off though. This place is The largest selection of assisted living and mobility aids in the area.

Yet they have only 2 styles, and each of them are rubbish? Fix the fuck up.

I know I can buy it online, but there are things that you do need to see. If I had bought either one of those sticks online, they would have both needed to be sent back. That is not always free. Also, lets remember a lot of the people who need these aids may be elderly and not have computer access.

On one, the actual stick on one wasn’t wide enough  have a solid base. It was more of a long umbrella width than a stick. The other seat was low, made from elastic, and hard to get up off.

I know everyone’s conditions are different but I honestly don’t know who would find those helpful. The assistant knows that they are not helpful. So do something about it.

I’m going to send this post to their customer service department. Will anything change? Who knows, but at least I know I tried.

This, coupled with the wheelchair scenario and the fact my room still hasn’t been hoovered over 10 days later has left me in a  bad state today.

Bed time for me.


Well that is what private gyms owners seem to think. I’ve been going swimming at my local pool for years, as it’s the only non stretching exercise that doesn’t hurt a lot. A few months back my friend invited me to his gym. It had a heated pool, jacuzzi and a steam room. It was bliss, and I didn’t feel as sore as I usually do the next day. I decided that while it’s like 30 times (Nope, I’m not exaggerating) more expensive, it was worth it.  I started looking around and what I found surprised and irritated the hell out of me.

The Nuffield gym that is down the road from my house has no disabled parking, and the walk to the reception is far. It would be a nightmare to use a wheelchair in the car park because it’s gravel. While the pool is on the ground floor, I couldn’t use the gym even if I wanted to because there is no lift. I didn’t sign up there because when I went for my trial day, the jacuzzi wasn’t working and when I got talking to the members, it sounded as though it was a regular occurrence.

I then tried Solutions. Again, no parking, no lift and the gym is upstairs. The pool itself was lovely and warm. The shallow bit was so shallow, I hit my head on the floor when I was swimming! The doors are also fire doors and are really really heavy. As there was no lifeguard, I had to wait for someone to come out of the changing room to get back in there. The jacuzzi had 3 steep steps. Just no.

Greens was a good experience on the whole. They have disabled parking, and a private disabled changing room, which led straight out to the pool. The water was a bit cold, but still warmer than my local pool. The only problem with this gym was the steep steps into the jacuzzi and the stairs to go into the steam room.

There are 2 Virgin Active gyms near me. I knew as soon as I parked by the first one that it was going to be a problem. It only had steps going up the door. They weren’t steep, but the fact that they were there alerted me to the fact that people with mobility problems were not catered for.

I was proved right when the oily salesperson came up and sneered at my 4 wheeled trolley. There were 3 flights of stairs to get to the changing room to get to the pool. I laughed. Hard.

Then we get to the final one, the other Virgin Active. It has disabled parking, and lift to the gym. They have something none of the others did. A hoist! I can get in and out easily. The steam room and jacuzzi are all one level. The jacuzzi does have steps, but they are the very very shallow ones. On the whole it’s a nice space and I’m going  to look forward to exercising there.


All the others should fix up though. I think it’s disgusting that in 2012 people with mobility issues are not catered for.  Swimming is the one exercise that is almost always recommended for people with chronic pain. Even if not swimming, just exercising  in warm water is good enough. For most of these journeys, I used Dial-A-Ride, and the people I met on them were very interested in whether or not we were catered for. The market is there, but it seems like very few private gyms are interested in us.  Maybe the owners only want a certain look for their club…?

Two things have happened today that have made me mad, and have to laugh or else I would just cry. 

Let me start with a back story. As my previous tenant left my flat in a state, I had to buy a new washing machine, fridge and oven. In Currys, they had a self-propelling wheelchair. It was so handy and I felt independent.

As well as that, I was going to a pool that had a long walk way, and by the time I got out of the pool, I was dragging myself to the changing room.

I thought having a wheelchair would be a perfect way to get around, so I went to see my doctor and asked for a referral. He gave me one, but being the inpatient woman I am, I decided to hire one for 2 weeks from a local place. It was called a lightweight self-propelling wheelchair. I didn’t think about the weight too much because it’s lightweight right?

Right. If you don’t have back and neck pain.

I have to rely on someone to get it in and out of my car, how is that being independent? Also after a while my neck started hurting so I ended up getting pushed. Independent? Yeah right KMT

So today I needed to go to the bank. I drove around for 45 minutes looking for a space to park. What’s so funny about that you ask? I had the wheelchair in my car! If I could take the wheelchair out of the there would be no problem. None whatsoever, but I can’t take it out so I have to drive around hoping a space because available while carrying the thing that enable me to park anywhere. What can I do but laugh?

When I finally get into the bank, they told me it would have been better for me to do it online! After I finished with my main business, I was asked if I wanted anything else and I said no. When I got back to the car, I was like DAMMIT I wanted mobile phone insurance. I have a HTC One X and I dropped it from chest length a few weeks back. The whole of the screen shattered and I was left smartphone-less while they tried to repair it. It was horrible! My sister gave me her old Blackberry to use, and sorry blackberrites, your brand is rubbish.

So I decided that I would insure it over the phone now. Guess what? I’ve spilt water all over my phone and it’s not working. I’m pissed, but laughing too. Only me.

So it’s over.

The rest of the people who were injured in the accident have been paid out. As mine is more complicated, I still have a way to go. It’s starting to move now, and I’ve got papers to sign, reports to write, reports to check and assessments to go to. There is no way I’d be able to teach and deal with this case as well. I guess leaving because I wasn’t getting paid at the college was a good thing!

I’m so jealous of them though. For them it’s over, they don’t have to do all of the above any more. I know my time will come and I will get something that will help me live my best life. I’m just tired at the moment.

Had my appointment with the rhuemy this week to get the results of the mri I had done on my SI joint. All fine. Yes I know, it’s a good thing, but bloody hell.

The reason why I say I’m not back to square 1 is because they know my blood has inflammation, they just need to find out why. Unfortunately that can’t been done for now. Why? Because apparently I have fluid on my lungs. Now the Rheumy told me about this when I saw her last month. Apparently was on an old MRI and no-one thought to say anything because that is not what they were looking for.

She send me to get an xray that day, and it came back showing it’s still there. That’s not good according to her. Not really serious, but something that she thinks needs further investigation, especially as I do feel out of breath sometimes. I told her that when I was explaining why I thought I had Ankylosing Spondilytis.  So now I’m being referred to the chest clinic, which takes up to 10 weeks.

So it seems like they are finding out everything that is wrong in every part of my body but my neck and back. Oh yes, while the mri came back clear or my joints, I had a fibroid.

What can I do but shrug and laugh?

She said once that is sorted out she’s going to think about giving me steroid injections. She also gave me a prescription for pain meds my doctor didn’t want me taking as they’ll cause weight gain. She told me to give them 10 weeks.

Have you made resolutions this year?

I’ve said that I don’t have any, mainly because resolutions, to me, are associated with things that never get done. I’ve got goals, goals that I will reach, and extend beyond the year. In a couple of positive living articles that I have read, they’ve talked about doing things one at a time, so you can give yourself and the goal the appropriate energy.

I agree as when I have tried to juggle, everything just dropped! I also think that when working lots of things, as you change your goals may change, so may not want to do something any more, but don’t want to stop because you’ve already put work into it.

Obviously there are things that need to be put into place and be worked on, like a budget and finding somewhere else to volunteer, but most of my energy will be focussed on the main goal.

This is probably no surprise, my first goal is my body.

I need to make my body as healthy as I can.

Food wise I’m going to use 3 day fruit flushes to get my weight down. The fruit flush I’m doing is devised by Jay Robb, and for the 1st day, you drink only protein shakes and in the evening you have a huge salad with a piece of protein. On days 2 and 3, you have fruit every 2 hours until the evening when you have a salad and a protein shake. I’ve done it before as one offs and it’s worked, I’ve lost about 7 pounds each time. What also usually happens is that afterwards I’d naturally add more veg to my plate.

In the book it’s suggested that you do this for 12 weeks for a weight loss program, it says that after the initial one where you can lose up to 9 pounds, you should lose about 2 pounds a week. Not much, but I think taking it slow is better anyway. I’m happy with doing it this way because I like the fact you eat a lot of fruit and veg. I don’t weigh myself, so I’m going to be using my clothes as a guide.

I’m also going to start taking turmeric as it’s an natural anti inflammatory which is good for the joints, and is also good for HS too. I can’t take normal ones any more as they affect my stomach.

I’m going to start body brushing. I have cellulite down to my knees. I’m not sure if it does work, but I have the body brush so why not try? Also, I’ve been reading articles on how not to look frumpy in flat shoes, and a few have suggested wearing a slightly shorter length skirt to give the appearance of a longer leg. I wouldn’t do that at the moment because I’m so conscious of it… Actually I did it on New Years Day, and I was uncomfortable.

Positive affirmations in the present. Things like “I am healthy and happy with my weight”. “I am happy that I fit into my old clothes”.

Try osteopathy -There’s a school not too far from my gran’s house. I’m going to get a friend to drop me as I think I may be sore after. This is going to be one of the last things I do, because I need to budget for it first.

Try to work out an exercise routine that fits in with work.

The next goal will be my phobia.

I have a phobia developed from my accident. I’ll be working on it with C.A.T. My psychiatrist recommended it to me, and I like the idea of this kind of therapy because there is a time limit on the sessions, and there’ll be a  goal. I prefer this than going somewhere every week and just talking and talking.

My next goal is work

By the time I get to this, I’ll probably have been sacked from my current job. I intend to start some volunteer work in teaching, and look for some part time work teaching after I leave the company I’m in. This is all I can say for this right now.

I am going to be setting financial goals, but they are basic. Save, save save.

The cough still hasn’t gone. It’s less painful in my back, and for that I’m very very thankful for.

The weekend was horrid. I couldn’t sleep for more than about 3 hours without waking up coughing. My mum had to help me out of the bed to get to the bathroom because I couldn’t do it alone. A friend of mine phoned me at about 6 in the morning after seeing my facebook status update, and I couldn’t even cry properly because it was so painful.

So where’s the positive bit? Well last week I decided that instead of trying to loose weight in the New Year, I wanted to get to my preferred weight before the New Year. I’ve got a dress I want to wear on New Years eve, and have it hanging on my wall as motivation.

I know I can’t exercise everyday, it hurts my back and neck, so have been contemplating different diets, and even fasting. I used to fast once a year before my accident.

I’ve been given a long term course of antibiotics as my HS (note, link may be TMI for some. You may not want to read it if you’re eating/have just eaten) has flared up again, and wanted to get some probiotics to replace the good bacteria the antibiotics will be killing.

I went to Holland and Barrett, and got talking to one of the employees about wanting to lose weight. She first suggested the most expensive thing of course, but when I refused she showed me Tonalin CLA,which I decided to buy. Here’s some information on it.

CLA is a newly recognised supplement derived from natural safflower oil. CLA or Conjugated Linolic Acid is found naturally in a variety of foods. Over the past decade, however, our changing dietary patterns have diminished those foods high in CLA content. Tonalin offers a rich source of conjugated linoleic acid from the oil of the safflower to supplement the diet naturally.

When you consume fat that your body does not need to use for energy, it is absorbed by fat cells with the help of an enzyme called lipoprotein lipase. CLA blocks this enzyme and diverts unused fat to your muscle cells. The CLA then activates another enzyme which helps your muscle to burn this fat, especially during exercise.

That’s why, when used in balance with a healthy diet and regular exercise program, Tonalin® CLA is so effective in helping you lose body fat, and keep it off.

Because it is so effective, Tonalin® CLA can also help eliminate the unhealthy “yo-yoing” pattern of losing and gaining weight. Clinical studies have proven that Tonalin® can prevent fat regain.

Since I’ve had this cough, my body doesn’t want food at all. Even tea is too much so I’ve just been drinking water. It’s like I’m fasting, and I’m loving it. It feels like my system is having a complete rest. I’ve been sleeping, reading, doing the very basic of stretches, and listening to music. When I try and have a conversation I end up in fits of coughs so I’m not answering my phone. I’m in my own little retreat. As I get better, I’m going to continue having just water, then increase my stretches. I think this is going to get me into my New Year’s eve dress!

I gave myself an angel card reading a few weeks back and turned the messages in screen savers. One in particular describes this situation perfectly.

I certainly didn’t expect to lose weight by having a cough!

Negative in positive. Loving it, and thanking God for making it possible.