This afternoon with a lot of care and a bit too much fear I managed to get back into the pool.
It was fair to say I was having kittens over the whole process, while I normally pull on my support network to help me overcome aver-city after getting the clearance from my surgeon and physio it was up to me to make it happen.
I have to be careful with my pain management as I’m riding extremely high pain levels right now and I need to ensure that it is medicated accordingly. The problem with this is all the pain killers I’m taking come with strong drowsy warnings. The main one I am having to use right now not only makes me heavily drowsy, it puts me off balance and makes me nauseous. Not great when your feeling nervous to start with and in familiar surroundings but unsure of your abilities.
So finally worked out that about after an hour of taking the medication I’m at a comfortable level where I can safely drive and leave myself enough time to get into and out of the gym and safely back home.
Now it might seem I’m paranoid, we yes I am. It’s a battle for me to get around and because of my size and the crutches and the way I walk I do stand out. I need to ensure that I’m safe and I don’t put myself in a bad situation.
Anyhow I manged to get a park right by the door and the lift is nearby. Headed up to reception to check in and pick up towels.
I’ve been swapping messages with one of the PT’s at the Gym and I had hope to catch her today on my visit but I was thinking that she had left prior to be turning up.
Turns out she spotted me just as I entered and we had a few great moments to meet and touch base. We had that little awkward moment where she looked at me, I looked at her and she ask ed “you wouldn’t be Ian by any chance?” I laughed and said “yep” When I looked at her I thought I wonder if that’s her., I thought to myself wouldn’t it be funny if we were to meet even when I’d written that chance off, we did! Something finally goes right, even something I hadn’t even planned!
Was finally great to meet someone who I’ve shared a lot with, but never had the chance to meet until now.
Back on topic, so rather than use the normal change rooms I used the disabled/ family change area. They do have a dedicated disabled change room but there are no lockers which didn’t make it practical for me to use. I preferred to use the family change area. A little hard to use as there are no seats of decent sized benches.
Got changed and slowly made my way into the wet area.
I’ve been a member of this gym for over 7 years and I know the pool area well. What I was worried about is the grip of my crutches on the floor, if they slip I’m stuffed. I learnt the hard way about slipping crutches on wet surfaces during the week when it rained. I put a lot of download pressure on my crutches and I need a solid, stable connection to the ground. Thankfully it was fine, got to the entrance of the pool, put my bag down and stored everything. Carefully limped over to the shower to rinse before entering the pool.
Now at this point I was without crutches, slowly does it.
I really didn’t get any instruction on how to use crutches, they are fairly straight forward. to use. However one thing that isn’t easy to use while on crutches is stairs.
I turned to YouTube sometime ago to help me deal with this.
The below video while dealing with arm crutches the method with elbow crutches is the same http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pYzUQb79_Rw
I’ve found YouTube to be helpful at times when searching for advise. As with everything in life particular online content check the source, the videos I’ve been using come from reputable sources.
Anyhow back to the pool.
Got onto the stairs and eased myself in, going up stairs for me is actually fairly easy, it’s going down that’s hard.
I forgot how cold the pool at the gym is OMFG it’s cold! It was good in a way, it prompted me to get moving.
Now it wasn’t until I lined up with the lane marker it hit me. I’ve not been in this pool for over three months and last time I was in a deep level of pain. The sort of gut wrenching pain, when I was last in the pool the pain was so bad, I had no idea how I was going to get out, I did however (get out!)
I was confident this time it would be different, with the words of my Physio and PT in my head “go easy” I took my time in taking my first steps in the water. It almost felt like a baby learning to walk. I could feel the buoyancy of the water which really helped reduce the load off my knee and back (something that is a real problem on land) I did a couple of laps up and down.
I started to feel more comfortable with this, so it then came time to try going backwards.
This is a lot harder and I again used the underwater lane marker to ensure I kept straight. This lasted for about 1 length of the pool as I was so worried about how I was traveling I decided that was enough.
I decided to continue, but any work was to be forwards. I did a couple more laps then I decided it was time to see if I could do sideways.
I was initially cleared to do this but when I queried my Physio she erred on the side of caution. After trying a couple or steps it was clear this was not a clever thing to try and I stopped. Continued walking down the pool forwards for a few more lengths.
It was then time to get into the Spa.
The area this is in makes using and storing crutches difficult, so without them I carefully limped over and walked in holding onto the handrail for dear life!
Spa was fantastic, so much warmer and nicer than the pool! I love the spa, I don’t have a bath at home and I so miss them. The warmth of the water the pressure from the spa jets was awesome.
While I was nervous the entire time it was so great to get back into it. Sadly the strapping on my ankle didn’t hold up too well and I’m going to have to cut some of it off and re-apply.
Only a small thing! Mind you I must learn how to stirrup strap, it’s going to serve me well.
Planning to go back to the pool again tomorrow and the current tape won’t last a second visit, so I’ll have to give that some through as I don’t think having an untapped ankle in the pool right now is a great idea.
Overall a really positive experience and I’m looking forward to doing it again.