10:30am, Thursday 5th July (HRR)
Yesterday my parents, girlfriend and I went to Henley Royal Regatta. For me it’s is a strange event, once my greatest obsession, now the reminiscing window into the life I once led.
I am proud to say that twice I have had the opportunity to row for my school at this majestic event. The first-time pre-qualifying in 2011, failing to qualify in 2012, pre-qualifying in 2013 and failing to put together eight oarsmen in 2014.
For my dad who is used to seeing me rowing, fit and active, pushing me up and down the river bank in my wheelchair was a bit of a shock. Although he said nothing of it, I know it was hard for him. For me, being a wheelchair bound spectator was less of a shock. Having to give up the sport due to injury in 2015 was tough at the time, but having already made that step down, it doesn’t matter much whether I watch from a wheelchair or in the stands.
7pm, Thursday 5th July
This morning I made some big strides in physio, pardon the pun. Having walked 5m without crutches last week, today I completed 50m. Walking is getting much better with these new splints and who knows, maybe in a few weeks I will be able to walk without crutches at home! With my hands free I will be able to carry things, thus completing an evolutionary step towards my independence.
4pm, Wednesday 11th July
It seems that in every physio session these last couple of weeks my walking records are tumbling. I’m on a roll and it feels great! Since breaking the initial barrier of walking without crutches, my endurance and control has vastly improved:
Friday – Able to have the physio take her hands off my hips, thus becoming unaided for a short moment. I was also able to slow my walking pace, thus showing an early element of control.
Tuesday – After an intensive physio session and with tired legs, I walked 40m, much of it with no support from the physios. This time I was able to stop at the end of the 10m mark
Today – Walked 100m, unaided, stopping and turning around at each end of the 10m mark.
At the end of today’s session, I successfully sidestepped and walked unaided into the reception, sitting down in one of the waiting chairs. I admit that as I shuffled over to the chair I caught my foot on the chair leg and nearly faceplanted into the table. Luckily though, Michelle caught me and nagged me to sit down properly. I did as I was told.
Many people have asked about my rehab structure now that I’m at home. Now I have settled into an effective rhythm I feel I should reveal what I’m up to. The sessions are as follows:
- Physio with the Hobbs Rehabilitation South East team twice to three times a week.
- Massage from the neuro-masseuse twice a week.
- 2k on the rowing machine once a week.
- An hour’s hydro-therapy once or twice a week.
- Stretching and loosening in the pool whenever its sunny.
- Alternative therapies once a month (acupuncture, homeopathy and cranial osteopathy)
I didn’t mention it earlier but today is my Grandmothers birthday. For this extra special day she is coming up for supper. After supper we are taking her to a fantastic film called ‘Edie’, for which I have helped out with the marketing. Also happening today is the world cup semi-final between England and Croatia. The game starts at 7pm and the film at 8pm. Now I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking ‘what a palaver’! But by changing supper to 6, we at able to watch the first 30 mins. The hope being we will be 5-0 up by then. Come On England!!!
England are out of the 2018 World Cup. Still, the semi-final stage far surpasses any world cup England team in my lifetime.