5:30pm, Friday 14th September
Six weeks have passed since I had my last hydrotherapy session at the Holy Cross Hospital.
So, for my 2pm session today, it was a surreal experience changing in the men’s, not the disabled changing room. Poor Max didn’t know were to look when I got undressed. ‘Oh god, Angus!’ he says in disbelief. To have thought he’d got used to seeing me in the nude by now was clearly a mistake. Poor Max, sacrificing an hour of his day to even take me to this session in the first place.
Instead of the hoist or wheelchair, I entered the pool area on crutches. Parked the crutches at the top of the steps and walked down into the pool. All the exercises I had found impossible last session I completed with ease. It was great to be back. The half an hour session flew by, my capabilities had expanded enormously.
At the end of the session, an immobile elderly lady with her husband lined up on the pool side hoist. It looked tough to require so much assistance. Feels surreal to know that once, not so long ago, it was me sat on the hoist, waiting to be lowered into the pool for my weekly hour of freedom.
7:15pm, Sunday 16th September
Since my bike has been fixed onto the turbo trainer, I’ve been exercising with it around twice a week. I find my arms get tired from holding the position, meaning I can only manage 15-minutes at most.
Today was a special day on the bike for I managed to break sweat. The beads of salty water lit up my rouge hands and arms as I struggled for breath. I don’t know whether it was the GBS that made the breathing hard to find a rhythm, or just my lack of fitness. But it feels good to be pushing my muscles again. Last 30 seconds! My left glute aching at its limit. I struggle to peddle in a smooth circle against the harsh resistance. Times up.
After completing a five-minute warm down, I sit upright on the bike. A droplet of sweat runs down my nose and falls to the floor, I’ve missed this feeling. Sitting there I relish the last song on the vinyl, All These Things That I’ve Done by The Killers. My lower back aches and I bring my hands round to feel it, its cold, something I associate with burning fat. Maybe I will have a beach body for Oz after all, that’ll keep Alex happy!
9pm, Sunday 16th September
It is funny how, as my confidence grows in walking, I begin to fall into old habits like looking down at my phone whilst walking or take a few steps without splints or crutches without risk assessing beforehand. It makes a nice change not having to think through every single thing I do.
As this was a short piece, here are seven photos of Winston being a pup to make up for it: