Medicinal Spa Pool Recommended by GP

I have had a very unpleasant week. My back went into spasm again last week and coupled with significant vomitting for much of the week I was quite a mess – in pain, could not eat or drink anything, couldn’t take my medication of any kind for much of the week. Let’s not do details, but the short of it is, as well as being in horrendous pain and unable to stand straight, I also struggled to <ahem> take a shit. The medication, along with pain, and not eating much had basically stopped my digestive system from working. It is all sorted now but the week and in particular the end of it was actually quite traumatic. My GP said taking a laxative was like taking a sledgehammer to fix the problem. And she was right.

Today, post traumatic stress induced me has been signed off work for a further two weeks. Again. After managing a wonderful 2 weeks at work. My GP told me to ‘forget about work’ for the time being (not for the first time) concentrate on myself. Luckily I get paid full sick pay but that is not the point, I want to and need to be working.

So, I am going to the gym, to walk the pool and keep active, and then to sit in the Jacuzzi until I am wrinkly. I told my GP this and she said this was entirely recommended that I need more than anything to relax myself and that will help with the pain. She suggested doing it daily. I wonder if I can get it on prescription?

I had a conversation with some lovely people on Mumsnet yesterday about keeping reserves so that I have something to fall back on when things get bad. I was given a link by one of those people who herself suffers from chronic debilitating back pain about the Spoon Theory. If you have not heard of it, take a look. Work is a task that cannot take one of my spoons at the moment as I don’t have that many in my hands, but the spa, right now can take that spoon.


I Balanced My Body!

I did not go to Body Balance last night. I rushed out of the house to cries of ‘but mama, I will miss you! can I come? one more cuddle, and a kiss…pleease? don’t go mama! I have not said goodbye!’ [for the millionth time]. Drove like a maniac the two minute distance to the gym (I could walk but a) that is more exercise, let’s not push it b) it is dark and c) it is going to rain) parked across two spaces like a woman possessed, sprinted (walked fast) towards the entrance to be pipped at the post by three hippy women and as I got to the check-in I was met with a ‘sorry class is full’ as the hippies casually took their shoes off and sort of elegantly tiptoed towards the class, ankle bracelets twinkling. Bitches. That was my class.

What happened next well, I have no clue. I expect it had something to do with missing that mornings meds. After returning home, I joined the family on the bed, for stories, and R put them to bed while I ‘rested’ my eyes. I passed out. Like, actually, no recollection of the next hour until R came up and complained he was all alone.  I could not speak or move, I ‘slept’ until 6:45am and woke with The Most Horrendous Headache, having also missed my meds last night. Tramadol withdrawal is Not Pleasant and I’m not looking forward when I no longer need it.  I have had the shakes all day and my legs almost gave way walking back from the school/nursery run.

I felt so rough, but there was another body balance class at 12:30. I looked terrible, hair was sweaty and yucky, clothes were crumpled, I took the kids to school looking like a fright, baseball cap and long coat on. But I was determined to get to that Class.

And with the help of 3 cups of coffee and some Guitar Hero with R before he went to work, to lift my mood, I did! I had a chat with a personal trainer about parting with £130 per month to get a proper exercise regime going (sod that I can work it out myself thanks) and 10 mins later, I was floating. Ok. I was falling. A Lot. The instructor was brilliant, gave me little shakes of the head which was my cue to stay in Down-Dog or whatever instead of contorting my body into some snake like position (see, I am using the lingo already). I could not even hold my arms out straight without them shaking, but I did it anyway.

And then. Get this. I Went For A Swim. I thought, well, I am here right? 6 lengths of the tiny pool, 15 mins collapsed in the Spa, 20 mins sat in the disabled shower purely to catch my breathe. Well, not purely, I shaved my legs.

Roll on 3pm, I was collecting Winter Boy from nursery like a new woman. My hair had been styled and dried, some BB cream and a little sparkle wake up cream, mascara, lipgloss and I was transformed. Apart from the slight limp from some pain cutting through my hip into my almost numb foot which I was desperately trying to ignore.

Rock On Friday for the next class!  And if anyone is thinking of going (denialandpanic for example) do it. It is brilliant!

Tonight I Will Mostly Be Doing Body Balance.

Stand on one leg, arms out, lean forwards, stretch both arms backwards,  lean downwards, slowly, then hold it for 30 seconds. Do Not Fall Over. That is the Aeroplane Pose. I have yet to be able to do this without falling over or looking like I am having some kind of fit. This is Body Balance.

A mixture of Thai Chi to start and finish the hour group session, with power yoga and pilates in-between, developed by some bloke called Lee Mills. Or, at least he named it and earned a lot of money from it. It strengthens the core muscles of the body, increases balance, improves posture and gives me a very flat tummy. Apparantly. It is brilliant for strengthening the weak muscles around my lumbar area. Some of the pilates exercises are used by physiotherapists to help improve posture for back injuries and chronic back pain. It is more difficult than it looks, but after the initial two sessions where I nervously look around at all the lovely hippy women with toe jewelry and long flowing unkempt natural hair gently pulled into a ponytail, bangles and an air of serenity as they stretch their long tone arms to the sun, while I wobble and grimace, trying hard not to fall over, I always get into it and it is surprising how quickly you go from being an amateur to one of the pro-s quietly giggling at a new person falling over.

It is performed to music and after a while of going tI find a sense of calmness in the group, and it is quite magical watching 20 mostly women in the big mirrored wall all moving in rhythm to the gentle music, graceful and elegant, until I catch an uncoordinated, undignified woman lurching from one side of the mat to the other. Oh, that’s me.

And actually the music is not all calm and serene waterfalls by any stretch of the imagination. I love the instructor’s choices – ‘sucks to be you’ as we work on our thigh muscles with the Ange, the supple but not stick-thin instructor, singing the chorus loudly to us as we all try not to look like it is not hard at all. And somewhere else we do some pilates to Placebo’s version of Running Up that Hill. Fabulous song, I enjoy that bit.

I am going tonight with some intrepidation though. Between January and June, I worked so hard to strengthen my  core muscles, I joined a gym, went 3-4 times a week, swimming, body balance, pilates, some gym workout (cross-trainer while listening to Plan B mostly). I became trim, fit and although I still struggled with pain, I was managing it ok with relatively low level painkillers. The family struggled for a few weeks with chicken pox descending on the house, followed by Summer Girl breaking her wrist spectacularly falling from monkey bars, and I missed the gym for 3 weeks. Before I returned, my back ‘went’ while I swept up rice crispies from the floor.

don’t know if the gym absence for 3 weeks weakened by back muscles, or if it was going to ‘go’ anyway. A little part of me thinks I wasted my time, as I could prevent it from happening, despite working hard to improve my fitness and avoid things that are risky. So, I do another 4-5 months, and then I am floored again, then what? another 4 months out of action? I have not exercised properly since June. I am going to have to start all over again. 4 months is a long time to commit to 4 times a week if it does not help.

I was going to link some Body Balance youtube videos so you can check out what is involved, in case you fancy a go. But I can’t get the ‘link’ button to work. I will come back and add some, but in the meantime, check out my links at the side of my blog for some great videos.


I didn’t get there! A Bad Day All Round. Tomorrrow. I am going to bypass the in-between and go Straight for Body Balance! I am so desperate to do some hard exercise, you know, stuff that hurts the muscles. I just feel bleurgh. Not fat, just, not using muscles, i feel saggy and unused. Winter Boy keeps saying “you spongey mummy!” prodding my chin, “you spongey”! (he also calls me ‘muvva!’ howling with laughter but that is a whole different story).

I need do a work-out so that tomorrow I hurt in a good way.

Gone Swimming.

I am going to take the plunge so to speak. I am not going swimming because I fancy a sauna. I am not going with £30 in my pocket to be tempted by an Elemis Facial. Absolutely not. Nor to use the disabled power shower where I can actually sit and shave my legs in comfort. No way. I am going swimming to help my back pain. Yep that is right. To strengthen my core muscles and get me back on the path of physical fitness again, standing straight with no more pain. Without a doubt. And therefore I have absolutely not packed my razor, or foot pumice to groom the areas that are long-overdue some loving.

Ok. I am doing all those things. But I have a good reason. There is absolutely no point going to the gym and getting changed to swim 6 lengths and get changed again just to home. I have to make full use of my membership seeing as I have just re-activated it after they kindly froze it for a few months. Seeing as I am now paying again, it has to be worth the money right?  And getting my foot in the door, that is halfway to getting fit again isn’t it? and sitting in the sauna watching those long distance swimmers keep on going, well that gives me motivation to aim towards my 1 mile swim next year.  And relaxing afterwards, reading the newspaper eating a healthy jacket potato and drinking coffee in their lovely quiet cafe, with no children or housework to think about, that is an important time to reflect on my swimming achievement and first step to recovering from my back problems.

…just going to have a quick coffee first…