Sunday 15th November 2020 1.43pm
This blog focuses on using exercise as a therapy for mental wellbeing, something which has been put to the test this week. For those who follow me on my social media platforms you will know where I am coming from here.
It has certainly been an eventful 8 days which has reinforced the need for me to slow down, breathe (literally try to) and embrace patience. After my accident last Saturday (where I came off my road bike), the stubbornness in me tried to carry on with as much as I could, but as I was continually beaten back physically, I had to reflect on what my body needed, rather than what I wanted for it. Whilst I kept telling myself that my rib injury was soft tissue, I had a niggling doubt, that maybe it was a break. As I lay in bed Tuesday evening, a loud crack which caused me to metaphorically hit the ceiling confirmed my suspicion. As I lay there wondering what my next move was, or how even I was going to execute this move all I was concerned about was not being able to do any sort of training for a few weeks.
Picture taken not long after fall
I tend not to keep any pain killers in the house and will only get if absolutely necessary. We know that I am impulsive and have pre cons (previous convictions 😂) for overdosing. At 0315 on Wednesday morning, I took my first 2 tablets since my epic fail. On 0850 I made the phone call the local health board for advice due to difficulty in breathing. As a result, a hospital appointment was made for later that day. As I waved Olly dog off on his holiday, I first made my way to see my therapist, which somewhat ironically and perhaps conveniently was made the week before.
After not seeing my therapist since early September, there were a few things that I needed to work over with her, in particular something which had been bothering me for some time and I was unsure on how to best deal with it. This problem was starting to become toxic to me as I felt it poison my brain and negatively impact on where I was each day. Apart from exterminating the problem (not an option), I needed to find a way to deal with it as all I wanted to do was run away from it. Sorry if this appears vague but it would not be right to mention the problem here.
It took a few words from my therapist, and a pointer in the right direction to put me on track as to what I needed to do and where I needed to be. Simple words seemed easy to turn a problem around (in theory anyway) but since Wednesday I have had the opportunity to put it into practice and so far so good. As usual, the hour seemed to fly by as we bounced from work topics to dogs, to exercise, to my dating life (that took most of the hour) and any other random stuff. I left the session with a solution. Next up was a trip to the hospital.
This was the first time stepping into a medical building since COVID and it was only by chance that I saw a few weeks ago that you could no longer just arrive at A&E without booking (of course there are circumstances where you can, and I am sure people would not be turned away). First up was a temperature check (35 degrees) and a sticker telling me this stuck on my top.
Temperature sticker 🥶
After booking in I sat in the minor injuries waiting area with at least 30 other people. With my mask on, I found a hard plastic seat to wait keeping my distance from sick people. Whilst everyone had their heads in their phones, I scanned the room and started noticing people’s temperature stickers. I had only been there 3 minutes and I was bored already. I was also officially the coolest person in the waiting room. Next up was a game of guess the injury or illness, which was really not that difficult when people either had their foot exposed and a bruised ankle, or a bandage holding their finger on. This was going to be a long afternoon. Like everyone else, I then turned my attention to my phone, read the news, checked emails, looked through social media and read an article on ‘Medial gastrocnemius tears in sports: is it about muscle, aponeurosis or tendon?’ Yep, this is how I roll.
I left the hospital approximately 3 hours later having been seen by the nurse and the Dr and treated for a broken rib. Thankfully no damage caused to lung. I was given strict instructions to deep breathe and cough, otherwise there is a risk of picking up a chest infection. I am still having difficultly in doing both. Due to having an allergy to codeine, combined with my current medication, and it being after hours in the hospital for the pharmacy, I could not be giving much more than Ibuprofen (which I bought in Tesco). Due to the amount I have to take, I was also given pills to stop stomach complaints or ulcers forming.
Whilst I am still in pain I feel that I am getting around better and feel more comfortable. Today, I managed a training session. It wasn’t much, it was 30 minutes of very light cycling on the Wattbike. My aim was to try and breathe normally, but without forcing effort. I think I managed ok. Going back to my first paragraph, I did not exercise today for any physical gain. For me it was for the mental benefits. Just putting on my PE kit and doing something is massive for me. I know it has only been a week without exercise, but for me that is a lot. I plan to give it another go tomorrow.
For now it is about taking it easy physically, allowing myself time and space to mend. Progress is progress right. No matter how small.
There are a few people who kept me entertained whilst I sat in the waiting room of doom. Special thanks to E, H, and to my personal medic J who makes sure that I take my drugs and do my breathing exercises everyday. Lastly, to Michele, who has told me a number of times today to cough and sigh (and I haven’t) 😮
Thank you xx
Wattbike day 😁