Why I Pity My Friends

I pity my friends, I really do. If you're my friend and you're reading this, I hope you don't come up with a million reasons why before I actually tell you what I am talking about.

If you're my friend and you have a backache or your knees are giving out and you start complaining to me about it, you will soon wish you hadn't. Because, if you live in London (where I live), I don't really want to hear about it until you've gone to see my physiotherapist.

This may sound harsh, but when I first had debilitating pain in my arms and neck I had no idea what do to, where to go or what was happening. I even saw a crazy pseudo medical professional who tried everything under the sun except maybe voodoo and nothing worked (see The Whole Story). My friends, on the other hand, have the advantage of knowing someone who had done all the hard work, separated the wheat from the chaff and has found a really amazing physio who can actually fix people's aches and pains and also their posture for life.

I know it's expensive (not everyone has insurance here) and I know it's time consuming. No one wants to spend 30 minutes a day (or more!) on the floor trying to tighten their stomach muscles and push them straight to the floor (no matter what your problem is, everyone seems to have to do this exercise). But seriously, it's the only body you have. Think of it as an investment. And believe me, that pain in your back or your neck is probably not going to get better on its own. It's a bitter pill to swallow, but whatever you're doing with your walking or sitting that's causing it – you're not going to just stop doing it. You're not just magically going to be given the sudden gift of a full knowledge of the physiology of the human body. If you find another solution, great. And do tell me about it (there's never only one way). But if you're asking for my advice, this will be the advice you get.

Do you see why you should pity my friends? (At least 10 of them have gone to see my physio and they are actually pretty happy campers – although they probably won't comment and I will look even crazier!)

I suppose I just wanted to get this off my chest because although I feel bad for being so preachy with my friends, I won't apologize for it. I only tell them what I tell them because I care and don't want them to end up in pain. I've been there and I wouldn't even wish it on my worst enemy.


So, if you're still reading and interested in last week's physio trip, where I went crawling back, as the pain in my lower right back isn't ceasing (see What I Can Do), here's the end of the story:

Super Physio thinks everything is probably fine. I probably pulled a muscle in yoga and then hopped around on it in Zumba, not giving it the proper rest it deserved. She pointed out that my right hip was mega tight – which was a result of the back pain and then also the cause of it not going away (see Hips Don't Lie for a full explanation of this).

However, there is a small possibility that there is some sort of damage to my spine. She thinks this because she is watching out for what is called 'reliability'. Is my back reliable? Right now, not so much. There was moving house last year when all the trouble began, but there was also the fall down the stairs pre-wedding. But for the past year my back has been getting better and then it relapses, so this is something to take into account when managing my treatment.

Damage to my spine would be rather unfortunate. She did seem quite relaxed about this possibility, but we still decided I should get a scan of my back – just to be absolutely sure. So now I am engaged in the admin of getting the appointment, referral, approval from my insurance provider. You know the rigmarole.

At least I'm still allowed to do yoga. And walk. I'll keep you posted but please keep your fingers crossed for me.

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  1. Fingers, eyes, elbows crossed! Do take care . . . I admire your patience!

  2. Thanks!! I go to see the consultant tomorrow so I will keep everyone posted. Glad you admire my patience, but I don't always show the frustration to everyone -- the Hub's day in, day out support really helps. He really deserves a medal.


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