Taking The Wheel

You don't need to be in physiotherapy for six years to know that a ping in your back during a yoga pose – while standing on one leg – is not a good thing.

I've been discharged from my physio (for the third time) for about six weeks now and I've already managed to be in a position again where I'm wondering if I should go running back.

The head is swirling with all sorts of 'what ifs'. What if I've done irreparable damage? What if I'm doing all the wrong things to fix said 'ping' and have totally misinterpreted my symptoms – that I've actually learned absolutely nothing in the past six years? What if I do go back and she says that I have serious problems and should probably just live in a padded room for the rest of my life where I can't fall down any more stairs or pull any muscles? (Did I mention that I fell down the stairs three weeks before our wedding?)

I'm trying to stay calm. And I'm managing it so-so.

I've already made one mistake in my 'ping' treatment. I kept going to Zumba. For those not in the know, Zumba is a dance-based exercise class, which involves a lot of fun hip shaking and jumping around. I thought maybe it was helping as I was at least moving my back and I was keeping it all pretty low impact. But then last Saturday, after two sessions of Zumba during the week, my back was pretty beat. I had to spend all day on the couch lying down watching Wimbledon and drinking lemonade (which wasn't so bad).

So I started thinking that maybe Zumba wasn't really the best idea. I pondered going in to see Super Physio, but then again, I probably already know what she would say: Do my exercises, don't hop around on it (for Chrissake!) and take some ibuprofen. I think yoga is still OK to do – although this is where I get on shaky ground. As you can see from my Zumba misstep, I tend to overestimate how much I'm capable of.

But I went to yoga on Thursday night and the heat plus all the spine movement allowed me to get to the really sore bit when I did do my physio exercises later in the evening. It was a little alarming just how sore it was, but at least it actually moved.

I think I'm going to give it one more week. I'll keep doing what I think is right and see what happens. It's a safety net after all – I don't have to go it alone – I have the resource if I need it. But I'd also really like to sort this out myself, and take the wheel, if at all humanly possible. It would be nice to be in the driving seat of this body – it's been a long road.

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