Monday, 30 November 2015

Coping With A Slip-Disc


Hands up those who have never really gone through a muscular issue and always wondered what all the fuss was about when someone complained of back issues. Im guilty as charged I was one of those people. I was the avid gym goer, always at new and innovative classes, the first to try a new class out!, sticking to my regime of spinning, body pump, burpees and general body torture to remain the ideal weight. I took Yoga classes at every given opportunity, whether that was Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga or Hot Yoga I was there bending my body into all different postures so that I too could benefits the optimal health all the Yogic gurus swear by! BUT then as life would have it or destiny would want one fine day I woke to excruciating lower back pain I didn't get any pre-warning signs and before I knew it I was knocking at the doctors door and asking for help, to be told 'Ms Chopra you have a slip Disc'! what me how can that possibly be I run jump do yoga postures and generally  keep my body agile, but it did happen heres my story .

The ever optimist that I am, and lover of life, assumed that a few painkillers some bed rest little physio and I would be good to go in terms of going back to my running jumping and chasing my tail workouts ! Didn't quite happen that way, I think I forgot to mention that Life has never quite worked out for me like that and I have had to work a little harder to get over adversities , I'm not complaining its made me the person I am today. Bit of a soldier I guess.

Going back to this back pain, initially it was really hard finding the right physio, back specialist and getting the right long term treatment to prevent this type of episode happening again. Its literally like re-educating yourself about your body and the mechanism, and what the right posture is to do everyday activities. A little science on this the spine consists of 24 vertebra and when one bulges out or gets worn out the gel like consistency between the vertebras  leaks out presses a nerve and causes pain.

Now the effects of me having inflammation episodes have been few and far between but have happened nevertheless, and the results of this have been paramount, the girl who was travelling being adventurous and generally athletic was now bed ridden doubled over in pain and just trying to find a comfortable position to be able to sit or lie. Getting dressed was hard, reaching down to put socks on or picking things that have fallen. Lets not forget the social aspect, having the confidence of leaving your home to step out was an ordeal, just in case the back plays up and needs rest! so life became local things only. 

2014 consisted of pre-booked holidays that didn't happen, numerous trips to the physio endless classes of Pilates and many a weekends spent lying on a bed watching box sets hence why I have become the queen of box sets. Keeping the faith meditation and remaining calm in this situation helped and also knowing things are temporary and theres always a solution to anything you just got to be open to things. But I do have to say I am extremely humbled by people who are born with muscular degenerative problems, and how they overcome obstacles to go onto achieve such wonderful things. I have volunteered with people with physical disabilities and they never ceased to amaze me. As physically  healthy individuals we must never take for granted the everyday activities we find so easy to do. I have this as a temporary situation, that much I know but the impact its had on my life physically and emotionally has been immense, hence why I think its made me philosophical and made me think about those who are challenged of a physical or mental kind can get sidelined and forgotten. I am humbled truly by your tenacity in life.

When you have so much time to reflect and are on forced rest, you can either go into the victim mode or then slump into a dark place. I chose not to do that. My moto in life has always been if I help myself in life the universe will aspire to create things that benefit me. Its upto you what energy you put out there! I love to live with curiosity and passion , I don't get deterred by challenges as mentioned before it shapes us and sets us aside from the 'feel sorry for me ' kind of people to the 'I get things done' people. If the higher power, god , universe , your instinct, your gut feeling whatever you call it aligns with life and says, I want to be better, I want to be at optimal energy and health and you put the steps in to do that Life listens and things cultivate for you.

As for my current treatment. I am currently writing this propped on a pillow in my bed, typing away. See even now I'm utilising my time productively so I don't wallow. I have had the spine injection to take the pain away and break the cycle of inflammation. It will take time to kick in but hopefully this will help in my recovery when doing physio. I have to say my family have been of great help you can never really get through thing like this without their support. Endless card games, chats and TV oh boy it can be mundane!

I would say in terms of recovery the most important thing is to keep mobile, walking gently for 20-30 minutes a a day is good enough initially and when your body says and it will then start working on the core. Now Pilates can help some , and for most these kind of core exercises are really important they will help you keep your spine supported to prevent further injury but please do your research you must listen to your body don't over do things I have made many mistakes with core exercises and ended up in bed again in pain. One small exercise that works without any damage is the breathing in and keeping the belly button pushed to the back of your spine in other words sucked in with out flaring the ribs and still breathing. This supports the spine no end and if you do this and place your hand at the back of your lower back you will feel it move. Do this a few times in a day also the other one is the lying on your back and alternative each leg raise it at a 90 degree angle keeping the core in on movement this builds strength and your back is completely supported. Lastly swimming the best form of exercise that certainly makes me feel free make sure its the front and back crawl as this keeps the back flat and straight keep your core in and swim slowly . Its fabulous rehab for your whole body and to be honest its a feeling of freedom once in the pool . This can be built up to be a cardio workout too eventually.

The hospital that I attended was the St John and Elizabeth Spine Unit in St Johns Wood London, my specialist was Dr Mo Akmal.

My journey of recovery has just begun. Seen as my blog is a little like my diary and also a platform to share things, I thought it would only be apt to tell you my journey just in case I help someone who may be feeling lost as I was . This little nugget of information may help you but do know Im in no way a professional so do seek the right advice necessary , this is just my take on things that have happened.

So if theres any questions or thoughts you would like to share on this please do.

Otherwise See you next week.

Unscripted & Unapologetic