The rain is battering the windows as I write this… I hope May wasn’t our summer! I can’t believe June is already upon us, but despite the weather I’m feeling sunny at the moment, and also a little more optimistic about my on-going back problem. The steroid injections I had in my lower spine at the end of March sadly didn’t work as well as I hoped, but have calmed the awful pain down a bit, although it’s still there. I’m almost getting used to it now and just accepting it’s part of my life, even though some days it’s worse than others. But I’m much happier since I went back to the hospital for an appointment with a sports injury specialist to plan the way forward.
We discussed another medical procedure that can be tried but it’s a little drastic and would mean some recovery time and it’s not something I want to do at the moment – I think it would be a last resort if the pain got really bad again. In the meantime my consultant (who works with the British Paralympic Team and is fabulous!) has advised me to get as fit and strong as possible, and has given me a strategy for doing this without further damage to my back. I haven’t been able to do anywhere near as much exercise as I like doing for about six months now, so I was so thrilled to be given permission to get back into it. He has told me to build up my running and walking again very very slowly, half a mile at a time – I started with a one mile walk and even that short distance made me so happy! I’ve missed getting out along the canal near me so much, and it’s so beautiful out there at the moment. The specialist has also told me NOT to swim (apparently it’s not good for my particular back problem) but to try “pool running” (jogging in deep water with a flotation device, which is excellent exercise but won’t hurt my back) and also to try running on an anti-gravity treadmill. I hadn’t even heard of these, but I found one locally and have just had my first session.
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All of this should build up my strength and fitness again which in turn should help support my back. The only thing I’m really sad about is that my consultant has told me that he would advise against attempting to do any long distance events this year. I signed up for two before my back started to get really bad in January, and I had already pulled out of a 50km event I was due to do in May, and now have had to withdraw from a 100km I was planning to do in September too. He did say however that if I can keep my back stable, next year might be a possibility, so I’m setting my sights on that. I still have big ambitions in terms of long distance running and walking so it’s giving me something to aim for! I’m not happy if I’m not challenging myself so this is my challenge for this year – to beat this stupid back injury!
Work was fun last week – for the first time in ages I had what we call an ‘office day’, when we come in to work but don’t go on air. It’s a a great chance to catch up on admin, sort out our dressing rooms and do other stuff which tends to pile up and not get done on busy show days! Part of my office day was spent hosting a joint fundraising event for my charity Headway (the brain injury charity) and the charity Teresa, one of our directors, supports (ACLT, the African-Caribbean Leukemia Trust). It was a combination of a cake sale (delicious cakes contributed by our lovely colleagues) and a village fete – we had a ‘guess the name of the ostrich’ game, a lucky dip and a ‘guess how many sweets in the jar’ game too. All good fun and we raised a nice chunk of cash, so big thanks to all our colleagues who stopped by our stall (to be fair, we did set up right outside the QVC canteen at lunch time so they couldn’t really avoid us… sneaky, eh?).
That’s it for this week, hope it’s a good one for you.
Love Jackie x