Only about 6 weeks late, but Happy New Year!!! I have completely neglected my blogging since I have been back in the UK… but I have spent the time very productively and I am feeling ready to return to Kunming in greater mental and physical shape.
I’ll start with the physical side of things…I have managed to maintain my strict Chinese exercise regime to the best of my abilities. Obviously I do not have quite the same amount of manpower on a daily basis as I do in the hospital in Kunming, but my parents and my personal trainer Jo have been absolutely amazing. I started off by purchasing a walking frame similar to the one I use in China. However when we started using it it became apparent that it wasn’t quite sturdy enough to allow me to walk to the best of my abilities. So we decided to make our own replica of the walking frame in China.
My brother-in-law’s dad and my uncle are the ones to thank for this amazing piece of handiwork. We gave them the dimensions that we wanted, and a week later the frame was complete and ready for use. A friend of my mum’s was also kind enough to let us borrow her barn so that I would have a larger area to practise in. So twice a week we have been going to the barn and I pace up and down with my wonderful team of helpers. And I have to say that mum, dad and Jo have been very patient and extremely fast learners. They have allowed me to tell them exactly what I need each of them to do, and after a few dodgy steps it suddenly all became quite smooth and we all worked very well together 🙂
As well as my walking I have been going to my regular rehab sessions at Prime Physio and Neurokinex. I haven’t been able to go as often as I would have liked to, but the sessions have been vital in building up my strength since my surgery. It has now been 3 months since my operation and I feel like I am back to my pre-surgery level of fitness. So I can return to the walking programme ready to give it my all, and hopefully not need any more surgery this time around!
Instead of spending the majority of my time on the M25 driving to my rehab sessions, I have been working out at home for 1-2 hours everyday. I can do some of the Chinese exercises by myself and have the equipment at home to do so. It also means that I can spend more time with my beautiful dog Izzy…I really really missed her when I was away, so it’s nice to be around her lots!
Being at home more leads on to the mental side of things… I have finally, three years after my accident, started to use my brain again to start studying. One of the driving factors towards this has been a push from Ali out in China, who has reminded me that although my spine is damaged, my brain is uninjured and so I may as well put it to good use 🙂 I won’t go into the details of what I am studying, but I am really enjoying it, and I hope that it will open some doors for me in the future. It has taken time for me to improve my concentration levels, but I am getting much better at not being distracted by everything around me! Being back in Kunming will allow me to hopefully make more progress, as there are hardly any distractions there.
I am flying tomorrow morning with my mum, who will stay out in China with me for the first few weeks. I will then be by myself, but as I have mentioned before there are lots of lovely people out in Kunming that will look after me. I am so excited to get back out there and back on the walking programme. I will keep you al updated 🙂
Here is a quick little video of me, mum, dad and Jo recreating the Kunming Walking Programme in West Sussex!!