Sunday, 15 April 2012

Last one!!! xxx


Well, I think the fact that I stopped posting after 10 weeks speaks volumes. In a nutshell, I was too busy living my life to moan about PAO-related stuff anymore – the balance of “forefront of mind” tipped away from all that stuff as soon as I ditched the crutches for good. Which was at ten and a half weeks.

At three and a half months, I went to Brazil and got so lost in Rio every day that I would end up trudging around town for HOURS every day, too stubborn to admit a mistake and turn around, before being confronted with the inevitable cliff-face and being forced to. I was staying in a B&B at the top of a steep hill and 150 steps. So after 2 weeks of that, my hip got really strong.

Basically, seven months on, I can now walk and cycle like a normal person, hooray! But I get sick a lot, which didn’t used to happen, I think it may be because of the trauma of an operation and all the drugs. And my yogic progress has been frustrating, because whenever I think, right, that’s it, I’m better and now I can throw myself into a strong daily practice, I hurt myself, or get sick, and have to take some days off, then find the motivation to start again… this has happened a million times now. I have now scaled my practice right back to basics that don’t in any way provoke the weak muscles (the glutes are the main victims; coming out of uttanasana, prasarita padottanasana, or parsvottanasana is the main culprit).

So that’s about it, really. If I can just sort this yoga mess out and stop getting ill it’ll be worth it. I’m going to make a mega effort with my diet now too, and start seeing the physio again.

Now that I’m back in London, I am resurrecting my yoga teaching career. I have found some amazing spaces to teach in and am launching new classes there from this week, it’s all very exciting. In fact I have just finished my new website. Please have a look and tell me what you think! It’s If you would like to keep up to date with my progress on healing, please look me up under Niramaya Yoga on facebook or twitter. Maybe see in you in class one day – that would be amazing!!

With love,

ps. as requested, here is a picture of my scar as is. or as virtually isn't. and my belly (not requested).

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

10 semanas - patience & mockery


hmm, 10 weeks today, I believe.

I am in Barcelona, staying with Nuria and her husband Wagner (yes, costa ricans have the most eccentric names, although usually they are old fashioned english names like walter, edgar, jeffry. I am not kidding you.) I am having a lovely, super chilled, time, pottering about writing my novel in various cafes, drinking way too much coffee and trying not to look at the pastries. and hanging out in her cute flat with them and their dog, and doing lots of family stuff that usually revolves around paellas and tortillas.

When I left Portugal I had decided that in Barcelona I would really get on the case and start a yoga routine and do more of my physio exercises. but it quickly dawned on me that (a) I had not really improved in the two weeks since Marcus Bankes gave me the go ahead to walk, and (b) that all exercises left me in pain and made it worse to walk for the rest of the day.

So for the week 9 mark I decided on a new strategy. No yoga, and only select physio exercises - clam, knee bends and then mini lifts lying on tummy, and sometimes bridge, and only just before sleeping, so that the muscles could relax and heal and settle overnight. and a day of complete rest each week - a sunday actually, so just as god intended.

It's going well! I have started to venture out of the house without the accursed crutches, further each day. even went for a walk along the beachfront over near girona on saturday. god I hate those crutches now. They make me feel like I am in a really lame horror film, where you can hear the murderess approaching, slowly, chillingly, by the sound of clicking crutches. Perhaps she is coming for revenge after a terrible accident smashed her legs, leaving her disfigured forever. I digress.

Everyone else has noticed this too though. One permutation of the conversation:  
"Ha ha, you can't really creep up on anyone on those can you?"
me: "Hmm, no, not really ha ha (fake laugh)."
"ha ha, she's not creeping, she's crippling! AHAHAHAHA!!!"

that actually made me laugh a lot, so I forgive you, andreea.

anyway, it does all really seem to continue to be about patience. The more I do, the worse it goes. But when will this cease to be the case? my legs used to be so lovely, now they are all wobbly. I know I could  change that in like a week with some yoga and a bicycle, but I can't!!! ag.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

7 weeks - okay

so I have been doing my physio exercises every morning, increasing the reps and sets gradually:
clams, side leg raises, knee fall-outs, bridges, toe taps.
I am also meant to do standing toe taps but save my standing stamina for walking.

every couple of days I pull that muscle in my arse by doing something dumb. however, I am learning, and I haven't done it for 2 days now.

today walking is definitely less painful. part of the ordeal of walking is definitely psychological. I tense up so much with dread of pain that I feel sick, and so when I sit down after, I always burp. a strange and possibly previously undocumented side-effect of a PAO.

I have been doing a little bit of unaided walking each day, and some using the crutches as walking sticks, and some lazy old crutch walking.

now I am going to try a bit of static bike. wish me luck.

Thursday, 27 October 2011


now for a great chorus of "I told you so"s. 

yes, that's right, I overdid it. yeah, yeah. 

whatever. I pulled a glute muscle yesterday afternoon, it was excruciating for a while, but now it's a lot better, I can walk again, I went to physio this morning and can do all straight leg raises, bridges, weight transferring etc etc. excellent!

I'm not even going to say how I pulled the muscle because it's so stupid. I'll just whisper it shoulder stand and move on. but, the rest of my yoga session went really well. and I think I needed to feel for myself why  I can't do certain things that were so simple before, because I just couldn't imagine not being able to. now I get it! 

I am exhausted though by all these new things. so I am in a reclining chair, with a duvet, a slice of choc cake made by kitty, and some calvin and hobbes cartoons I found. for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

6 weeks - I can limp

went to see marcus banks today for my 6 week post op appointment.

He literally said everything I wanted him to say. The bones are healing really well, the pins are still in place, and I can fully weight bear on my leg, so I can start to learn walking and yoga again.

and yet I feel peculiarly upset. this is because of the fact that I can't walk properly and it is very uncomfortable to try and do so.

still, I am starting to cheer up a little bit, because:
I can carry a cup of coffee across the room
I am tentatively convinced that I'll be fine within like a week
I am going to try a little yoga later when the house is empty.

In fact I am teaching a private class this evening. My first since the op.

anyway, I have to go and pack all my crap up because I'm leaving the country on friday and my mum wants her dining room back.

postscript: actually, it's bloody marvellous to be able to carry things from a to b. it was like being a little dog or something - I could only carry things in my mouth, or in a rucksack.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

4 Weeks


today I had my first solo outing, sort of. my mum dropped me off next to the park and I crutched in to the serpentine cafe to write. I had lobster and chips for lunch, yum, and then I went to oxford street in a taxi to buy my goddaughter a present and then I came home in another taxi. ta-da!!

had hydro again yesterday but it was a waste of time, it's a different person every time, and this one said, "show me the ones you've been doing and we'll progress it next time" so I might as well have just gone to the pool on my own. which I am doing tomorrow.

did I mention I am going to stay with nuria in barcelona for 5 weeks in november (hooray)? the physio at the hospital said one of their colleagues just moved there and gave me her number, so handy.

progress report:
feeling increasingly normal and nimble. will be so glad to be allowed to start walking on the leg and really start working towards getting back in shape. appointment with marcus bankes in 2 weeks tomorrow. so it's all just a big waiting game and trying to keep myself amused in this dank basement until then. to this end, I have started wathing the danish series "the killing".

have been suffering some nasty inner groin pain. I think it's from pressing the femur into the hip socket on the inside, eg I keep crossing my legs, which feels perfectly natural when I'm doing it but hurts afterwards I think. I hope it goes away.

the glute pain by the way was resolved by a physiotherapist in france who did a really effective massage.

all told I must conclude so far that:
it's really not that bad if you're psychologically prepared to be ultra patient. the nadir so far was definitely immediately beforehand, especially the last minutes. I don't think I ever described that awful scene, god I was such a wimp. they led me down to the operation basement, and made me take my glasses off, so I was like a snuffling scared blind mole. the anaesthetist was not very nice at all I'm afraid. he made bad jokes and was not at all reassuring. for instance, as I perched on their bed thing, and he was busying himself with the spinal anaesthetic, a nice man next to me was consoling me as I cried and said I was scared, and he said that macus bankes was great and so was the anaesthetist, to which the anaesthetist replied "now he's lying, ha ha" and if I hadn't had a needle going into my spine I would have turned around and given him a very angry scowl indeed. and then when I woke up, he made fun of me! he said, "ha ha, have you stopped crying now?" what a meanie!!

anyway, that was the worst bit. and you have all those heroin-ish drigs to see you through anything else unpalatable for as long as you like. they hand those things out like sweets. I'm going to sell my left overs to my pill popping friends.

oh suzie's at the door better go!! that's enough musings on pre surgery terror for now.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Day 20 - The most well-earned snack in the world

so nuria left yesterday evening, which left me feeling a little low for a bit. what with kitty and then her, I had gotten quite used to having a lovely friend around at all times. sigh!

also, nuria knows my stupid ways so well it eliminates the element of embarassment. with other people it becomes... "*clears throat* um, please could I have a glass of juice? yes, the tropicana multivitamin one. thanks... oh erm, could you, just bung a bit of ice in it please - 3 cubes, yes 3... ah thanks - would you mind just passing me a straw as well? er, no, a blue one please... lovely. oh, no not these biscuits - are there none of the casino own brand dark chocolate "mention bien" ones? have they been in the fridge?" etc etc. nuria just knows!

so today my parents went out. the idea was for the guy who does lots of work for them to stop by and ask me if I needed anything from time to time. there was no way I was going to start getting him to bring me drinks with straws by the pool, so I told him I could manage. and manage I did. I wish I had a photo. I crutched to the pool, from the kitchen, through a door, down some stairs and up some others, with a packet of biscuits and a carton of juice clamped under one arm, my notebooks and laptop under the other, gripping a plastic cup with ice cubes, a straw, and a pen in it with my teeth, and a towel draped around my neck.

so I've been doing my hydro exercises every day. I have even been doing 3 1/2 limbed swimming, which is exhausting. so far my right thigh remains the same size as the left, I just hope it can last another 3 weeks. all the pool exercises are going well, although walking in the water is still sore, though perhaps less. scissoring the legs face down used to be extremely painful but not so much now. but at the end of my sesh today I sat on a step in the water and did paschimottanasana and it prompted, upon rising, these ghastly flash pains in my inner groin. then a bit later I noticed a red/purple/black bruise on my top inner thigh. what is that all about?? I am hoping that my non-medically based imagining of ripped flesh and internal bleeding are inaccurate.

I do not do my adduction and abduction exercises on land because they hurt like hell.

took my bandage off so now the scar is exposed. it certainly has a way to go in terms of looking attractive. oh and I've never mentioned the whole thigh numbness issue. you see, the surgeon can't avoid twanging some nerve that feeds the whole thigh area, I forget which - sciatic, femoral, somesuch - and you wake up with a numb thigh. I accept this as the least of my worries. it is gradually improving though.