One of my favourite Authors is Mark Twain (1835 – 19(1835 – 1910):
I’ll come back to him in just a sec…
But first, here’s a not so nice little story that starts like this:
Life is defined by two things:
The same two things that define happy and healthy people.
…and the poor souls who “accept” ill-health.
(Please notice how I use the word “ACCEPT” because I believe that many people do just that…)
The only difference between these polar opposite groups of people is in how they approach these two things:
Attitude as in, the value and importance of health.
And, one way or another, everyday in life, you’ve got to make a decision.
We’ve all got ’em to make.
So which one is it today?
You can do nothing and continue down the same path.
It’s the comfortable easy path where you just shut your eyes and hope for the best.
I guess it’s how some people get through life.
And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that.
Because that’s your decision.
But do that, and you could end up like one of my “unfortunate” clients.
I’ll tell you a little bit about her:
Her name is Samantha.
She’s from Hartlepool.
At the time she first came to see me it was 2006 and she was much younger than you.
She loved to be active.
The kind of girl who’d had a great family up bringing and was encouraged by her parents to get out and go do things and see places.
(As opposed to sitting in and watching TV on the couch…)
And guess what?
She had dreams of wanting to be a physio too.
But sadly, that’s not why we first met.
See, she first noticed a back problem when she was 15 years (and 7 months old).
But she left it 16 whole months before coming in to see me or asking any questions of anyone.
Other than her parents.
(That’s aprrox’ 480 days…)
She passed it off as “growing pains”.
Her parents thought that she “was just doing a bit too much” and that if she rested for a while, the pain would go.
And guess what…”it did”.
But only for a little while, each time she did.
But every time she tried to get on with anything that she loved to do in her life, the problem came back.
Only each time it got worse.
And this went on for about 10 months.
And what started out as a stiff, mildly painful, slightly irritable lower back, developed into something else all together.
One day, suddenly she had this new “leg pain”.
And would night after night have to “wriggle around in bed” (her exact words) for hours, just to get comfy.
Now she and her parents were a little worried.
Then came “pins and needles”.
(They’re seriously worried now…)
Then not long after that she started to experience “numbness” in her right leg and just two days later that same right leg was “cold”.
Now it was past the point of concern and it was time to pick up the phone.
Her GP didn’t really want to know at first.
Because when she got there her “symptoms” (the leg pain etc…) had dropped.
Not as bad on the day.
GP assumed that she was going to be okay (because she looked fit and well…) and Samantha was given a load of prescriptions for tablets and told to see how she goes for the next six weeks.
(Another standard response…)
But she didn’t get far.
Sleep was now disturbed regularly.
Sitting for longer than 10 minutes at college was torture.
And walking for any length of time (without leaning over double), was out of the question.
Her only relief was to curl up in a ball.
And wait sometimes hours, for the pain to go.
Not a great way to live at just 17. So her Mam decided to make the call to me.
(Btw – it’s the summer of 2006 now).
So Samantha and her family came to see me and we talked and I looked.
And I had to give her the bad news that physio wouldn’t be able to help.
(Not like they hoped anyway…).
That the problem she had was way above what physio could realistically solve.
(I’d say this sort of thing happens to 1 in every 200 people that I see…)
And I remember giving her the news that the only option would be spinal surgery.
And I’ll never forget the look on her face.
She was “crushed”.
And not because of the daunting prosecute of begin 17 and needing to go through spinal surgery.
It was the more serious (…to her) prospect of missing out on a physio career and the hopes and dreams of fulfilling it, which she had.
Cruel irony that she wanted to be a physio ‘eh?…
(She’d be seeing a lot of them for the next 12 months after the surgery…)
And in just a few months she was set to start uni and study to be one.
But in her current predicament, facing the prospect of major spinal surgery, at just 17, how would she ever recover sufficiently to be able to pursue such a physical (…heavy lifting involved) kind of career with a lower back patched up by steel rods and cables?
That was her new worry.
But guess what?
She made it through.
Despite risking it and nearly loosing it by stalling over the decision (for 480 days…), it turned out well for her in the end.
I recommended a great surgeon who got the job done.
She spent lots of time with me going through the post op recovery plan
– AND BEST –
She went on to study Physiotherapy at University in Liverpool.
She graduate a few years back and is now one of the best and most popular physios anywhere in the North East.
(I’m biased of course…)
And wonna’ know where she now works?
* Right here with me each day *.
How could I not give someone with that much determination and will to succeed, a role in my practice?
And she has a BIG role too.
She’s now one of our back pain specialists.
And more than the physical pain that you’re suffering from, she really understands the psychological ones to.
She knows your fears and your concerns.
So when it comes to back pain:
And all of the emotions you’re going through and torment you’re suffering and what you’re hopes and dreams are for living without it really are…
* I’ve got someone in my team who really understands what you’re going through *.
(Way more so than me…)
And I want you to know that she’s here to talk to you, when ever you need.
– BEST –
She’ll be in on YOUR recovery too.
Samantha is the one who puts together all of the exercise plans that we give out to people with back pain to help them recover quicker.
And you’d only be given “Grade A” exercises.
Because she’d only be giving you the ones that she continues to do each day herself.
Surgeon told her she “has too”.
(It’s the price she has to pay).
Maybe if she’d have made the decision to act sooner, it wouldn’t be that way?
But she was young.
Maybe a tad naive and didn’t know what else to do back then.
Last thing to think about:
What price are you prepared to pay, for stalling?
And what would your excuse be?
You’ve already found the solution to your problem early.
Now is NOT the time to be a believer in “what ever will be will be”.
You know…”what will happen will happen”.
There’s *no need* to live that way.
It’s all down to you and the decisions you choose to make.
If you’re the type of person who really does value their health and has hopes of a future free from back pain, then why not do this now?
Balls in your court I guess:
Paul “really hoping to help you” Gough 🙂
Specialist Physio Clinics : Darlington – Durham – Guisborough – Hartlepool
Tel: 01429 866771
P.S Back to Mark Twain.
I love this quote by him:
“Twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn’t do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Samatha made her decision “just in the nick of time”.
What about you?
When are you going to make your decision?
Or will you be looking back in 20 years time wondering what might have been?
Disappointed with your self that you didn’t act sooner.
Come on Paul, “Throw off the bow lines” and click here:
Make An Equiry About Physio
Come “discover” what we can do for you.
Or Call us on 01429 866771.
… Get more back pain tips when you look here: www.paulgoughphysio.com/back-pain
You might know Paul as an expert Columnist who writes weekly health articles for TWO of the North East's biggest daily Newspapers, The Northern Echo And The Hartlepool Mail, he is a regular Speaker at Industry Seminars around the globe and a Radio Personality, often heard on the BBC. Paul has been an expert guest on dozens of Radio shows and regularly interviewed in newspapers, magazines and trade journals all over the world, including the Guardian.
Paul’s background included working extensively in the Premier League with a Top Professional Football Team, and since quitting his job in Professional Football in 2007, his Physio Practice has become the fastest growing in the UK and biggest in the North East. So successful, that companies like BUPA, ASDA, The Vela Group And Coast & Country, repeatedly retain his Physio company's services to keep healthy their own staff and workforce. Paul Gough Physio Rooms is now a large multi-physio, multi clinic speciality practice in Darlington, Durham, Guisborough and Hartlepool.
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