Hey guys! If you haven’t read Part 1 of my hydrotherapy journey, that would be a good place to start so that this post makes more sense. Go on, have a read… I’ll wait! 🙂
I’m back with part 2 a little quicker than I expected. After my ‘dry assessment’, the physio told me I would see him again in 3 weeks time to see how I was getting on with the exercises he gave me. He told me to expect to wait around 6 weeks for my first actual in-water hydrotherapy session (due to a waiting list). Well I got a call a couple of days ago, saying they had managed to get the waiting list down a little bit. Instead of having the second dry assessment, I will be going to hydrotherapy on 1 March (2016).
Hydrotherapy Booking Format
The reason I’m actually writing this update is that one aspect came as a surprise to me. I was told that I would receive a block of 6 water sessions, one each week for 6 weeks! This came as a bit of a shock, as I thought they would be a bit more spread out. I had envisaged having a couple of weeks to recover between each one. I imagine they do it this way as a lot of people use the hydrotherapy for injuries/primarily physical disabilities etc.
“I will receive a block of 6 sessions, one each week for six weeks!”
What worries me a bit is that as I have ME, I tend to react quite strongly to any form of physical exertion. (Who can believe this is the same girl that used to exercise at least 5 hours a week?!) This is caused by something common to all people with ME called Post Exertational Malaise. PEM essentially means that I experience increased fatigue, pain, cognitive difficulties, sore throat, and/or swollen lymph nodes after previously tolerated physical or mental activity. These symptoms may appear immediately after the activity or after a period of delay, and may last days or weeks. In my case, they generally occur on day 2 and 3 after any exertion. (By exertion I’m talking about just standing for a period of time, a short distance walking etc).
A Huge Challenge!
I know that the hydrotherapy is going to be a huge step/challenge for me as I am mostly housebound, and the majority of that time is spent in bed. I have very low physical stamina and get exhausted even after just attending a medical appointment. To attend hospital, get changed, do the hydrotherapy, get showered, dried off and dressed again is going to be a HUGE challenge in one go!
I plan to discuss this with the physio at the first session and see how I fare in the few days following it. If it knocks me back too badly, I may need to see if they will be a bit more flexible with the schedule. I’m very aware that I have to manage my exertion and pacing carefully. If I push too far, too soon, I can actually cause lasting damage and make myself more ill overall.
“I have to manage my exertion and pacing carefully.”
I am a little more worried than excited now, given the tight schedule, but I know the physio I met is really understanding. I’m hoping they will be careful to work with me and not push me too far.
What To Take With You
On a practical level, I’m told that all I need to take is a swimming costume and a towel – lockers are provided. Apparently they do have towels there, but the receptionist told me they’re rather small haha!
I will update you all again after my first session – wish me luck! Also, a quick thank you to all the people who have given my feedback after my first post. Several people have told me their own experiences with hydrotherapy, and given me some tips, which has been really helpful!
ETA: you can find all hydrotherapy posts here.
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