Men’s Health – no woman says, “I wish he would talk less…..”16/06/2023
Brucee’s Ode to our Meerkat Mob08/07/2023
Pain and Injury: Our beliefs rule our lives
Yes…that’s me jumping off a perfectly good cliff!
In 2016 we were holidaying in Cairns and we decided to go Canyoning. You may well ask "What's that involve?" Well, I read up about it on the internet (Behana Canyoning) and thought "that sounds like fun - let's book in!"
We got driven to Behana Gorge Waterfalls (a gorgeous part of tropical Queensland) and had a momentous day slipping and sliding over rocks (boulders actually), sliding down waterfalls, jumping (and falling) off 8-10 metre cliffs into clear ponds, abseiling down a cliff and finally ziplining a few times. Those of you who know me would rightly say "she's just going nuts on holiday again...what is she thinking trying all this at her age..."
I slipped on the mat as I jumped off the last cliff and had to launch myself away from the rocks below. This meant that I couldn't jump in the water properly and belly flopped instead. IT BLOODY HURT!! Like hitting cement - I got concussed and whiplashed as well as lots of bruises. (My partner Tony continued to video me….)
But that's not the important detail here. The important thing is that it all went in slow motion. It's true... life does slow down ... and you see lots of funky images...
Well, if my neurosurgeon, Prof Nigel Jones, was reading this, he may think, "The woman is mad!" or he may hopefully think "Good to see that she was listening to me”.
In slow motion (as I was jumping) I saw our last consult where he reassured me that I was well on the way to healing 6 weeks post discectomy (my second one) and could do nearly everything after 3 months - I told you it was funky images!!
I also felt confident because 1) I work in this field and 2) I worked with a bunch of fantastic physiotherapists who reassured me also that I could do anything without fear of re-injury - no different to anyone else getting injured. Great odds I thought. I had also gone white water canoeing in Canada a few months prior to this and been smacked around in the rapids for 200m when I capsized the canoe and while I had bruises++ and thought I had broken a toe, my back was fantastic.
All of this went through my mind in the 2 seconds it took to hit the water. I knew I would be fine and I was.
So, we get to the point of this story.
If you have been injured in the past (even if you still have pain) or are a health professional working with people who have been injured, remind them that we heal. Our cells have this magical ability to repair. If we treat ourselves as "injured" we will limit ourselves. If we argue for our limitations (or our treating specialists do this for us) we will be stuck with them.
Give people confidence to believe in their innate biology and give them wings to fly (or like me the courage to slip of a cliff, belly flop 10 metres and still know that I will be okay).