Getting Physical

Do you remember that Olivia Newton John song, Physical? No, well I do sometimes forget how long I’ve been around. It was a hit in 1981 and there was much gyrating in leotards in the video! (If memory serves me well it was pretty steamy for the time.)

I’m a regular at the gym myself but you won’t catch me in a leotard. Well, I don’t even wear gym clothes because my exercising is slightly less energetic. Take my last visit, I got up and walked to the end of the bars and back. Then I rested for a while before getting up again and stepping up one step first with my right foot and then with my left. That’s it, session over!

I have a new physio therapist and she’s really nice. She understands that I can’t do much and although she wants to push me she thinks it would be better to do it little and often rather than long sessions. So now I’ll be going once a week instead of once a month.

My problem is that my Central Nervous System has been attacked and now my brain isn’t communicating with the rest of my body quite as well as it should. There is evidence that my nerves are working though and that the signals will get interpreted eventually by my brain, I just may have to get used to doing things differently. If my nerves where not sending signals then I wouldn’t be walking at all, so it’s pretty good really.

Of course damaged nerves mean I get a lot of pain. I have been assured on more than one occasion that it is possible to regain strength, but no-one knows if the pain will ever go away. Consensus from other sufferers is that it won’t, well not completely anyway.

I am beginning to understand my body better now, it’s more obvious which parts are working, which are working differently and which are not working. All I can hope for is improvement and for that I will never give up trying.

They say you get used to pain and horrible sensations like pins and needles and I guess you do. If I said to you now that you’d wake up tomorrow with severe pins and needles and they were never going to go away how would you feel? You’d probably be horrified. I was at first but as I approach my fifth month of having them constantly I can honestly say that sometimes they don’t bother me any more. Of course there are times when I want to chop of body parts just to make them stop, but mostly I can occupy my mind with something else.

I’m looking forward positively. I can do this, I can get my brain talking to my feet again and regain some independence. Even if the pain doesn’t go away it’s not going to stop me, I’ll just find a better way of managing it. I hate being stuck in a wheelchair but I have to let that go, for now the chair will do, later I will get my legs back. I get down because I can’t do what I used to do, well I’ll just have to get used to doing things differently. We have to embrace change sometimes even if it’s not what we want. I’ve been through huge life changing situations in the past and survived, I’m not going to let this condition beat me.

There is a tab at the top of this page named Transverse Myelitis if you want to know more about my condition, or I’m usually around on Twitter or Facebook if you want to ask any questions…or chat 🙂


  1. May 9, 2016 / 2:46 pm

    Bless you! I had pins and needles in my leg yesterday from sitting on the floor too long. I couldn't have coped if it had lasted anything more than a few minutes….
    You sound so determined…You can do this x

  2. May 9, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    You'd be surprised what we can cope with Kim, when my pins and needles started I was trying all things to try and stop them they were driving me insane, now I'm so used to them it would feel weird if they stopped! Thanks for your encouragement xx

  3. May 10, 2016 / 12:26 pm

    Anne you are so positive about what has happened to you and how you are approaching trying to get back to some sort of normal. Hope the physio helps.

  4. hollybobbs
    May 10, 2016 / 12:32 pm

    I'm so sorry to hear that you're going thru this, I have chronic fatigue so feel a small amount of what you do and it makes life so hard so I can only imagine what it must be like for you. But it sounds like you have a great attitude about it – best of luck!

  5. May 10, 2016 / 3:36 pm

    I'm sorry you're going through this but you're positive attitude and determination are inspirational. You can do this and you will. Good luck.

  6. May 11, 2016 / 8:39 am

    … now I can't stop singing 'Physical'! I loved that song!! You are an inspiration for your positivity in the face of all this and I love your determination to not let this beat you. I'll be standing 'virtually' behind you – cheering you on!

  7. May 11, 2016 / 9:42 am

    I am now singing that song – thanks! Glad to hear you have a physio that understands you and is doing everything she can to help

  8. TheMadHouse
    May 11, 2016 / 11:49 am

    I can not imagine what you are going though. I too am now singing and have an earworm!

  9. May 18, 2016 / 9:29 am

    Sounds horrendous! It's fantastic that you can manage to have such a positive attitude about it all. I know they say that being positive helps, but it's not easy and it's a tribute to your own personal strength that you can actually do it.

  10. globalmouse
    May 18, 2016 / 12:44 pm

    I can't even imagine what it's like to feel pins and needles all the time, just a temporary bout of them drives me crazy. I love your attitude to it all.

  11. m1ssingsleep
    May 25, 2016 / 9:00 pm

    Sounds like you have really been through it 🙁 Well done for starting to feel positive about your condition and learning to live with it x

  12. May 26, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Aww I'm sorry you're going through this. I do often stop and think about people who live with pain. I try and feel grateful that I don't but know that anything can happen. I think it's great you're going to the gym and fighting. ps I did dancing when I was younger and we used to do our warm up to Physical hehe x

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