About two years ago, two of the discs in my neck proplapsed. If you have ever experienced this you will know that it is excruciatingly painful and it is almost impossible to move. Somebody very expensive took some pictures of the inside of my neck and took the well paid time to explain to me how it is possible for the body to cure this problem. Unfortunately once the weakness is there, the cure could well be only a temporary measure. Since that time, I have had one repeat prolapse. If I have another it will involve fairly major invasive surgery, and I have been assured that it will probably just move the problem either up or down my spine. Part of the process of avoiding this has been regular visits to the osteopath, which, all things considered and spread across the year, is marginally cheaper than the consultation, which did not actually achieve anything I couldn't have googled!
When I asked my osteopath if there was anything I could do to help myself, his optimistic answer was to avoid all types of stress. This impacts by antagonising muscles and pulling my skeleton in directions that are not useful to it. Given who I am, I am relatively unstressed considering my job and my nature. Given the chronic condition I have, it is not physically possible for my body to be unstressed because of the constant pain. Catch 22? So he has given me a wonderfully simple neck stretching exercise, that I won't pass on, because it suits me and might not suit you. An additional exercise is to lie flat at regular points throughout the day. I may need to be braver in public in order to achieve this one!
- No alcohol – My mind is starting to shift from the puritan ethic of going without, to the more considered feeling that I am doing myself good by choosing to drink alternatives to alcohol, and I appear to be spending less on a weekly basis.
- Mindful eating – I am enjoying my food more than I have in ages
- Daily body scan – I am finding ways to incorporate this more into my day, but I think it may not be doing me as much good
- Charity shop shopping – have noticed that I am noticing more charity shops, even when I have no intention of going in.
- Mindful breathing every hour – my breathing is generally improving and I think my heart rate is slowing down. I would love to have my blood pressure checked
- Remembering my friends – and they are remembering me. It is so important for our psychological well being to know that we are important enough to be 'held in mind' by others
- Smiling regularly – and laughing at every available opportunity. Also Willow has started a blog 'whydontyousmilemore'
- Help if and when I can – still trying to do too much
- Italian conversation class – starts Thursday
- Becoming a blogger – and getting better at daily entries
- Writing 10 mins daily – some days I do too much writing at work and just don't have the neck for it
- Drinking a glass of water every hour – this is hard in certain circumstances from a practical perspective. Am going to slack it off for a couple of days and see the difference
- Thinking about it, before I say yes or no – improving at no, not sure about yes
- Having my eyes tested – new glasses are tricky
- Walking in the fresh air every day – haven't even begun to succeed at this
- Pilates core exercise throughout day – I like this one and I can feel it straightening me up
- Listening to my needs – now I just have to act on them
- Mindful spending – have already realised that the above changes are doing some of this for me