To those of you who have been aware that at the end of July I suddenly experienced acute neck pain, a quick update and some BIG APPRECIATIONS.
If you prayed for me, thank you. There were many other practical things that contributed to my recovery physically but I do not think any of us fully realise the power of prayer and I was very conscious of it.
The other people I want to thank/credit are Judith Townshend – whose calmness and professionalism gave me a huge amount of confidence. I saw Judith three times beginning at the point where I could barely move and certainly couldn’t drive to see her. She is based in Leamington, so thank you beloved for driving me there three times. I saw steady progress each time, I warmly recommend her. She is gentle and ‘not scary’!
Also thank you to Ted Lyon, Malcolm Garrett, Diane Bussey, Hilary Iredale, Margaret Simmonds, Martin Saxby, Heather McQuillan, Simon Buckingham and Walter Goodman, all of whom helped me out (some of them at last moment) by taking services or leading things which I had been planning to lead. Thank you to the fabulous team at PJ’s who manage the children’s holiday club all by themselves, I was so sad to miss it but so grateful to be allowed the time to recover.
I would say I am 90 to 95% better-just enough pain to remind me not to do anything stupid! I am able to do gentle neck exercises and even thinking about going back to Pilates. I won’t be lifting anything heavy or riding bikes for a while but I am at least back at work full-time.
There is always treasure to be found in the darkness if we are willing to look and if we don’t waste time resisting what has happened but simply accept that this is how things are for this time. For me the ‘treasure’ has been teaching myself Mindful Meditation, through reading the books Mindfulness: a Practical Guide by Williams and Penman and Mindfulness and Spirituality by Tim Stead. I have found this, as I have explained in other blog posts, extraordinarily powerful. The meditations in the Williams and Penman book I find to be a bit repetitive, but I have found the Headspace App to be excellent, a worthwhile investment. You can do the first 10 days on this app for free which gives you a taste of what it will be like. It is not weird or strange or packed full with an underlying Buddhist agenda!
The person you listen to has a very easy to listen to UK accent, and sounds very down to earth. Although I do this practice in the context of my prayer time, there is nothing on the app itself that is at all spiritual. It would be completely accessible to someone with no faith. Once you have subscribed you have access to all sorts of ‘packs’ on all sorts of subjects: the ‘Pain Management’ one has been brilliant at helping me relate differently to the fact of being in pain and cutting down my anxieties about the pain. Pain is bad enough and often unavoidable but ‘Pain + Anxiety’ is a very toxic combination.
Most recently, I have visited Mihail Bezniuc who works out of Clifton Chiropractic Clinic (walking distance for me) and is a very skilled massage therapist. Again he gives me confidence that he knows what he’s doing and I’m comfortable that it’s an over clothes massage (that’s just a female thing!). If you want to meet Mihail and experience a massage in his amazing half sitting chair, he’s planning to come to our Community Day around church on Sept 9th.
Finally to my ‘beloved’ for setting up computer screens, swapping round chairs, doing lots of driving and generally just putting up with me -thank you.