Monday, November 24, 2008

Back Spasms & Lifeguarding

It's been an eventful couple of months. I have not been 100% of late - mainly due to a injury to my lower back. I stupidly done the damage whilst trying out my new maul axe to chop up some firewood ready for winter - I used the wrong posture and coupled with the large swing of the axe it was a painful combination.
The trouble with these sort of injuries is that it takes a little while for it to hit you so after chopping up the wood I felt fine.

The following day my back felt a bit sore but otherwise OK. I then went down to the riverside near our home to find some more firewood - I couldn't believe my luck when I found a whole tree trunk & happily dragged it back to our back garden and set to work on it with the chain-saw.

I paid dearly for all this the following morning - a Monday morning (I hate Mondays). My spine was completely twisted out of shape, I had to walk on tip-toes as I was not able to put my feet flat to the floor, it took me about half an hour to dressed and then another half hour to get my shoes on (I may be exaggerating). I was in a lot of pain though and truly believed I had slipped a disc.
Luckily my father-in-law was able to drive me to the doctors where I was informed that it was a muscular injury rather than a slipped disc - this came as a great relief. All I needed to do was to keep walking to ease the pain and help the muscle to repair itself. Gradually I was able to straighten up after a few days although it did have a habit of relapsing again. It did mean that I had to turn down some commissions, especially one that involved scaffolding over a swimming pool, so that did frustrate me a tad.

A few months before my self inflicted injury I had volunteered to be a lifeguard for my son's swimming club and my training started whilst I was recovering - swimming however is probably the best medicine for my back and has worked wonders.

The training involved CPR, first aid and water rescue skills including timed swim rescues and spinal injuries. I passed Unit 1 of the National Pool Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ) on Sunday 23rd at Harold Wood, Essex. Unit 2 will be continually assessed over a minimum of 7 hours training to make sure I can apply the skills from Unit 1 successfully in a work-related environment.

It basically means that when I take my son swimming I can now be pool side rather than sitting on the badly designed spectator seating which really aggravated my back.

Don't worry - I am still painting and have nearly competed a series of three canvases with a London skyline. I will post the pics up soon.

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