While I was laying down on the treatment bed after some breathing exercise, Coach placed something odd behind my neck and told me to rest my chin on my chest, then relax and repeat the motion. It felt kind of weird and it hurt a little. He showed me what it was afterwards, a peanut shaped ball roller, and he gave it to me as a present to take home with. Thank you Coach!

It has been a year. It’s about on the eighth week after my surgery that I met Coach for the first time at his clinic. I showed up with an agonising face, in a lot of pain and didn’t know where to begin with my piles of reports post and pre-surgery. Coach already ran through my previous record before my surgery obviously so he knew my story. He listened with empathy and understanding while I roughly ran through my current conditions. It’s not a normal rehabilitation. Serious complications have been happening and worsening. Coach did some assessments and hence started my rehabilitation regime with him.

There have been so many mornings or afternoons that I showed up with severe pain, all over my body most of the time, frail and emotionally disturbed at times. Apart from physical pain, there comes along psychological, social and daily life issues to face and deal with, let alone financial burden. Never ending sick leave, well, that’s going to end soon. Taking care of myself is getting more and more difficult. Coach has always been empathetic and eager to help. He goes out of his way to try to make me feel better every time, and guide me to the right direction. He not only shows me many different kinds of exercise, some with equipments, but literally exercises together with me, all the way, every single time and he would make adjustments as per my conditions. Coach puts a lot of effort on manual therapy. It must have been quite tiring for him to take care of me as I am no difference to a patient in serious conditions at hospital. During treatments, he would listen when I want to talk and he would share his advice. He’s not only a physiotherapist but a counsellor to me.

Apart from treatments, Coach has a lot of paper work to do too as my company expect regular reports. Without his assistance, I wouldn’t be able to continue my treatments unless I pay regular fee. I have long reached the set yearly ceiling of my outpatient medical coverage, so everything comes out of my own pocket, but at least I could still continue with the corporate rates. Every now and then, he would share with me books and websites that are worthwhile to read, which might help my rehab from different angles. Reading is hard as it exacerbates my pain, well in fact, any postures, breathing or not, it hurts all over the place. I have chosen some which I could listen to lately like podcasts or audio books, other than prayers and healing music on Spotify.

In the last few months, my conditions have been deteriorating rapidly. Symptoms have become more diffuse and complicated, like chest wall and abdominal pain, other than neck, shoulders, back and legs. Doctors either give up or just keep describing medicines with horrendous side effects that barely help. More surgeries would be out of the questions, too risky, unless they could guarantee that it’s gonna work without causing further damage. Anaesthetist has tried her injections on my neck and upper back last week which didn’t help at all, if not making it worse. Frankly, I have reached my wits-end of what else I could do to save myself. Nevertheless, coach always encourages me to continue doing what we still could. Words cannot describe how grateful I am. He hasn’t given up on me even though my chance of recovery is very slim. However it ends, I will never forget your kindness. Thank you very much mate.

Published by Des Syun

Physically challenged with relentless chronic pain, but it doesn't define me.

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