Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What a Difference a Day Can Make!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I cannot even begin to describe what a change in mental attitude I have had in the past 24 hours! In a day that began as depressingly as most of those of the last week, I called my GP, Dr. Steven Yaxley, to obtain a referral to a private Physiotherapist as I didn't think it made any sense to wait more than 2 months for an appointment with an NHS one. Well, within an hour, I had the name and address of a Physiotherapy clinic just steps away from my flat and I got an appointment within a couple of hours! Fancy that! It would cost me 75 pounds for the hour long consultation, but I am grateful for Aetna Global Insurance which covers private treatment when I am overseas and will reimburse me after I make a claim.

I spent a couple of hours at my office on campus printing out some material and working on the syllabus for my Writing II course for next semester. The Dr. Scholls Gel Arch Supports that I picked up from Boots last night and inserted into my sneakers felt so uncomfortable initially but in about a half hour, I got into my stride (pun unintended!) and there I was, feeling the good that the 'boost' was doing for me.

When I arrived on Chancery Lane at the London Silver Vaults Building, I was met at the reception by a clerk who requested me to fill a registration form. Within ten minutes, I was being welcomed by Megan Sumner, the physiotherapist from New Zealand who spent over an hour with me discovering the history of my ailment, the treatment I have been following and explaining to me exactly why and how far I have been injured. Then she examined my feet and legs and congratulated me warmly on the care I have taken of myself over the past week, informing me that I have made her task so simple as I have already effected a semi-cure and am halfway to the finishing line.

Her words were like music to my ears and I felt my spirits rising by the second as she pronounced her prognosis. I will probably be completely well in six to eight weeks time. I can now start to get out and walk around and lead a normal life without exerting my feet unduly or pushing myself beyond the point of comfort. I can stop using the ibuprofen gel except in cases of serious pain. I can step up my exercise routine and get on to more challenging ones that will strengthen my calf muscles and Achilles tendon and loosen all the 'knots' that have tightened around my ankles as the inflammation has been healing. I should continue to wear the arch support in my shoes while I am walking and I should roll a Coke bottle filled with hot water twice a day under my arches in order to step up the circulation of blood in my soles or I should manually give myself a foot massage. She told me that I can certainly go to Greece and have as normal a vacation as I had planned without overdoing the physical exertion and I should see her once more upon my return.The foot and leg massage was one of the most relaxing, comforting, yet stimulating things I have had done in a long time and I left her office feeling far happier than I have felt in days.

When I got home to continue to work on my syllabus, I figured that I would skip seeing Ken Loach's film at the British Film Institute tonight as I had already done plenty of walking for one day. I decided instead to call Ian to find out if he wanted to come for dinner to my place tonight instead of tomorrow. As it turned out, tonight worked better for him. Luckily, Sainsbury's is just two blocks away from my place and I returned home with a Diet Coke for him (his favorite brew) and a boxed package--Sainsburys Indian meal for Two comprising 4 Vegetable Samosas, 2 Naans, Saffron Pillau, Chicken Korma and Chicken Tikka Masala--in a handy-dandy container for only 6. 00 pounds! It was the most incredible value for money. It is certainly possible to get bargains such as these even in British supermarkets where everything seems so much higher priced that at our Americans ones. As I laid the table and prepared for Ian's arrival, I fixed us a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette and kept plates ready for dessert (Coffee Walnut Cake) and mugs ready for coffee. Then, I sat to watch Jude The Obscure on DVD.

Ian arrived rather later than expected (thanks to glitches on the DLR--the Docklands Light Railway) but was so delighted to find that my building is just a hop away from the Tube stairwell. He informed me that it was freezing outside and when he stuck his head outside my window to admire the view, we actually saw cars covered with a light dusting and we realized that London had seen her first sprinkling of snow for the season--rather early in the year, I thought, with some dismay. We had a companionable evening together as Ian told me about his conference and the places he has been seeing in the evening as he has taken the Tube into Central London to make the most of his brief visit. After he left, I washed and cleared up and massaged my feet again before I readied myself for bed.

I had told Llew, somewhat excitedly, after I returned from the session, about my encounter with Megan Sumner and both of us rejoiced that the prognosis was so inspiring. All thanks to my dear classmate Dr. Chandra Hegde, a pediatrician in Dartford, Kent, who when I spoke to her last night, strongly recommended that I see a private physiotherapist because she said, "they are very good and will show you exactly how to handle this condition". How right she was! Chandra, I owe you big time...but I will tell her that tomorrow.

For the moment, I am ready to hit the sack in a state of complete exhilaration!

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