A pleasant surprise greeted me when I woke up this morning. The first thing I do each morning is lie for a moment and take an inventory of what hurts. After eight months in rehab I’m stalked by fears of further injury from gym exercises.
“I’m gonna feel this tomorrow,” I said to Belinda as I left the gym yesterday.
I was particularly worried about the jumping exercise and whether it would hurt my knee or worse, further aggravate my neck problem. To my great relief, my neck while still really sore and with the attendant burning pain in the hand, was no worse than previously.
During the day this photo was sent round to all the regular Thursday swimmers at the Balmoral Beach club. It epitomises everything I’m missing at the moment. A joyous, springtime, Thursday- morning, swim in the calm ocean at Balmoral with a group of like-minded souls. I miss the ocean very much. I spend hours sitting on the bench opposite my apartment looking at the water and wishing I could get in it. It seems unfair that the plans Barry and I have made to swim from Palm Beach to Manly have now been frustrated twice: once by my broken leg and the second time by simultaneous spinal injuries to both Barry and I. We had better hurry and get better and get this done – we are running out of time.
I caught up with Barry today as we were lunch guests of Professor Michael Cousins AO, a pain management specialist and director of the Pain Management Research Institute. The PMRI were to be the recipients of any fund raising we did around our swim. What an inspiring individual is Cousins. He knows so much about the central nervous system and injuries to the spine such as the one I have. I was fortunate to be sitting next to him the whole lunch. His work on spinal-cord electrical implants to ameliorate pain is fascinating. So much I don’t know. I learned that the electrical circuits in our brain and body, which control everything we do, are both AC and DC. I asked him this question as I’ve often wondered. My left hand was burning the entire time I sat talking to him so a pain management lunch was apposite.
Tonight I finished reading The Profession of Violence about Ronnie and Reg Kray that had been made into a film starring Tom Hardy playing both those notorious twins. The book was disgusting. The only reason I even read it was the Kray name was still resonating when I lived in London in the mid-1970s. This was only about 7 years after their trial and incarceration. Brutal and stupid, they were the ultimate lowlife sweepings from the bar room of humanity. They certainly don’t deserve a book. Why people like me buy books about them or others make movies about them, is a sad comment on all of us. They had not one, single, redeeming feature that I could see, other than stupidity and viciousness. I’ve never considered either of those traits a virtue.
Swimming as therapy. I’m missing it.