It took six full months for me to feel I was ready to have my follow up appointment with Dr Nick Christelis after my Sacral Stimulation Implant.

I got a few ticks at the appointment:

  • Device incision healed
  • Leads incision healed
  • Both areas feeling cushy and a bit more robust
  • Honeymoon period helped with setting up the new life
  • I’ve learned a few of my new limits

I also got a few concerned looks expressing the following:

  • I’m more fatigued
  • I’m sad
  • I’m feeling like I can’t get up in the morning
  • My mood is really low
  • I feel I’m slipping
  • Sleep is a bit more disrupted than usual
  • I’m waking up anxious, breathless

We had a good chat. We agreed alot – especially about the need to find a way for me to exercise. I’m resting less now – no longer napping in the afternoon (a great thing!), so that means I’m moving more. But my heart rate isn’t really going up. It needs to.

In the nine years of chronic pain, I’ve tried a squillion routines and tricks in the attempt of finding some way of exercising without painful consequences.

Anything I attempt seems to translate as ‘too much pressure’ on my pelvis.

To understand what I mean, just imagine the feeling in your muscles after you’ve worked out at the gym. The muscles scream the day after (for various reasons). And the day after that – even more so.

But in that normal circumstance, the pain goes. With chronic pain it doesn’t go, in fact it manifests.

With PN there’s a further impact – signals and functions are affected and I get pretty uncomfortable. One thing leads to another and if I don’t listen to the signals, before I know it, I’m in a fire ball.

I’ve learned to listen (had a few nerve blocks, sat in loads of cold running water) and thankfully the fire balls don’t happen anymore. But other uncomfortable things still do happen – I just have to find another way.

This is what I’ve tried:

  • Walking in various amounts, strides, shoes, places, times and tracks
  • Yoga (which I sometimes practice but can’t sustain regularly)
  • Stretching (forget that!)
  • Various slow/resistance movements
  • Hydro therapy
  • Clinical Pilates
  • Meditation (not exactly heart rate lifting)
  • Dancing

Not only is none of the above possible but even if I could partake in any of the above (in my butterfly way), I’m hardly going to get my heart rate up enough.

A while ago, someone through social media mentioned their physiotherapist suggested the hula hoop for exercise. Apparently, the hula hoop, she was told, is great for loosening up the muscles in the pelvis.

At the time I couldn’t believe it would be possible for me to move that much without experiencing the ‘pressure’ impact. But I kept thinking about it… planning, hoping for one day that maybe I would be able to try it.

That day came. I bought one. And sure enough, there isn’t much impact!hula_hoop

I used to hula (I don’t know if that’s a word but I’ll use it – I like it!) when I was young and loved it. If you’re about my age (and in Australia) you’d remember the Big M hula hoops. The colour of the hoop reflected the smell of the Big M flavoured milk. Happy memories – that’s a great thing for my brain. So maybe this is two treatments in one.

This hula hoop has weights in it (that’s those bumpy bits) so it kind of massages your belly and waste while you’re hulaing! It hurt at first and it still hurts now when it accidentally falls over my implant but the area will toughen up soon enough. That pain goes away anyway – that’s easy.

It’s been about 3 weeks now. I hula both directions for short times when I feel I can, and the plan is to slowly build up the amount of time I hula. My heart rate goes up and there’s an instant looseness in my waste, pelvis and even my upper thighs feel ‘exercised’.

Could it be that I’ve found a way to exercise a little?

Could it be happy hula happening for me? Here’s hooping!