I Turned a Corner

Theo and I continue to establish our new life in Queenscliff and are enjoying the many wonderful new aspects of our new lifestyle. We’re also learning to manage the sacrifices.

It makes me feel I’ve turned a corner.

Home, then

A couple of weeks ago, I actually did turn a corner.

After staying in Melbourne for a special family lunch, during the evening we also managed to catch up with old friends on our old pavement.

I kind of felt a little emotional pang when I turned into the city end of Gertrude Street and saw the magnolias enjoying the Autumn evening light and the little drizzle that was beginning.

Very steadily pacing my drinks, the night saw us hop around our old favorite spots.

The life turn happened when I stepped out of the Everleigh and instead of turning right to head ‘home’, Theo and I turned left to head to a city hotel. We were going to sleep at this hotel, wake up in the morning and return to Queenscliff. Theo had to work… Sunday.

I don’t often have overwhelming emotional moments. I really deal with life’s activities quite well. I mean, who would I think I was expecting a perfect life run, right? ‘Suck it up!’

But this was one of those overwhelming emotional moments and it was damn hard. I knew what it was. I recognised it as the overdue moment when I finally comprehended life had moved us on… away from ‘home’.

It finally caught up with me.

I lapped up every step away from my previous home as the rain fell on/off and the concrete took in all the glittery, yellow, autumn Melbourne evening lights. I bid abiento to each magnolia as I walked up the street. I also lapped up the arms that were around me and the huge hug that Theo and I stopped to have to mark our moment.

Home, now

When we arrived ‘home’ the next morning, our little church made my heart sing.

As hard as our unplanned life change was, it was after yesterday’s moment and the next morning’s moment when I felt we made the right life change for our circumstances.

Moving on

So, being the committed, suck-it-up kind of human that I am, I got straight onto my next job – I made a new PainTrain health summary. After all, I was in my next stage of life, right?

I totally feel, that now… only now, am I actually in the state of managing. My head is finally above water and not bobbing above and below water, with my brain in a – you’re not going make it /you’re going to make it – state.

Given you all know alot about my life (and that I’m confident enough after winning a few insurer battles that they can kiss my two implants), I’m happy to pop up my personal health summary and show you what I’ve done.

There’s a huge psych component to PainTrain but I don’t have the credentials to officially explain it which is why I had to hire User Experience help.

Having said the above, from my combined branding/design and patient experience, I feel these aspects of PainTrain should carry a bit of ‘official’ evidence because afterall, our patient experiences are so totally valid.

These things happened after I made my ‘2018’ health summary:

  • I felt organised(in my highly unpredictable world!
  • I feel smart and independent (that’s so important to me)
  • I have taken action to put the trauma of this past 11 years behind me
  • The physical action of ‘doing something’ is vital, feels cathartic and provides me a sense of relief
  • After completing the health summary and sending it to my specialist, I feel the reward of having moved, progressed, conquered!
  • After receiving my pain specialist’s brief ‘thumbs up’ response I feel immensely understood and supported
  • I didn’t need an appointment
  • I saved my appointment money
  • I saved my capacity going in to an appointment
  • Swiftly documenting my achievements, my new symptoms and observations helps me file them out of my head so my stress is reduced
  • I know I always have one single, private place for my important details
  • I won’t forget any of my important details
  • Flicking between my old health summary and my new one feeeeels sooooo goooooood!

There are so many more reasons why I love this management process but I think my most valuable thing about my PainTrain health summary (summaries now!), is that they communicate MY unique story and give me a voice.

In 11 years, there’s been no other way to put my health summary together like this and further still, be able to pass the info on without saying a word!

Are you on PainTrain? I’d love your feedback.

By |2018-06-03T11:07:03+10:00May 27th, 2018|About, Blog, Learn, My treatment, Personal resources|2 Comments


  1. Nancy, Australia June 1, 2018 at 6:19 pm - Reply

    Darling luuuuuv…
    If there’s one adage capable of turning this tub-thumping atheist into a swivel-eyed, tambourine-rattling religionist, it’s this: God made the country, Man made the town. While your experience clearly illustrates a psychological / philosophical turning-point rather than a socio-cultural-geographical one, I believe the arcadian setting of the newest installation in SOULA & THEO’S ‘ART IMITATES LIFE’ series plays a large role in its success & your happiness (or contentment, if you’re a hard-core realist) (like me). You’ve done that little girl in Williamstown — with her sketchbooks & pencils — very proud. And you’ve a dreamboat husband who adores you, and a fuc*in’ great place to live in a pretty coastal hamlet. You make me sick. (Due to unchecked urban development & road works, it took me 90 minutes to drive from Wellington St to Altona the other day. You got out in time.)

    • Soula Mantalvanos June 2, 2018 at 10:33 am - Reply

      Amazing words. Inspiring and so soothing. I LOVE ‘art imitates life’ – yes it has and yes it does. Traffic, concrete, glass and noise no more! I can hear the magpies as I reply and I’ve seen the sea already this morning. Hard to change life but it is easier when the life you loved isn’t there anymore. Wellington Street is a circus. High rises will look like those inflatable string people caryards put up!!! Enjoy your walk along the beach too love… your home aint there anymore either!

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