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Disability Narratives

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Video clip: Finding someone who helped provide an alternative outlook on life helped change Sue’s attitude about what was possible when living with a long term condition.

But again, I think - I think the person that I saw, that again had - had that sense of good outlook, and. I remember one of the first physio that I saw, said to me - because I was 39 at the time, I think. She said "Your, your structure will deteriorate - you know - as you get older. It happens to all of us. But if you keep your muscles in good shape, then you should be able to do at 80 what you can do at 40." And for me, that's still in - that's still in my mind [laughing]. And that's a kind of driving force to me. So, yeah. Other things that I've done are, you know, I go to a Pilates class. I go swimming. So I've, I do spend quite a bit of money on keeping fit, trying to keep fit and mobile, yeah.

And for me, that's been a really significant part of my recovery. When, when I first started having problems in 2000, I thought 'is this it, is this it for the rest of my life, that I'm going to be managing this pain, or restricted in some way?' As, as I said, I had been extremely physically active before that. And I felt that that whole part of my life was disappearing. And so finding a - she happened to be a physio, who could help me understand what was happening, but also encourage me, that there were adjustments that needed to be made, but if I made those adjustments, there was the potential there for me to be as physically active at 80 as I was at nearly 40. And that, that made a massive difference to me. And I don't suppose it matters really who it is, but having somebody who can bring that perspective I think is really important, and has been a significant part of my recovery.