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Well I know lots of people think I am greedy because it wasn’t so long ago I was writing about gorgeous Italy. But it has been a big year and I was absolutely hanging out for this holiday at Noosa. Every year for quite a long time we come to Noosa for Christmas and New Year and spend 2 weeks with the family refreshing the brain and body. Noosa has been our (Bob and my) stamping ground for 34 years and it never ceases to ‘do it’ for me. And let me tell you over the years Mother Nature has tried very hard to corrupt our holidays. There was the scourge of the algae……for years and years we would be anxiously reading the weather reports (looking out for the dreaded Northerlies that would bring in the brown smelly seaweed which would penetrate your togs and worse….). Then in more recent years days and days of rain- for the last two years 14 of the 16 days holiday were wet!
And yet,despite all of that, every year we are always terribly sad to leave and can’t wait for the following year to pack up the car with the Xmas pressies, tree and decorations and drive north for two hours to our beloved Noosa. But let me tell you this year (so far) Noosa is back to its glorious best. The beach is enormous- oh yes I failed to mention the missing beach over the years when there have been cyclones- the water is crystal clear and the sun is out! One of my favorite pursuits at the beach is (speed ) reading books. Once I start, then no starving husband or child is going to get in the way of the last page of that book. Fortunately they have come to understand that and have become quite adept at putting a nice lunch together.
This year, following on from Robyn Kerr’s talk in the last blog, I am reading a book by Anne Deveson (2003) called ‘Resilience‘. It is a subject which fascinates me as it is so crucial in surviving today’s frenetic paced world. It’s something that patients who are enduring persistent pain also must learn to develop in order to cope with the complexities that persistent pain deals them. I am only a third of the way through the book but already yet again the plasticity of the brain- that wonderful organ that amuses and bemuses us- is integral to developing resilience.  Anne talks about one of the giants of childhood development, researcher, psychologist and author Martin Seligman who says ‘ the remarkable attitude of resilience need not be a mystery. It is not inborn. It can be learned ‘. As Anne draws from this – ‘We are not stuck with ourselves as we are. We can change. Nor are we hemmed in by lists of virtues we don’t possess. If we can learn to tackle negativity in our lives and be optimistic, we can also learn to be resilient.’
When you are suffering persistent pain symptoms and the fact that, despite numerous doctors’ visits there is seemingly no improvement, many patients are drowning in negativity by the time they get to see a Continence and Women’s Health Physiotherapist. A most important part of our job is to give them HOPE. Not misguided, positive mumbo jumbo. But well researched management strategies for their chronic pain. (see Explain Pain : by Lorimer Mosely and David Butler and their NOI Institute- The management of persistent pelvic pain is a bit like eating an apple pie (sounds a bit Forrest Gump-ish) there are lots of different slices that make up that apple pie – lots of different strategies that combine to – if not solving it – go a long way to making it more manageable.
And resilience may well be an important slice of that pie. Now back to the beach!