I fell off a ladder in January 2017. The ladder collapsed beneath me, so I put my arm out to protect my fall. Fell about 6ft onto my wrist. Spent 5.5 months in a plaster cast having shattered most of the lower part of my left arm. My strength and arm mobility were destroyed.
I had several smaller operations before my big one to have my spinal cord stimulator fitted. This helps with the pain, I can turn it up and down to cut the pain signals from my hand to my brain. For whatever reason, my brain still thinks my arm is in the condition it was when I smashed it.
I had around 6 weeks of physio with the NHS when the plaster was removed, but because the hypersensitivity on my arm this was unsuccessful.
After I had my wires fitted. I had physio once every 12 weeks to see if I could regain some of the basic functions of my arm. Once every 3 months, my progress was incredibly slow – it was at this point that I decided if I was going to improve, I needed to do more for myself.
I’d followed Ryan and Vitality & Mind on socials for a good few months before I decided to take the leap and book a free assessment. I had explained everything to Ryan before meeting him about my injury.
When I arrived, we had an in-depth discussion about the extent of my injuries. He asked me what I was expecting from him and quite frankly, I didn’t know. Having very limited movement in my arm for the best part of 5 years I wasn’t sure what was possible.
Ryan was very sympathetic and understanding. He told me “I can’t promise you I can make it work, but I’m willing to give it everything I’ve got.” and I will always be grateful for that. If he’d said to me that he can make it work and we’re going to fix it by doing this, that or the other, I’d have known he had no interest in helping other than financial.
Throughout the last year working with Ryan, the change has been incredible. My first session with Ryan. He asked me to hold a 1kg dumbbell. I couldn’t – I struggled to pick up a sheet of paper at that point. Those first few months, he showed patience and compassion. He quite literally held my hand every step of the way.
To get me to hold the dumbbell, he put it in my hand and wrapped his hand over mine, just to get me used to moving and gripping. With Ryan’s help, dedication and knowledge – a year later I’m doing things that I thought impossible: lifting weights and taking part in fitness and strength sessions with others.
My posture has improved as Ryan spent a lot of time with me opening my shoulders as I’d spent 5 years curled over, mentally and physically protecting my injured arm, constantly paranoid.
The injury hasn’t gone away, it’s something I’ll live with for the rest of my days, but working alongside Ryan has given me back a piece of myself – some normality.