John Pendreich

ARNI experience – September 2009.

It was with some trepidation that I arrived at the ARNI trust for a two day session with Dr. Tom Balchin. After all this was Lingfield not Lourdes! Recovering from a stroke the year before, I felt that the rehabilitation attention that I was receiving from the NHS although good at the resident rehab stage, now needed to be bolstered somewhat. |I was not going to accept that my paralysed side (leg and arm) were not going to get much better, My goal and vision (I saw myself physically back to my pre-stroke condition, if not better!), had kept me sane during my five long months in hospital and rehab.I knew that to really progress I now needed the right type of exercise, as well as physio.

Luckily my wife had spent hours continually researching all the latest advances in stroke rehab, I therefore arrived at Lingfield with a very positive mindset, I knew that Tom was going to show me how to achieve this. Knowing from the ARNI website that wheelchairs were frowned upon, I walked to his front door with a walking stick, this effort was still frowned upon. Two days later, after a mixture of floor work, lashings of encouragement, 20 balancing exercises and stretches I was able to walked back to the car on gravel, albeit slow and shaky, without the stick.

Furthermore Tom was able to build on exercises that I am already familiar with – I used to be quite good at sword fencing – so part of my exercise routine includes the lunging and parrying routines that I was already familiar with. He encouraged me to prepare a series of exercise routines (which he will monitor)that I felt comfortable with into which I have inserted the more traditional TAI-CHI warm up exercises and exercise bike routines.

Above all, I believe that with persistence and my new found self-belief instilled in me during those two days that I will achieve my ambition.

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