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End of an era

A fully-fledged physio.

I made it.

All the hard work has finally paid off.

14 years of school, 5 years of uni and now for the rest of my years working!

For the last 8 years, my dream has been to become a physiotherapist. And I’ve bloody done it!

I started with wanting to become a vet and then to do animal physiotherapy. You have to do your physio degree to do animal physio anyway, so I went on various work experience days. The interaction you get from patients was what did it for me. I’m not saying animal physio is completely out of the picture but for now, I am excited to work in the NHS, on the wards and with fantastic colleagues.

“I’ve bloody done it!”

I did my first 3 years of uni studying Psychology at Teesside University. I applied for undergrad physiotherapy, blew my interview so they offered me Psychology instead. 3 years of making new friends and memories - full of booze, laughs and great people.

My first year living in halls was a complete change – from the Yorkshire Dales countryside to living in a building with many other students and no land in sight. It took me a very long time to adjust and even now I don’t think I did. I seemed to go home most weekends, to be back with my family, back out in the open air and on the farm. Not missing the good student nights out though – Mixtape and Go Ninja were our faves.

As interested as I was in Psychology, the format of the degree was not for me. A lot of reading, a lot of writing and not any doing. So, I joined the therapeutic volunteer team at James Cook University Hospital, I got into the equestrian club, created the rounders club, myself and my friends did a charity skydive. And of course, we took pre-drinks and nights out very seriously too.

Doing an undergrad degree and doing it in Psychology definitely helped me for my Masters in Physio. I am very happy that I was rejected from physio the first time round. It was definitely the best thing for me. I wasn’t ready for it and that shows by getting into the Master’s but not the Undergrad. My second degree has very much been a lot less booze and much harder work. But if it’s what you enjoy then it makes it ten times easier.

I have met some absolutely amazing people on my way – at uni and throughout my placements. I am ever so grateful for my journey to becoming a physio!

“I am very happy that I was rejected”.

Being diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis has definitely made me doubt myself – doubt whether physio is the right path for me. Is it going to be too much for me? Am I going to fail? Will I have to drop out of uni? Can I help others whilst I’m having a flare-up?

With or without my condition, I would be where I am today; but I wouldn’t be who I am.

As a patient myself, I know that empathy from a healthcare professional can go a hell of a long way.

Having this condition has prevented me from doing a lot of things– I am not as fit and as strong as I would like to be because I haven’t been able to train. I have adapted my life and I am as strong as I can be. There will still be plenty of things I won’t be able to do, such as getting down on my knees to support a patient as easily as others can. But like I have adapted my day-to-day life, I can adapt to support patients without hurting myself. I’m sure over the years to come this list will only keep on growing.

Anyway, I digress (again!).

How am I not a student anymore?

What a strange feeling.

I honestly don’t know what to do, where to be, how to feel.

It is going to take a bit of getting used to.

I guess this technically means that I am now unemployed!

Living on a farm means that you’ll never run out of things to do, so over the next month or two before starting a new job – I will be in my other happy places – on the farm or in bed 😊

It really is good timing as we are in peak lambing season, so helping family out on the farm is my number one job for now. This is also such a rewarding job – bringing life into the world and watching them grow.

Before I end, I’d like to share with you a little poem I have written to sum this post up. This is something VERY new for me and may just look like a few words chucked together.

It’s the end of an era,

But that only means one thing,

The next step is nearer,

Daunting yet exciting

I have so much to be grateful for

But why do I still feel sadness

Grieving for evermore

For what could have been my life, if it wasn’t for the arthritis

I’ve still made it, I’ve come so far

I really should be proud

I only hope my family are

And I have shown them I’m endowed / especially those up in the cloud

It’s the end of an era

My student days are over

All the memories becoming clearer

This reflection gives me closure


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