A Dream to Dance

When I was at secondary school, I absolutely loved to dance. It was one of the first extra curricular activities I joined, alongside studying music, it was my passion.

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 21.12.59

Along with my friends at school, we attended early morning dance classes and practiced through our lunchtimes for annual dance performances and took part in once in a lifetime opportunities. Part of this was encouraged by our wonderful dance teacher, a woman so passionate about her dancing that it was inspirational and motivational to watch her perform – it made us want to have that same passion and she was why I think we were all so committed to attending those classes.

Along with school classes, I also attended a theatre school every Saturday called Theatre Train. I had trouble with my confidence so not only did this assist with this issue through drama, but we also enjoyed an hour of singing and an hour of dance. In 2006 I had the opportunity to perform at the Royal Albert Hall as part of a celebration called ‘Songs of the Century’, an incredible experience and certainly a once in a lifetime opportunity! To find your local Theatre Train group make sure you check out their website by clicking here.

RAH1

It wasn’t until my third year of University that I started to notice pain in my feet. There were days that I would struggle to walk to the main University building, less than a mile from where we lived. I took tablets to cope with the pain, but it got to the point where I just could not cope anymore. I visited my GP, who suggested I keep an eye on it and if the pain worsened to return but ultimately that I may need surgery. It was at this time that I started to use a splint on my big toe of my right foot, which I realise now has hindered my progress and caused more damage than good. Throughout this time, as I had been diagnosed with bunions I researched further into what they are. I always thought they were some sort of gross fungal infection!! Never realising they are actually to do with the main bones of your foot. As shown by the diagram below it is basically to do with the joint where your big toe joins the main part of your foot. Sometimes, due to bad footwear or other genetic problems, the joint ends up jutting out at an angle. This often is pain free and many go throughout their lifetime without experiencing any pain at all on the joint. In some cases however, it can cause significant pain similar to the feeling of arthritis where the joint becomes stiff and achy. This was how my feet ended up.

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 21.03.21

In Summer 2012, I noticed the pain at this point was getting excruciating so headed back to the doctor. He put me on a course of Ibruprofen to ease the pain and referred me to my local hospital for xrays. I saw a surgeon who said they would need to operate and insert metalwork to straighten out the bones in my right foot. In November 2012, 3 years ago, I had my first (and what I thought at the time, my only) operation on my right foot. It was a day surgery which meant I could arrive in the morning, have the operation and be sent home the same day. It was a quick procedure performed under general anaesethic and I was on my way home by 5pm that day. As it was a simple procedure the healing time was fairly quick and 6 weeks later I was back at work.

Over the next year or so and despite the surgery, the pain lingered and on some days it was even worse than before. I went to my new GP based in London who referred me back to hospital. In March 2014 I had my appointment at Charing Cross Hospital, London. Whilst initially I had been referred for my left foot the surgeon took a look at my right foot and ultimately told me that it needed to redone as the initial procedure had not worked. They carried out some X rays and had found that the main bone of my foot was actually splitting due to the pressure of the bunion. It was at this time that they gave me crutches and I spent that March through to December 2014 using them. In July 2014 I had my operation and spent the summer recovering. It took a long time to heal. I had a cast on my leg and was in a wheelchair for 6 weeks. I promised myself I would never take walking for granted after experiencing this.

10580052_10152624419127733_3124860768176669090_n

I am currently awaiting hospital treatment to begin on my left foot which will again involve surgery and two months waiting for it to heal but this time I feel ready. I feel like I know what to expect now and I do feel some comfort in that. I do feel pain every day. It’s uncomfortable and frustrating but something I have learned to live with. Some days are better than others and I notice it is at its worse when it is cold and raining outside (which I can often tell before even opening the curtains some days!)

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 21.46.35

As for my dancing? I would absolutely love to be able to dance again. Contemporary dance was my absolute favourite and I am starting to slowly work on my core strength to be able to attempt to dance in this way again one day. I definitely still dream of it. I have got to the point where I am visiting the gym on a weekly basis with the hope to join a dance class once my feet feel strong enough. Fingers (and toes!) crossed!

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 21.13.07

This post has been submitted as an entry into the Dancewear Central competition. Dancewear Central is the UK’s number 1 dancewear specialist and provides a fantastic range of dancewear for all ages! There are lots of amazing deals on the site, perfect for dancers including up to 50% off 1000s of products on the site and free delivery on orders over £60! Make sure you check it out by clicking here.

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Advertisements

#LoveMe Challenge – Day 8

Prompts

Share a scar

My scar is from two foot surgeries that I have had over the past three years. It was an unexpected struggle which I have been learning to live with and accept.

I am currently planning a small tattoo of an anchor to go on the inside of my foot to represent being ‘anchored’ to the ground and to remember not to take my ability to walk for granted and after my upcoming operation I will be getting a shell on the opposite foot to represent ‘strength’ as I think it’s incredible how some seashells, despite all the odds of being shattered to pieces by strong waves and powerful seas can still land on our beaches incredibly intact. This symbolises the strength in both my feet and myself to get back to being fit and healthy.

For those who are not keen on scars etc I suggest you look away now as this is the photo of it!

wpid-20150920_174649.jpg

Becky at Pretty & Petit

Summer Dream Experience

In July 2014, I had to have an operation to correct previous surgery on my right foot. It was an intensive operation which involved putting in a metal plate and several screws to hold my bones and joints in place. (Sorry to those of you who are a bit squeamish!) I had been on crutches since March 2014, and everyone had got used to seeing me hobbling around at home and at the college where I work! After months of waiting and a couple of postponed surgery dates, I had my operation on the 18th July (the hottest day of the year to that day) which meant for 8 weeks – and for pretty much the whole of Summer 2014 – I was in a plaster cast and in a wheelchair. 10580052_10152624419127733_3124860768176669090_n10404190_10152626137337733_6308072091573576827_n My family and friends were absolutely amazing to me. My mum made sure I had regular outings to the sea (my family lives in Whitstable, Kent which is a wonderful place to recuperate!) and frequent visits from friends to keep me company. My cat was a loyal companion too, and spent most of the time curled up with me on the sofa as I watched endless episodes of Gossip Girl and Friends! 10550813_10152637773012733_2822851698225674974_n Obviously I can’t have a whole summer repeated (although those additional warm sunny days would be welcome, Mr Weatherman!) but I would absolutely love to experience some of those memorable summertime moments that I missed last year. My Instagram feed was filled with Summery snaps of beaches, palm trees, beautiful sea and lots of sunshine, and to be able to get a taste of that would be absolutely amazing! 10577133_10152614315207733_3099183660504245693_n A view from Tankerton slopes, Whitstable, Kent. July 2014

As you may have been able to tell by some of my previous posts I love attending events. All types of events from fashion, through to home and accessories trade shows to music festivals, I attend them all year round (as well as organise them as part of my current day job!) I absolutely love music and try to attend a festival every year, however last year was the first year that I was unable to. My absolute dream would be to have a VIP experience at a large music event and if I was lucky enough to get a chance to I would love to recreate some Summer memories. It’s definitely my favourite time of the year with everyone being so happy and outdoors in the fresh air. I literally cannot wait to be able to make the most of it this year! 10361996_10152357214719135_8303000138694305193_n To this day I am still having regular hospital appointments for physiotherapy and my foot is on the mend slowly but surely and I am still keeping a smile on my face! I am due to have another operation on my left foot in the next year and as the condition of my foot worsens over the next six months I know I will have to go back onto crutches. I was on crutches until December 2014, but still tried to make the most of every opportunity I received including a trip to a fashion show and to a couple of concerts once I was back on my (two) feet! I have started learning to drive and I am even signed up to complete Race for Life in June 2015. It will be the first time since 2010 that I will be taking part and am so excited about raising money for Cancer Research UK. I know I will be back on two (pain free) feet eventually and I am definitely trying to make the most of every experience I can! 10384117_10152848346672733_7310162560027830478_n If you had the opportunity to do experience something a second time round what would you like to experience? Why not enter the competition, Second Time Lucky being run by Ocean Finance? It’s open for nominations now for yourself or friends and family and it’s all about giving people something they’ve missed out on. You can visit the website by clicking here: https://www.oceanfinance.co.uk/credit-cards/second-chance/

Becky at Pretty & Petit