Footsteps Festival 2021

Niki’s Cycling Video Diaries

14/01/2021

Hi Everyone, my name is Niki, I’m 48 and these are my video diaries documenting what recovery from many years of chronic pain looks like for me.

Recovery looks different for everyone and is often very different to what you expect. It doesn’t mean freedom from all pain, but it does mean a freer and more fulfilling life.

It means learning to empower yourself and not expect a cure but that there are many and myriad ways of helping yourself, but there is also a lot of support out there, although for me it wasn’t within the medical system or by searching for a cure. Ironically when I let go of the hope that medicine would cure me, I found the treatment within myself, along with the Curable app.

I have Trigeminal Neuralgia, a severe nerve pain condition of the face, however I have been doing brilliantly with self-management techniques to control and reduce the pain and I’m steadily making a recovery into a more active and engaged life. This looks different for everyone but I am anxious to show that recovery and living a good life and being active and happy is very much a possibility for those with chronic pain and fatigue. I have also has been struggling with the effects of physiological dependence on prescription drugs, the results of which have been incredibly challenging, but this diary documents my progress with tapering off these as well… all with minimal medical assistance so far.

In the introduction video I introduce myself – I had already been getting a lot more physically fit with walking but I started a pilot study on an awesome outdoor rehabilitation course called Muddy Care (you may have seen some of these videos on their YouTube channel). After trying cycling in the Muddy Care Pilot study I found I really enjoyed it. So when COVID 19 hit and the cycling days were stopped, I dug out my sister’s old mountain bike and got out cycling, regardless of the lack of gears, brakes or a clue!

These diaries show the progression from small beginnings, getting fitter, how I manage and what I have learned. The videos show the ups and downs of this progress… it’s not all fun and games, I don’t always get it right, I can talk rubbish and I sniff WAY too much… but I try to be authentic to myself and my values and show these videos it in their raw, unedited and vulnerable glory.


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