OS Acromiale

It’s where there is a fusion failure of the anterior acromial apophysis. In a case-report published on the internet, there was a successful solution via taking anti-inflammatory drugs, resting the shoulder, e.g. no swimming for 2 months and doing gentle stretch-band exercise.

We did all that and Madison hasn’t been swimming using her shoulder since 3 months and the problem still exists.

Further medical invention will have to take place.

Here is another interesting article on surgical intervention.

When I suggested to give up swimming instead, the look I got in return could have frozen an iceberg.

Hotel A & E

Went training at the LAC yesterday and again a sharp headache coming on, left early to change and there was nausea, fainting feeling and then sickness.

Home and a bite to eat, and straight back to the Royal London A & E, thinking its not so full on a Monday evening. How wrong we were. The waiting room was crowded with mainly smaller children.

Had the pre-examination at around 10 pm and then waited till 12 midnight to see the doctor who referred Madison for a Brain CT scan and another ECG.

Went to the CT scan at 1AM. What is most annoying that when you sit on the waiting room chairs long enough, you kind of run out of comfortable positions to be in. The tiredness sets in and you are too tired to keep the eyes open and too eager to not miss your call to fall asleep.

What often helps to stay awake is getting annoyed about dirty floors or windows or faults in the hospital but no such luck at the Royal London. The place is sparkling clean and everything bright and new. I did find a fault eventually though by sitting at the x-ray waiting room next to a wobbly chair.

It is pretty scary when you get referred for a brain scan, think about it, you are on one hand pleased that they could rule out a brain tumour but on the other hand worried they might find one.

After the CT scan at around 2AM, the nurses led us to the beds, that was even scarier, first the brain scan then a hospital bed. We all know how hard hospital beds are to get into. When you need one there are none and when you get one offered, that makes you think it is getting more serious than you wanted.

However, the nurses were just helpful, allowing us to lay down on beds as we were very tired. Whilst half-asleep Madison had more blood tests, more ECG test and routine examinations.

Eventually at 5:15 AM Madison was discharged. Nothing physically wrong could be found, which only strengthens my assumptions that the problems are related to the sudden withdrawal of the brown inhaler.

It’s a day off school today as sleep is needed and there will be no swimming today either. Got to let the coach know as coaches always want to know what is happening in their swimmers’ lives.

Well, the life of a swimmer is not always plain swimming, when I always read those website, which only report the positive things, I find it off-putting because it makes me more imperfect and the slightest weakness wants me to give up swimming because I am not as perfect as my heroes are. But then on the other hand there is that nagging desire to just swim.

Getting there

This year’s London Winter Champs were hugely inspiring to us. Even though Madison cannot compete herself at the moment, due to various issues, the fact that some of our club swimmers made it to the podium, gotten national times and overall did very well and swam so inspiringly, is very important.

Because not everybody is 100% well all the time but the team, will always support each other and draw strength from each other.

Please check the Hackney Aquatics Club posts on Twitter and Facebook to see what excellent results were achieved. And do not hesitate to visit the Hackney Aquatics Club website to follow the ongoing successes of our swimmers.

It is very important that your swimmers realise, that it is not always going swimmingly good for everyone and that we all have off-times, but that being part of the team and the will and strength to overcome problems is very inspiring and important for everyone.

The fainting episode

Yesterday’s fainting of Madison at the London Regional Championships led to much speculation. Snapchat went wild with comments about it and let me make something clear now.

Madison had been wrongly diagnosed with Asthma and been given a brown inhaler that contained steroids.

When suddenly the doctors realised that Madison wasn’t asthmatic after all, they told her to stop using the inhaler. However no advice was given to reduce it gradually. I now found advice on the NHS website, which explains a lot. It seems that these days patients need to find their own advice online instead of relying on doctors to tell them everything.

Madison now suffer the typical withdrawal symptoms like

  • Dizziness and even
  • some pain around the lungs,
  • joint pain, which is accelerated by the swimmer’s shoulder and she can
  • get very tired
  • mood swings
  • increased appetite.

Yesterday Madison fainted at the London Aquatics Centre and I had to leave my official’s post and take her home.

We rang NHS 111 and then went to the A & E and been told it was just a faint. I am considering making a complaint to the NHS about the quality of advice we are getting.

Basildon weekend

It’s always nice to go to Basildon, it’s a well established club with great swimmers and officials who run it smoothly.

Anybody visiting can pick up a lot of good pointers to take home to our own clubs on how to do things.

They actually have porcelain cups for the tea and coffee, which I prefer instead of the throwaway paper or plastic ones. It’s all those little things that make a competition weekend.

Madison could not compete on that occasion and it is a huge miss not to be able to take part in competitions such as Basildon as the buzz of being an active part of a team makes the swimmer.

But being able to stick out problems and hang in there and hope for a better future in the sport is also important because the life of a swimmer is not just about winning the medals when you are 10 or 12 or 14, 16, 18, it is about making swimming a sport for life and using performance to overcome difficulties and stick to the goals.

In fact the life-style of being a swimmer, the daily routines of early morning AM training, then going to school, then off to the pool again, should become a life-style to carry on throughout the years when getting jobs and going swimming before or after work.

All sports would suffer if every athlete with a temporary problem would drop out. Many of our swimmers won medals yesterday and without a doubt will win them today and Madison can look at those medals she won in Basildon previously and savour the moment and the memory.

As a parent, I had my first practise as starter and I enjoyed it tremendously. Thanks to Basildon and the referees for giving me the chance.

 

The B-tech sport

Whilst with the swimming things go just steadily from training to training session and whilst the shoulder is kind of debilitating, and whilst the legs still work and Madison has to do two sports through the B-tech exam, it stands to reason that Madison uses those body parts that still work.

The legs are ideal for football and Madison has been selected for the school’s girls football team. What a great surprise.

Over the years Madison cut back on all other activities to concentrate on swimming but now another activity has opened up.

Obviously coaches want swimmers to just swim and spend every free minute either at the pool or in land-training or to go gym session to do with the swimming development but the education system has other ideas.

I suppose, when I read that younger people should do as many varied things as possible, the reality is, that all sports want their athletes to concentrate on a particular sport as soon as because an athlete’s peak comes usually about 20 or even younger. The international athletes field is hugely competitive and the most developed nations do their utmost to produce the fastest, strongest, best in whatever discipline possible.

It takes a lot of resilience to stay in any sport and I am questioning that it is possible for any average person to make it in any sport without specialist medical support, which usually costs a lot of money and is not available on the state, at least not in the western world.

Madison currently does get support with her shoulder and sticks to the training but also now has to do some football for a while, whilst the sport b-tech program is being dealt with.

I think that any sport is exercise and does good. And if you look how few athletes actually make it to the very top out of all that are in the clubs and on the competition scene, it just makes you wonder whether you are the one that will be it.

In the end, every sporting person counts towards supporting the ones that make it big because the more competitions we take part in, the more training sessions we do, the more we help each other and somebody somewhere is going to be the top.

 

Not much going on right now

At present not much is being posted because there is a break in competing. So for the many followers of this blog, it will pick up again at a later date. At the moment is mainly leg-training, spinning on bicycles and land work.

Missing out on all the best competitions at the moment and can’t wait to get stuck in again. Can help with competitions though, never losing interest in the sport.

The Cambridge Common

Whilst Madison had to miss out on the Cambridge Grand Prix, I made a parental contribution to the racing action going on in Cambridge over the weekend by acting as official.

Swimming competitions, which are licensed at a certain level, need a set number of qualified officials to meet the criteria.

The level of a nationalmeet is level 1 and Cambridge Grand Prix was licensed as level 2.

cambridge cows
Cows in Cambridge living in a public park

I stayed the night in a local bed and breakfast and whilst I walked from my hotel to the pool in the morning, walked through a park and could not believe my eyes seeing a herd of cows grazing on the Common.

It is almost unthinkable for a Londoner that cows should live so freely in a public park, that is used by joggers, cyclist and walkers as a through route in the city. Apparently the animals are docile and keep the grass short, no clue who picks up their cow pads, as I didn’t see any, apart from the residue on the cow I pictured.

An ingenious system of fencing, which doesn’t look particularly high or dense, keeps the cows within the common.

cambridge pool
Parkside Pools, Gonville Place, Cambridge, CB1 1LY

When I arrived at the pool on the second day of my stay, I looked forward to helping swimmers reach their dream of making qualifying times for the National Short Course championships.

The pool is nice and airy, fully surrounded by windows, it is light and appears spacey. The air quality in the pool area is also pretty good, so that working around the pool for a couple of days doesn’t make one feel too tired.

The national team for 2019

It’s a whole new fresh approach. Some of the very trusted names like Aimee Wilmott and Hannah Miley are not among the chosen ones.

But the list published on British Swimming still shows some well-known, huge names like Adam Peaty, Tom Derbyshire, Luke Greenbank, both Lichfield brothers, James Guy, oops I am just quoting males here. Lets look at some females who are in: Freya Anderson and Imogen Clarke are well known from watching nationals and of course Freye Anderson made excellent performance in recent team medley events on an international level.

What impresses me most about the selection page is the part about the world-class sports science and medicine services attached to being selected.

No NHS queues for selected athletes then.

Most of the selected swimmers are already attached to a national training program like National Centre Bath or National Centre Loughborough. Very few local clubs have directly associated swimmers in the national program. That is a bit of a shame because it looses the local connection to big performance.

It’s either university/school run swim clubs or city run clubs apart from national centre swimmers, showing that independent clubs do not have a pool to perform in, rather than saying not a leg to stand on.

Local councils have to wake up to the fact that performance sport, swimming included, needs council or city funding. Here in London we have quite a few clubs but none of those have any swimmers in this national program. Why is it that London does not have a performance program? It may be due to the size of the city. London is a huge area, nothing compared to smaller cities, which have superb performance swimming clubs.

2018-common
Picture at the London Aquatics Centre of Jarvis Parkinson and Aimee Wilmott with Gold Cost Mascot for Team England

Yet all attempts to establish a performance program have been hampered perhaps by cost. The London Aquatics Performance Program was shelved after a couple of years. Both Aimee Wilmott and Jarvis Parkinson were part of it. Jarvis was a young newcomer at the beginning of it and now made it to Loughborough. Both former coaches of the LACPP now work for Chelsea and Westminster swimming club as coaches.

For example clubs like Barnet Copthall produced Olympic Swimmers but even they are not represented in the National team for 2019. The new club Natare, run by former Olympian Michal Jamieson, which produced many national swimmers, not in the game for 2019 either.

The London Beacon program has gone under.

Don’t get demoralised

madison-800-trio
Aoife, Kaia and Madison prior to an 800 Freestyle race at Barking and Dagenham, photo taken by Alexander McDonald (now coach at Chelsea & Westminster)

Any prolonged injury can easily lead to feeling demoralised.

  • Can’t take part in all the training
  • practise hurts
  • Can’t take part in competitions
  • people talk to you like you are no longer important

Being demoralised can have important consequences, which produce a creeping withdrawal from the sport.

That can have results like:

  • Making excuses why you can’t take part in gym sessions
  • Making excuses when late for school
  • Looking to break up sessions early

What every injured athlete needs are people who keep on giving encouragement. Saying things like

  • Keep on trying
  • Go to the session
  • Stay the whole session

Not being able to take part in competitions and bring home the medals is probably one of the worst things that can happen to a swimmer.

Madison always relished her medals and being shown on social media and in the club pages of Facebook or Twitter. Having photos taken with friends during competitions, photos that express the team spirit and excitement before or after a swim.

It also all depends how determined you are and it helps to research a problem and listen to a sympathetic coach(es) who give exercises that bridge the gap between the injury appearing and treatment being offered.

Having looked at various publications about the issue, I think that Madison probably needs an operation to resolve the problems.