Blog 53 – Camping and Danny Dyer

So May/June has been fantastic so far. The Button family has had our annual summer holiday down to the south of France with Nanny and Grandad Button early to take advantage of the last holiday out of high season for years, as Molly starts school in September. My parents may be well into their 60’s and 70’s but they are full of life and love a good holiday! We stayed in a villa on a campsite in Ramatuelle. Mum and Dad still do enjoy a good camping trip which is great as I have just bought a wonderful trailer tent, second hand, from wonderful patients for next summer. I love camping and I’m trying to slowly convince Jenny and the kids that they do too, so I thought a trailer tent was a good start…and if they like it after a few years then maybe I can invest into my dream campervan. Don’t get me wrong I love a nice hotel like the next person but I grew up camping with my Mum, Dad and Brother and it taught me untold lessons growing up and I would like to pass that on to Molly and Harry…and Jenny…

Speaking of how well Mum and Dad are getting on, over the last year my seventy something Dad broke down with low back pain on a cruise. Low back pain is not something he has suffered with before and I haven’t treated him for it. However when he came in, he could barely walk with the pain and I recognised it as a pretty serious case of biomechanical back pain and I took an X-ray in the clinic straight away. We have a great digital X-ray machine that gives me results instantly (the benefits of having a chiropractor as a son!). Sure enough his lumbar spine was starting to twist. The X-rays are so useful when treating a condition like this. On the surface the twist is barely visible but on the X-ray it is really clear. This helps me when treating the spine to make sure that all of the gentle manipulation is in exactly the right direction. To be clear, without putting metal rods into the spine (something most people would prefer to avoid) we cannot make the spine perfectly straight again but we can restore function to a point where the patient is mainly out of pain and their quality of life is restored. Indeed after a few months work with Dad, working alongside the sports therapist, I managed to not just get him out of pain but back playing competitive squash again for Colston’s Squash Club. So there is life in the old dog yet and he can still come on holiday with us to help chase the toddlers in and out of the sea, so you can ascertain that my motivations were not entirely selfless. Without wishing to tempt fate, Mum will be jealous that I have a talked about Dad so much this month so no doubt she will pop in with something for me to treat soon. So touch wood, hey mum?!

Before I went away on holiday I managed to sneak in some voluntary sports work in aid of ‘Run Ronnie Run’. Ronnie is a 3 year old boy with Cerebral Palsy (CP). I have a lot of time to help people with CP and a lot of experience working with disabled athletes with CP from working with the GB Paralympic athletes to working at the CP world games for England. Ronnie however is my cousin’s son so I jumped at the opportunity to help raise money for him to have an operation to help him walk more easily. My cousin’s side of the family are all from Herts and Essex and are mad West Ham fans so they put on a charity football match at Bishops Stortford Football Club who played a celebrity side that included Danny Dyer, half of the EastEnders cast and a load of people from a program called Towie…I had no idea! Before the game and at half time I had to help Danny Dyer a bit and each time after I treated him I also had the honour of lighting his cigarette before he had to ‘get out there and play’. Life doesn’t get any more A-list that that for me!