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Ep.4 Straight-shooter Mick On Life With A Spinal Cord Injury

Ep.4 Straight-shooter Mick On Life With A Spinal Cord Injury

In this episode, we chat with straight-shooter Mick about life with a spinal cord injury.

After suffering an accident at work, Mick was left with multiple injuries, the prospect of 4 months in hospital, and the need to adapt to his new life. In this motivating story,  Mick gives us an insight into the highs and lows of his post-injury journey. He takes us through his personal struggles, then shares some of the best things about living with a disability (hello, premium footy seats!). From learning how to get out of bed, to the perks of jumping queues, we discuss the ins and outs of adapting to life with a physical disability.


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Hello everybody. And welcome to B stories. Series two of the underwear podcast by B physiology, where we get to sit down with some of our favorite people. Clients and role models. Those who have built our awareness by sharing their stories and their journeys. We are two exercise physiologists who work every day with people, living with a disability, helping them to achieve healthier and happier lives.

We are coming to these discussions as professionals and friends, wanting to learn more about the lives of the people that we work with. So sit back and enjoy this episode of B stories, where we get to chat with lovable Lakin, M. And hear more about his journey before and after suffering a spinal cord injury, Mick, welcome to the podcast.

It’s lovely to have you on first things first, mate, what is the name of your autobiography? Okay, let’s start again. that’s the name? no right. Gotcha. Yeah. I was like, we can’t do that, Nick. nice. Okay. Let’s start again. Okay. Let’s start again. How’d you get to that? Uh, just basically a lot of times in my life, I’ve had to restart everything again, uh, you know, divorces and, and all sorts of things.

Um, mum was a single mum and she had to move around a lot. So it was always new school. Start again, new friends, you know, that sort of thing. So, right. So I got quite used. Starting all over again, you know, losing a job, being in a bed, sit, you know, and starting again, that sort of thing. So, um, when I, when I, when I got first got divorced, started PlayStation and the four plastic bags for the clothes but, um, well at least you got the important, that’s another story.

Nice. It’s it’s, it’s such an interesting thing to think about. Trying to put your life in a few words. Yeah. And that’s perfect. Yeah. I think that’s awesome. I think it is actually. Okay. Let’s it? It was a good deep question, I think, but that that’s, uh, yeah, that’s what I could come up with, you know? No.

Awesome. Fantastic. Give us a little bit of background about your life. Say, leading up to your SEO. Okay. Um, well, me and my partner, Christine, um, we were working really, really hard to try and power mortgage off our goals within 10 years to pay the mortgage off. We had nothing in super cetera, you know? So, um, we were working really hard with that.

And everything was going really, really well. Um, up until the point where, uh, one day my wife, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, um, which was, you know, quite, quite difficult. Um, she had operations, um, had to have a couple, um, the first one, they didn’t get it, you know, so it was quite a, quite a try time.

Um, my father-in-law was diagnosed with liver cancer. Um, and then a few weeks later, I, I had my accident. Geez. He was, um, a bit of a run. A really hard time. Yeah. A really hard time. And it was mostly for Christine really because, um, I mean, she’s a Trojan, she was, uh, having chemo. Um, she was work working four times still and on the way home from, from work, she was calling in the PA hospital and visiting her dad and then visiting me as well.

One go, um, when it rains at pauses. Yeah. Yeah. It seemed horrible, really, really, really difficult time. Um, the. The injury that I had, I ended up, um, with amnesia cause I’d bleeding on the brain. Right. Um, my last memory before the accident was, um, actually with Christine in the bathroom, laughing heads off, I got pair of shes and I was shaving her head, but I give her a big hoo and you know, and I remembered us both just literally giggling and laughing at that.

Yeah. Yeah. Um, next thing I woke up in hospital this, you know, how long before the injury was that memory? Um, I think, um, I think I, I guess it bound about a week. Week before, maybe a few bit, little bit longer. Wow. But that’s the last memory I had and the next thing I woke up in hospital, um, and you know, I’d never spent a night in hospital only once I think in know my entire life and 52 years old.

Yeah. Um, and that was for, um, a hernia, which I had at work. Yep. So I had to go, it was nothing big, you know? Yeah. Um, but when I. Basically sat up and I thought, what am I doing here? I had no idea. And then I looked down the end of the bed and there was a, a letter from the nurses sayingm you’re in PA hospital, blah, blah, blah.

What I didn’t know was, uh, I was, I’d been in a coma and I was coming out for coma asking questions and then going to sleep again. And then it was like Groundhog day, you know, they’d call the nurses. I can’t fill my legs. Yeah, yeah. You’ve had this and that, you know? So it was, um, is that repeating thing again?

It was, yeah. I didn’t know this, but um, I remembered waking up one day and I remember everything from that one day I woke. It’s like my life started again, if you know what I mean. Yeah. They called, they called, um, Christine and she came in and, you know, like, why have you got that hat on? You know, like, I just didn’t realize you didn’t.

Yes. Yeah. Gotcha. So it was, it was, um, very trying time. Yes. And it was really hard. We eventually lost Christine’s dad, which was, you know, really sad and, um, yeah, it was a lot to do with it at the time, you know, but it was also trying to look forward and see how, what we can do, you know how we’re gonna get out this, you know, Liz.

The whole thing of, um, how did this happen? And I, I have no idea. I, you know, but if someone found me, um, at the bottom of ladders with a, with a harness on, um, and I think it was probably, um, as the investigator said, when you was transferring off the ladder onto the roof, this is what’s called a stop line where you hook onto.

So if you slip, you’re still hooked on. Um, but what there was, they, they actually said the ladders were too short. Um, and it was big meat and half Eves. So one thing happened this morning, I’m guessing. Cause I don’t know. Yeah, but the ladder had dropped and cuz it dropped, it went under the, the thing and I smacked my head as I went and knocked myself out.

And, um, I mean, this is only, this is only, uh, me guessing. Yeah. Yeah. But then, um, time went on, um, and the guy on the roof, shout out to the, the other maintenance guy, where’s Mick he’s been ages, you know? Um, so he come over to, to the bottom of ladders and found me, um, and then got the RN on site and she started doing CPR.

Cause I was, is it hypoxic when you’re not breathing? And I was blue. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So she, she was doing, um, CPR. While the paramedic got there and the paramedic took over from there. Did they have no idea how long you were out for like, no. Well, this is the thing they don’t know. They dunno how well when they found me, I wasn’t breathing.

So, um, the worry was when I come in, I’m not gonna have brain damage because of the lack of oxygen. So there’s, that’s another there block on that. Yeah. So there, somebody said where’s M he’s been taking a little while. Yeah. The guy, the guy on the roof shouted out to where’s Mick what’s he? Cause I went down to get, uh, I forgot the two little, they’re like a, it’s like a little ball and a tracer that you hook onto the line and you can walk along and you hooked on if you do slip or whatever you hooked on still.

Um, so I think. I went back to get those. Um, because I, I, I said to the lady at the desk, he’s a bloody 650 bucks each, you know, you can’t find them, you know? Yeah, yeah. It was just one of them things. But I was gonna say it’s like, uh, pretty lucky that your coworkers a bit of a hardass, because yeah. If he had to waited like another.

Four minutes to be like, where make he doing? That’s a huge difference. Yeah. Um, and that was why for Christine, I said to her, we can’t, we don’t know until he wakes up until he comes out the camera, if he’s got brain damage or not. So, um, it turns out I have only a little bit, I mean, I don’t notice it, but, but my wife, Christine, she knows it straight away.

Gotcha. Um, but it’s more. More things like memory and, you know, just getting you stuck. Mid-sentence just like the curtains come down. You think? Uh, and you forget what you’re saying, you know, the curtains come down. Yeah. That’s it. So that’s, um, that amnesia that you talk about when you’re coming outta the injury.

Yeah. Is that, that’s pretty common as in like, when someone’s had a pretty traumatic injury, they say that it’s hard to the actual, when I’d smacked my head, they said that I’d been bleed. My brain had actually been bleeding. So, so you definitely had a head injury? Yes, definitely had injury injury, the spinal injury.

So, so the list list of it was, um, when I was, when I woke up, explained it to me, uh, so bleeding on the brain and I also had a torn ATA, my heart. Um, that’s the tri effect. No idea. Um, broken scapula, um, bilateral broken ribs and bilateral punctured lungs, um, and, uh, broken T nine and T 10, but, um, partially severed spinal cord from T seven complete.

So from T seven, I’ve got nothing down from there. Um, and mostly cuz of that, uh, severed spinal cord as to date, there’s nothing really, they can. For that they are working on it. Yeah. But at the moment they can talk about that, that idea of plugging into brain and then plugging in past the brakes sort of thing.

But it’s still experimental isn’t it at the moment. Yeah. The cranial implants, that’s it? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean exciting times. Yeah. But who knows? Do you feel like you have any lingering effects from your like memory and stuff from the, the brain injury? Yeah. Something that’s still kind of with, yeah, really, really difficult.

Um, ultra short term memory, you know, like, like, uh, you do something and then you walk away and. Did I do that? And people go, yeah, but that’s the Sage, but you go, no, I wasn’t that bad. you’re right. I’m only 57, but no, it is. Um, yeah, so very short term memory and mostly getting stuck. Mid-sentence cause I can’t think of the word if you know what I mean.

Gotcha. Yeah. And it’s like, you can’t get any further until you get that word. Yes. You know what I mean? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. So you’re looking for the word, that’s it. And it’s just not coming. I see the curtains come down and knock on that word. It’s not gonna open again, you know, there’s just bow out. Yeah. It, yeah.

and it’s quite embarrassing, you know, it can be quite embarrasing but, um, yeah, just one of them things really, you know? Yeah. Yeah. I can’t blame. My brain on anything now? No. Yep. It’s just a bad brain. Poor. It is not that quick. Can’t blame that in the IOR. yeah, it, um, how long were you in the hospital for?

Uh, I think it was four months in total. Um, which going back to, I said before one night, Was the only time ever spent in hospital. To me, it was, um, when they said, oh yeah, you know, we’re gonna get here. We’re gonna move you from here down to the, uh, spinal cord injury unit. You know, how long for, oh, another three months I was like, what?

Yeah. So they say, they say like, are you gonna be here for. Yeah, they tell you, you know, you can’t go home yet. There’s there’s thing you need to do. Um, I mean, basically looking it from their point of view is where it’s right. Um, it’s a new way of life. Isn’t it? That all of a sudden I’ve got a, I can’t do what I used to do.

I’ve gotta learn to, to live and get by how to transfer, how to sit up. Even having no trunk control, just even sitting up can be really, really difficult, you know? Yeah. And things like that, that you’ve gotta learn. You’ve gotta learn this new way of life. Yeah. How to transfer and that sort of thing.

Explain to people. Your particular situation with trunk control. Okay. You just mentioned it then. Yeah. Can you give a little bit of insight to someone who generally wouldn’t have any idea what you’re talking about? Okay. So. The way I, if someone could understand people know what pathogen is, ADE is what they give to pregnant women.

When they’re gonna do a cesarean section, they, they put it into their spine. Mm-hmm and, and it means from that point where they plug it in there, they can’t feel anything so they can cut em open and do all the work that epidural that’s the one. So, but the, the problem is with that cogniti slang, I guess you, uh, the problem is with that, obviously they don’t feel a thing, you know, and, and it’s hard to try and imagine.

Uh, when you normally sit up, you sit up a bit, you can’t do that anymore. It’s if you sit up, you you’re wobbling over the place trying to balance because you there’s. No, there’s no, uh, muscle control there. There’s no trunk control. Um, and it’s a hard to explain really, but, um, yeah, just does it feel like you are.

Like a balancing top type thing or that’s. Yeah. So you, you, you know, you balance you’re come back to, for you’re moving your arms around. Yep. If you see people doing that, it usually means they’ve got no trunk control, you know? Gotcha. They’re really embarrassing. Like going out for a mill, not being out to support myself and sit up and using life in full guy to, I have to put me.

Rests on the table arms. Yep. And then I bring my head down to the fork. Ah, you know what I mean? Because it, it is, uh, and it looks, you know, people in the restaurants have seen people look around before and you look at this bloke up, wait, cave, man, over the table, you know, but that that’s, if you could, if you could picture that, if you, when you’re cutting me with the knife in fork of not being able to hold yourself up, cause you’ve got your arms out.

So you’ve got to, you know, people do it different ways, but I find resting on just, just by my wrists and cutting it that way. And you know, mm-hmm, it works, but yeah, it’s horrible. It’s like, it’s like being drunk. Here you go. Trying to stay. It’s gonna be risk when you’re really pissed and everything’s moving and you, and you’re whopping it over the place.

And you’re just about managing it. Set. But it’s a job and it, and that’s pretty much what it’s like all the time when you’ve got no Trump. So you’ve been able to develop your trunk control, but you haven’t been able to get it back to the point where you could a meal. And so I know how to do it. Um, but there’s, yeah, there’s still that same problem that Christine knows when we go somewhere that, you know, we trying to get right underneath.

So, so I got, I got somewhere to pet my arms, that sort of thing, but gotcha. Try. I mean, it’s probably the easiest way to explain it is being drunk. Yeah. And trying to sit up and you’re, you know, right. You know, you’re swaying and you’re wobbling and all that sort of thing. And you’re trying to bounce yourself.

That’s pretty much. Yeah. What it’s like all the time. Yeah. Right. I’ve never been drunk before, so no, I dunno what that’s like. Um, so little bit more just to bring it back a little bit. Um, so you were born in Australia obviously by your accent? No, I was, um, where were you born, mate? Where are you from? So I’m, I was born in, um, in England with Wil.

And then, um, my dad was in the army. So we, we, after I dunno was less than a year old. We flew out to Aiden where the troubles are now. Um, there’s always been troubles there, Aiden in, in, um, in Yemen. Ah, yeah. There’s port of Aiden was a very famous port at the time. Uh, and that, I think it was the, the, the different tribes that were fighting back then that are still fighting now, you know, all I know is you can go salmon fishing in the Yemen yeah.

That’s where you can, you’ve seen the film. I. Yeah, no, but yes. So my dad was in the army and we were out there for a while. Um, and then my dad, uh, got transferred to Germany was, was called bore, British army on the Rhine. Okay. Uh, so we got sent out there, so we moved that to Germany and that’s why I learned to as a kid to speak fluent German.

And, um, right. And then we came back to England when I was about four. You still got a bit of that in there? No, I, I, I was just saying to Tommy the other day, you know, I couldn. I, I could speak as a kid. Yeah. But once you are out of that environment and you never speak it, you just, you just forget it. And, and that’s why it’s like a muscle.

They say you need to keep working on it, you know? Yeah. A hundred percent. Yeah. All I know is like phrases from computer games. Yeah. AUM, an idea. I was like, okay. Attention and grenade. It’s pretty it pretty close. V bears. This bitter, what time is it please? I think that’s right. Yeah. Yeah. Abbu Chanel is, hurry up, boy.

I had a, um, I had a German boss for a while. Oh, okay. So there was a lot of. That. Yeah. And like, you know, he could have just been swearing at me the whole time. yeah. I actually dunno if that is the real translation. Of course they got, you got Octoberfest in Brisbane, which is always good to go yes. From Papa and all that sort of stuff.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Pork knuckle and yeah. Oh yeah. I do love a. A big long table with just steins of beers, run up the metal and everyone’s sitting down and everyone’s in the same mood, aren’t they? Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. , everyone’s there for exactly the same reason. Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re gonna have a good time.

Yeah, that’s it? Yeah. Okay. So. Moved from. So you were living in Germany? Yep. We moved. How old were you when you left? Um, I was still four. I think we came back to, we came back to England. Yep. Um, and then I started, um, you know, infant school. We used to call it back then. Infants, juniors, and seniors. I know it’s year one now.

And it, and right. It’s all different now. Sort of the kindergarten and things. Yeah. Yeah. Um, yeah. So then, um, spent most of my life there. Mm-hmm um, and then got divorce. I think I was in construction work most of the time. Um, there was a big jump between, um, oh yeah, that’s a big, big jump school and the getting divorce that’s it.

So, you know, it just whack that part out, moving along. don’t back over there, up over there. So, yeah. And then, um, yeah, so I was back being that’s the whole point, the autobiography, you know? Okay. Let’s start again. Cause it was, it was a yes, always every time, you know, starting over again, going to a different country, going to a different school.

You know? Yeah. I’m definitely picking up a theme. Yeah, for sure. Um, loads of different jobs I had, it was always starting again, you know? Yep. Um, but yeah. Um, I spent a while on my own, and then I was living in a house with friends. Mm-hmm that was good. Fun. Um, nothing like a share house. Oh six blokes in a house.

what can go wrong? Sounds clean go, right? Yeah. Yeah. But, um, yeah, so, so my friend one, a friend of mine, he met, uh, an Australian girl mm-hmm , which turned out to be, uh, my wife’s sister. Oh, nice. And they, they, he moved out the house and bought a, bought a flat with her living and he run me out one day and said, can you keep an arm, a place for us?

If I give her the keys, you know, So I’ll do better than that. I can live there if you like. Cause I was sleeping on my mate sofa cause I’ve been kicked out of where I was before. Gotcha. so it was a, I went and lived there and then, um, a few weeks later when, well they’re away for six weeks. I think when they come home, uh, Vicky said you’re gonna have to move out.

Cause my sister’s coming over said, alright, no worries. You know, so it’s back on the sofa for a little while. Okay. Let’s start again. yeah, exactly. And then, um, yeah, and they ended up meeting Christine and that, and that’s sort of all history from there. Really? Yeah. Right. Me and Christine moved up to Norfolk, Manchester.

Ah, yeah. Um, basically, um, turning houses, buying cheap houses. Okay. Um, which from people from down south, they do up type thing, turning it over. Yep. And they remortgage it, pull the money out and move on to the next one. And one guy, he ended up with 10 houses for us. Um, holy. And that’s how we built a little business up, you know, then I split with the business partner and um, and then we ended up coming back to Australia.

Christine said, I wanna, I wanna go home. I said, why is that? Yeah. Right. She said, I just wanna summer up, you know, cause. She asked me when, when to some start in, in England, which is. It’s a bit of a, you know, how long, how long is a piece of string, you know? . Yeah. And the answer to that is twice a length in the middle to the end.

but, but, but you know, summer in England, you never know, you might pour down for six weeks. Yeah. And people go, go and holidays. For that reason. Some people have holidays in England and you just range the whole time they go home and then back to work and it’s sunshine. It’s just a bit of a, okay. Englands like next bag.

Well, I must say when I was in London for a few days, I got. Sunburnt like properly sunburnt. Yeah. Yeah. And I remember thinking, of course I’m walking around with a sunburn in the, in London. like, I look like the most London person, the world I’ve got IRO. Yeah. Well, and they’re drinking water at the pub. I fan of myself down.

Oh, you, if you get, if you get a nice week in England, People are usually red for the first week because they’re, they rush out and put shorts on and they’ve got little white legs and white arms and all that, you know? Yeah. Yeah. Um, it’s quite funny really, but, um, in, in Christine laughed in the north of England where, you know, like ation street, you open your front door, you’re in the front room.

You’ve got no. You’ve got no front garden or anything, you know, you step off the street into your front room. Yeah. Right. And, um, because of the way the sun is, you get a, a lot of girls that live from that side, but rush out and get their bikinis on and then put a chair outside and then sit in their street.

just to it in. Yeah. Yeah. Makes it hard to drive, you know, you have to sort of, I guess, yeah, I, can I take you back a little bit? Um, cuz we were talking about the hospital process before or hospital in general. Yeah. Um, how was that? I mean like obviously the three months stay it’s a long time. Um, and you’ve got a lot to adapt to, like you’re talking about all of the trains staring and whatnot.

So yeah. Was that interesting to go through, especially when you’re still coming to terms with the injury itself, like you gotta learn a whole bunch of stuff and it, it is. I mean, you’ve got nurses that, that just treat it matter of fact, because that’s their job, you know, and, and, but you still, uh, dunno like learning to play violin in public and it

Yeah. You know, it’s horrible noise, you know, it’s um, yeah, it was a great metaphor. Yeah. I do find it really difficult. First of all. Um, and then eventually we got moved into cuz of sharing rooms. There was four of us in a. And I got moved into a room with, um, there was a couple of other guys that I got on white roof.

You know, we all ran about the same age, ran about the same sort of level of injury. Yep. And we were all all trying to come to terms with and, and get on with it, you know? And, um, they ended up being quite a good laugh. One of used to snore. We used to throw the little pill boxes in to wake him up cuz he was snoring.

Um, and eventually moved on to water pistol. They were good fun. Yeah. Right. don’t recommend screwing the nurses too much. Cause they ended up with a massive syringe and and soak man, and just left me in the bed with, but, um, yeah, that was, I’ve heard. Good stories about spinal ward nurses. Yeah. You’ve gotta have a laugh.

I think. Tend to have a laugh. Yeah. If you can make it into a laugh, that’s the main thing, you know, there was, there was, I won’t mention your names, but there was a guy in there that, um, a lot of issues to. Because he was so centered on his injury and what’s happened to him and how out of order it is and, and how much he hated what happened and someone that hit him, you know, um, in a car crashing Iraq.

Right? Yeah. Um, and it, you know, it was quite a shame really because. Like you go, we all eat together in the same place, you know, pretty much everyone’s in a wheelchair. You get a few that are, you know, can walk, but mostly everyone’s in a wheelchair. So, um, you know, you, you sit with different people sometimes and you chat and you get to learn their, their story and all that.

But people would avoid him once they got to know him would avoid him. I was gonna say, was it easy to sort of block out? I mean, if somebody is around you with that mentality and they’re still going through the same thing that you’re going through, is that easy to block out at that time, it sort of, you do in your head, just think mate, move on.

You know, you’ve gotta start thinking about what happened and you’ve gotta start. Trying to get yourself better and trying to do something about your situation. You know, it even kind of gives you a good relative point for you to be like, I can see what I don’t want to be like exactly as well. Yeah. I noticed, yeah, I don’t wanna start going on about what’s happened all, all times.

Everyone you see, you know, because it just becomes that you become that person that people avoid. And that’s why I didn’t want, you know, didn’t wanna do. But, um, it’s a shame, really. It was real shame, but you know, everyone gets same, a good site, you know, move on. Yeah. You know, things that happen, you can’t reverse this, so you’ve gotta learn how to get on with it.

And that’s, that’s the, the key really is thinking, well, you know, okay. Let’s start again. yeah. So you were able to start again in terms of your mentality and whatnot, while you were still in the hospital, like you were able to sort of come to terms with everything in that three month period. Yeah. I, I think, um, you know, with what was happening with Christine and, and my father-in-law.

Everything else, you know, you think, um, you do sort of think what’s next, you know? Right. Of course. But at the same time, I, um, as you know how I’ve got a sense of humor, I have a laugh on that. So I found that for me was, was my way out, was my way of having a gig giggle with the nurse. Who’s maybe then again, and, and with the physios and, you know, everything you go through and you’re learning to, um, You know, learning basic things in life that we all take for granted getting up, getting dressed, or getting showered.

Mm-hmm going in, going to the Lou, all that sort of thing is all new because it’s you no longer there’s any of that work. So you’ve gotta find a way around it, you know? Yeah. Um, and that’s what you do. They teach you. Basically, the physio really is, this is how you need to get to do normal things that you used to do on your own.

Because the, the one thing that a lot, most of us want anyways, are independence and that’s, it makes it difficult when you’ve. Uh, an injury and things where people need to help you all the time or you think, you know, for me it was, no, I, I wanna do this. I wanna get on my own. I don’t want to have to rely on yes.

Rely lean on people. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Was, um, was leaving hospital and going home for the first time after that stay. Is that another start again to, okay, let’s start again. So now, now I’m at home. Um, all the time. And I know now I’m getting around the house and we had to have, uh, builders in to obviously change things around.

We had, uh, our bedroom knockout making to an on, we had non suite. Yep. We had to knock out the wardrobe to make it big enough for me to turn around in. Yep. There’s all that sort of stuff going on, you know? Um, give a few more examples of that stuff. In terms of like little modific even little modifications modifications.

Um, what I did find was, was, was, um, trying to explain, um, to the people that were doing the modifications, what I wanted, and you really gotta speak up for yourself. Otherwise you’ll just get what they think you want. Ah, and you say, no, no, I don’t want that. And a few arguments and, and, um, We had to, yeah. One of the things, except for example, was, um, putting a, they wanted to put a ramp at the front door and I said, no, I don’t want a ramp at the front door.

Cuz that tells everyone that you’re in a wheelchair, you know, it’s like an advertisement and that’s not what I wanted. You know, uh, I said, I’ll use the garage door it’s right next to the front door. And I just go in and out for the garage and I, but, but I do need a ramp outta the back cause I need to get out into our back patio area area.

Um, and then it was, um, they were gonna. I asked them to put a bit of pathway in from the back gate round to there, because if there was a fire only cuz it with my background from work, you know, was that all those sort of regulations. But I said, if there’s a fire and the front’s on the fire, how do I get outta the back?

I’ll just go sit in the garden, you know? So I need, I need, you know, to be roll around to the side gate and get out. Yep. So you really have to stand up for yourself and, and, and tell ’em what you want. Otherwise you’ll get what they think you want. Yep. Um, and that that’s, that can be a bit hard, you know, and then you’re molding your life around these yeah.

New constraints instead of yeah. Well, you don’t wanna be like, um, you know, McDonald’s bring out an introvert burger and that’s where you go in there. And you buy it and you walk away and isn’t actually no burger, but you don’t really like to say anything, you know? Yeah. Yeah. You’ve really gotta say what, what you think.

Yes, exactly. Think about this is, this is now gonna be my house. Yeah. And I, I want to be able access this and this is a burger I’m eating for a long time. Yeah. , it’s a big one. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Any, any type of, um, I mean, again, talking about hospital and leaving hospital, um, is there any kind of. You know, how were the physios in that first, uh, initial part?

How did you find that process of, cause I know some people really find it hard to even start getting outta bed yeah. And start dragging themselves to do these things. And then other people you can’t stop ’em. Yeah know, that’s, that’s the thing. So in the hospital, when you were in with, uh, three other guys in a room, um, there’s only so many showers.

And toilets, if you know what I mean? So if you want, if you wanna get going, if you want these people like to get up early and get it on a friend of mine, he was a great bloke, but we, one thing is to do ahead and we had to get in there before him, because he would be in there for like an hour. Sure. And not being rude when you do toilet and stuff, it’s learning new work.

Cause nothing works. You have to figure, you have to encourage it. Yeah. Yeah. So, um, So it can take a bit of time, you know, whereas, uh, I’m sort of a lot quicker. And so as your other mate, so we were like, hang on. No, no, no, we, we are going before you, you can spend as long as you want after I’ve been in there, you know?

Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, getting used to those things and all that. Yeah. Okay. The physios I found, um, the, but they’ve got set up, you know, on the same level, you just roll around to the physio room and is there’s different things there, weights and, and, um, fair bands and all that. And, and never really. I used to work out in gyms and stuff like that, but never seen all this sort of stuff that, how does that work?

What’s that doing? And all this, you know, and I had a really good physio. She was a good girl. She’d, um, she’d done a uni and stuff like that. And, um, but yeah, she got moved to Dru in the end, which is the brain injury clinic, but I, she took me up there for an assessment and she said, listen, it’s gonna be quite confronting when you come in here.

Um, because there’s people with brain injuries and all that sort of stuff, you know? And I said, well, why am I going there? yeah, right. She said, well, but they, because you’ve had a brain injury, they have. They have to assess it, work out. Yeah. What level, what level you’re at. So that was, and it was quite fundamentally and, and everything she asked me to do just the way I I’m trying to do as quick as possible when she’s going, it’s not a race slow down, you know?

So it is, you get used to working with different physios, I think. But, um, they usually sign you one physio. She can get that relationship going, you know, mm-hmm, she’s a good girl. Yeah. Yeah. Okay. Can I ask, and this is sort of a two part question, uh, cause they tie into each other, but especially around that time, um, there would’ve been people that stood out to you.

Uh, who were able to sort of like adapt to your injury, uh, at the same time frame as you and there would’ve people would’ve been people who maybe like weren’t as good. Like, what was that process? Like if the people around you, like who was good and who, who did you find? I was in that, the, as I said, when we moved to that room, there was four of us.

Um, the two other guys, they, they were the two that we were, the three of us become friends and we still keep in touch now. Um, but they were both. Pretty much a good example of what you’re trying to say there. Cause one, um, would it, it he’d struggle a bit, um, with depression and stuff like that. And one day he shut the curtains and cuz you’ve got no privacy there, you know, and that’s the only thing you can do.

And then for a week it wouldn’t like those curtains, a nurse to go in and out and all this, you know, and we, and because you’re trying to respect someone’s privacy. Yeah. You know, we just didn’t didn’t talk to him because he didn’t wanna talk. And I spoke with my other friend of me to laugh. A joke and all that sort of thing.

And then, you know, about a week later, sh the curtains come open, sorry. I’m back now. , you know, but he went into a dark place cuz everyone’s getting, wow. Some people do, you know, they get into a, if you allow yourself to go so far down like, oh, is to get up if you know what I mean? Yes. Yeah. Yeah. And so he he’d sort of gone into that.

Yeah. You can definitely dig yourself a pretty deep hole. Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. And, and the other guy was, was the opposite. He, he was, um, Uh, he was a painter by trade. I think he, um, had his, his accident. He was, I think he was one week older than me or younger than me. I can’t remember now. And we were laughing about how similar we were, you know?

Yeah, yeah. And, uh, but he’d have a good laugh. And he, he, he wasn’t, he was just, okay, you know, we’ve gotta do this now. Gotta learn how to do that. And, and, um, there was some, quite, some funny moments in there because. Um, as you know, with the bowels, um, mm-hmm, you, you have to learn how to, uh, use therapy and stuff like that, but , they lifted him.

They’d lift us out outta the chair, cuz it’s still early on in the injury. So lifting out of, uh, in a sling into the wheelchair. And I remember sitting there one, they lifted him up and it was all just. Pouring out the bottom. It was like a good Curry here. And then I was just talking about how I wanted Curry one day this week.

So thanks everyone. Hey, he didn’t know. And the nurse didn’t notice it and I’m going nurse, can you open the doors? And she’s like, yeah, I can you, can you come back and open my doors quickly? Yeah. Because then, then you get the, you know, the smell the, we never said to him, you know what I mean? But it’s it’s if he did say that, it’s just funny.

He’s just a funny thing, you know? Right. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. It’s uh, it’s not something we choose to do. No. Exactly. Yeah. But it’s something you have to deal with. Isn’t it really? Yeah. That’s interesting actually, cuz a lot of people wouldn’t realize that uh, like bowel and bladder control is just like part and parcel depending on where your injury is.

Yeah. Um, and. On that. What is something about your injury that people may not realize that you find to be like, oh, this is probably one of the hardest things to have, uh, prob probably the, um, um, trunk control. Yeah. People assume when they see you in a wheelchair that your legs don’t work, that’s it? Yeah.

That’s it, there’s so much more than that. You know, if the, I think if you asked, um, If you’d done a poem on paraplegics and quads and everything else, you know, um, I think I read saying somewhere when they said that walking was quite low down the list mm-hmm right on the top, there was sexual function.

Mm-hmm um, and, and the next thing was, was having junk control. Because, you know, you wobble around every, all the time and you look bit weird, you know? But every time, if you wanna get a drink, you have to brace, put one hand out, get the drink and all that, you know? So you’re casually leaning on things all the time.

Yeah. So I’m talking to you now. I’ve got one hand on my knee, one hand on here, cuz I can move around. Cause I’m I’m balanced. Gotcha. If I let go of that, I’m just. Come straight for the mic. Is that fatiguing in itself? I mean like, you’re always like trying to brace yourself through your arms. You’ve learn to do it naturally a bit much like you do when you learn to walk, you just, you don’t think about walking, you just do it.

But when you are a baby, when you’re learning, you’re mobbing over the place and all way, cause it’s all new to, you know, and it’s the same sort of thing now, you know, and it’s it’s um, with the physios, going back to the physios, they try and. Teach her that to, to yes. To tense as much as you can. Yep. Um, which will give you a little bit more control, turn something on to give you a bit of a bracing.

Yeah. Okay. Yeah. So that’s what you’re learning really is, is how the body, how your body’s now working mm-hmm and how you can deal with things depending on what your injury is. You know? So what kind of things besides obviously the seated balance control stuff, did the physios kind. Want to see from you before they let you go out into the world?

Absolutely. Yeah. So they, they, the different things, they teach you, they teach you how to be inlaying flat on a, on, um, it’s not like a bed, you know, like a plinth, like a, you don’t flat now you’ve gotta get up. Well, when you, you know, it’s really, really hard, so you to you learn to, to try and get your elbows behind you and work up and lean to one side and you graduate, get yourself up.

It’s a full process. It is. Yeah. Yeah. But now we do a lot of teaching people that stuff. Yeah. I put my arm up and I frame my arm and I think I totally a while ago and I’ll do weights. I’ve I throw weights and hold on some, yes. It sort of lift you up. Yeah. So you learn, you learn fire yourself outta a cannon chair.

Yeah. Yeah. If you can roll over, then you can, you can push yourself up and then bring your legs up all different ways. But it, um, how to get in and out of a car. There’s another one. Um, they teach you before you go, um, how to transfer from a chair into a car seat, you know, which is important for me cuz that’s I drive and that’s the next thing I wanted to do is get my license back mm-hmm um, so that that’s another little, little one.

They time. when you’re doing it. And then you keep doing it every time you go and they, you, they said you will get quicker at this. Yes. Um, but they basically you’d slide in and you’d turn the wheel on its side. You’d take the first wheel. If you strip the wheelchair down and pass it across the front of you, everyone, mm-hmm, all that sort of thing.

And I remember thinking at a time around. I’m gonna find something another way around this, you know, which I’ve now got a lifter. Yeah. Beautiful sits in the back of my Ute, which works perfectly, you know? So it’s a mechanical arm. Swings around, holds the chair. Yeah. That’s see. In, in the Ute while you’re driving.

Yeah. Well, well, it’s got the arm and I, I get out the chair I transfer, as you said, bring the arm around mm-hmm and it’s got like, um, two hook grips. Mm-hmm that go onto the, the, um, the push rims push ribs. Yeah. And then just lift it up and then, you know, remote control into the back of the. And then I’m the same one as everyone else.

that’s it? I do like your, uh, accessibility sticker on the side of your car as well with the bloke and the wheelchair flipping everyone off with a little finger. Yeah. Yeah. I had to get that. How that looks. Yeah. It it’s awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I love it. Um, So moving away from, I guess, all the challenges and everything like that.

Have you found there’s something in particular that you found to be the best thing about your injury? The best thing about me injury? Um, I did write it damage, you know, I did think about this. Um, I found it. It was quite a good question, actually. It’s yeah, it’s a tricky one. It’s a tricky one. Why did I put that down?

Um, Because I know so many people always are like, what is it? Parking? I was gonna say, it’s gotta be parking it. Yeah. Like it’s think about parking parking’s there. Um, that’s a good thing. And then, and getting into restaurants when there’s a big queue, oh. Queues would be push to the front. That’s the now and dare say anything.

no one really wants to say anything. You know, sign me up. Take me out to dinner anytime. Yeah. Alright. That’s great. So I’ve got that thing where I. I could least I see your cue and I’m like, oh, you know, oh, another thing as well, going to footy matches, you get really good seats. Yep. Oh, you get that little, uh, like the bay at the top, around the rim.

There’s, there’s a, there’s a, I think from the first, from the, from the pitch up, there’s a row seats, then there’s a come off, straight off the street and there’s a nice big wide bases. And you got two seats for your mates. Yeah. And, um, I took my mates along and they said, oh, we gotta. Next time of a foot, you know?

Yes. Um, went to QAC, I think as well, we went to see, uh, a lead Zeppelin tribute band. Oh, nice. And I said to the guy, I want the best seats in the house. I wanna be at a good stereo, you know, sit in the middle and all that. And so he, he said, oh, we take the seat out for you. So they take two seats out say, and I was buying two tickets for a mates as well.

Uh, and we got there and mate said they were spot on. So we were level, we were level with the stage. And the rest of people went down sort of from there. So we had good and we was right in the center as well, you know, and Doy lock zone right there. Oh, beautiful. Yeah. I’m still thrown that you saw a tribute band.

That’s crazy. I thought you only saw those some like dive bars and stuff like that. No, they were good. They’ve been travel over Australia. Oh, they called now. I can’t remember now, but they were, you know. Yeah. But they were really good I guess. Is that kind of like queen, but I guess they have some of the original members in there, but it’s like, no, no, they, Adam Lamb it’s.

Is those main singer and stuff like that. There’s they did years ago, John Bonham died from led Zeppelin. He, um, he choked on his own vomit, cuz he never a drink. Tell where to go. That’s why you shouldn’t lie on your back. If you’ve been pissed. You know, if I could tell myself that I would I usually find it better.

If you hang out, I’m usually face down. If you hang over the bed and in the bucket, you have only got a little way to go isn’t you? Yeah. but um, yeah, he’s um, on a way to go. The the only time that did play again after he died was, uh, do you remember, oh, you wouldn’t remember live a, you wouldn’t have been alive then would you?

Oh, we remember live a though, like we know live age, everyone know live a day. John Bonham’s son. Uh, Jason. Was on drums. Um, and he played like his dad. Oh, true. Yeah. It was really good. That was the last time I’ve ever seen all of them together. Did you get to go to lot? Did you go to live a no, we watched it from a house.

I had friends who went right and got caught up in the whole thing. Reckon queen was the best at the whole, the ones who got the whole crowd going just, you were like famous. Yeah. And that’s even in the, the movie. Yeah. That’s it. And up until that point, a lot of bands didn’t used to do that. Didn’t used to, you know, getting him singing.

Yeah. He got completely involved in all that. You know, my mate shivers. Yeah. My mate got so whipped up in the, the whole frenzy of, you know, trying to raise money. He gave his car to them, sold a car, you know? So it was, it brought. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah. But it was, uh, yeah, that was 88, no eight. Would’ve been a good time to have that 86, I think.

80. 86. Yeah. Would’ve been a good time to have that accessible pass. Exactly. Yeah. Right at the front. Yeah. Perfect. It would’ve been cold. Take barriers out. Yeah. Put you on stage. so, um, just moving, I don’t know how much time, how long we’ve been running for at the moment. About half. Okay. And we’ll move down the, the question line a little bit then um, Going into a little bit of N D I S question.

So N D I S is a national dis disability insurance scheme. And they’re the reason why a lot of people are having a lot of opportunity. A lot of people living with disabilities are having a lot of opportunity to try different things, different services like AJ’s and, and mine. Um, lots of different thing.

Go on holidays. Uh, carers equipment, the whole thing. Absolutely. Yeah. I mean, it’s, it’s one of the, I, I self-manage, I, I manage my own, my own fund mm-hmm , um, which I said in the beginning, they ask you what, what, you know, what your main things are. And my, as I said, my main thing is I wanna remain independent.

And reasonably fit. That’s just, it really gotcha. Independence is so massive to, to disable people. It’s, it’s hard to express that, but, um, it was a little bit, self-managed sorry to cut you off as being self-managed part of that independence, is that exactly? Yeah. I don’t want someone to tell me, you know, you gotta do this or you, I just want you to do my own thing, you know?

So I had the first interview there and I, they said, what’s your, if you could encompass the whole thing, what what’s all about. And I said, the independence really, and that, and that sums it up, you know, um, Being a person who’s started again so many times on your own and used to doing it on yourself. Yes.

It’s not easy to have to rely on other people. Yes. But what I will say, um, is although it’s hard to navigate, cuz you’re learning a way around this new system because they all knew as well, you know? Yeah, exactly. Right. Yeah. It was quite new at the time to everyone. So one of them was five years. It’s been around six years, maybe something like that five years.

Yeah. Oh I think, yeah. I was quite early on that. I started it. Yep. Um, and that you’ve gotta learn to navigate through the. Um, the wording of things, you know, the wording can be a hard thing. One thing I found is there’s hoops. If you say the wrong word, it’s not quite right. You have to say the right word, which, you know, opens doors and all that.

But I will say very lucky to be living a country where. There is that, that fallback for disabled people to be able to do things like to go away on holiday with a friend or something, you know? Yeah. Or, or as you said, training for me, that it yeah. Was, was, was actually doing, um, doing weights, getting back into a gym, learning different ways to exercise and, well, let’s talk, talking about that.

How did you, uh, hear about exercise physiology? Um, that was through sporting wheelers when I was in hospital. Mm-hmm he took us down to sporting wheelers for just for an afternoon, just to have a little go beauty. Great. Yeah. Yeah. Um, they show you around and then they say, oh, you can join and you can do this.

They, they got the whole accessible gym there as well. Yeah. Accessible gym. Um, that I, I think accessible gym and there was, there was something else there as well. I can’t remember now on my head, but me. Yeah. there you go. That’s it? Yeah. That’s where I first met you. EP. Yeah. but it was that the one thing I found with that, the problem was the parking.

Um, obviously being disabled. Yeah. I, I need the whole whip for the door to open, to get my crane on around, but people don’t, people just think you wanna park close, but it’s, I’d park on the other side of the car park. If I could, you know, you’re right. And, and their found with, with there was, that’s a good point getting there.

That’s why I arranged the viewers to be at eight o’clock in the morning. So I’d get up early and drive, drive through traffic and all that. Cause I know if I get there at eight o’clock. Guaranteed a space and you’d be there at seven o’clock sometimes to Dodge of traffic. Yeah. And just sit in the car and then it meant I’ve got a space because yes.

As you know, if there was no spaces there, you, you were bugger for you. Oh, you do? Yeah, exactly. There was, was that a shared car park as well? It shared another business was all of the cause there was a big office there. Well, next door was Virgin where my wife worked Virgin. Um, oh no. What paid. Oh, she, and she did the same thing she used to say to me, you had to go early, she’d drive there early.

Um, just to get her parking space somewhere. She can get into work, you know, because otherwise you drive around and it’s bow Hills, you know? Yeah. You’re not finding anything. There’s nothing around there. I’m free at least. Yeah. And since starting with, um, us at B physiology, what kind of things have you.

Like, what kind of things have we been working on and what kind of things, uh, have you got from exercise physiology in a whole, I guess, uh, um, as we’ve been working a lot of be seated balance and stuff, you know? Yep. Um, learning to do exercise is absolutely. Correctly, because it’s, you know, you’ve only gotta overturn your arm the wrong way or whatever, and it affects different parts that yes, bad habits to get into isn’t it in the way, you know, mm-hmm but, um, once again, more for me, independence, you know, I learn I’m learning to do these exercises.

Um, so I can keep myself fit and have me independence. You know, I don’t have to have to rely on people again, you know, a hundred percent. And, and that’s like, that’s pretty much what we preach. Within our, yeah. Yeah. You know, our, well, that’s always pillars of why we started this business as well. Yeah. It all lands on independence.

Absolutely. It all lands on. It doesn’t sound like you skipped too many beats with respect to like having independence. It sounds like, I mean, you had that goal pretty quickly and absolutely. From day one. Yeah. It’s I think there was partly been in hospital after the buzz for a nurse, because you wanted to do so buzz for a nurse cuz you wanna get that, you know, and you know, they’re busy.

Yeah. And you feel a bit out of all and it just feels, I dunno, I feel a bit lazy at the time really, but, um, in the end you have to get into that habit, you know, you have to learn to rely on people and ask, you know? Yes. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And that’s a, that’s a tricky one to learn. Cause I know some people that really had difficulty learning to ask for help.

Yeah. Yeah. Because, and I, I would be the same. I would be exactly the same way because it’s just, you don’t wanna put people out. Yeah. You have to learn. To put people out. Yeah. You know, but realistically, it’s just asking someone a question though, like, but yeah. I definitely have met people who found that a struggle before.

Yeah. That’s one of the main things I think is, you know, excuse me. Would you mind like going to supermarket. I can’t reach top shelf, you know, and I’ve tried a few times. I’ve had a few tins in the face. Oh. Trying to recheck, get the, get the, um, uh, you know, the little tins of fish for, for my dog. Oh yeah.

Okay. And you pull the thing off and then you get two of them go bang, bang on the face, you know, and, and then come someone come in, it’s gonna help you. And you go, that’d be awesome. Please. Little way gets an ice bag. Could you? Yeah. But, um, where’s the peas, just, just being in an aisle and looking around and think, oh, there’s no one there.

So we go off and do some more shopping. And then follow someone as they go around the aisle and then you pop, excuse me. yeah. That’s it. Would you mind reaching that for me? And that people like to, you know, they feel a hundred percent. Yeah. They feel good about it. They’ve helped someone out, you know, but, um, yeah, it’s, it’s not easy in terms of getting back out there, like getting into the community cuz as AJ said, yeah, you didn’t skip a beat when it came to your independence and kind of figuring out what you wanted to do.

Uh, what, how you wanted to do things like you were very industrious in that way. Yeah. Even setting up the gym that you have at home. Just you got everything, you know, you’ve got the rings, you’ve got the plan. That’s like, you do have a great setup at home. I will say though. I, I, I think, um, it’s one thing they at the hospital should be saying, you need to.

Get yourself set up when you’re home. Yes. Cause I didn’t first of all, uh, okay. And I sort of, you know, thinking, oh, well I’ve got a spinal, um, spinal, uh, severe spinal cord. What’s the point, you know, but there’s a lot more to it than that, you know? And I, now I’ve got myself set up with hoops that I can pull, pull ups on and, and as we exercise where you do now, you can hold onto and stretch your arms without falling flat on your face.

You know, all those sort of exercises. I think the, the, the, the more barriers you can remove from, from keeping. The be, oh, absolutely. Yeah. We, we a hundred percent agree. Yeah. And just on a few, few questions left before we wrap this one up, but we know how much you love, you love getting out in the community.

Um, and you’re always doing things like you’re always going, you know, for a cycle or you are, you’ve been, you know, I’ll leave a session from yours and then I’ll see you head down the road, like going, doing something. Yeah. Um, what kind of things can you recommend to people? Maybe in the same position as you.

Okay. Like in terms of getting out to the community and doing stuff like that, um, find like minded other people. Uh, okay. So I, I desperately wanted to ride a bike. I used to ride push bikes all the time, so I desperate to ride again, but I need to ride, um, with my arms, you know, for obvious reasons. Um, and I found a place in Towan and drove all out there and had to go on this bike.

Yep. Great. Um, when picked it up when it was ready, like six weeks later got home and then I was thought, hang on a minute. if, you know, if something goes wrong with his bike, I’m just stuck in the bike. I can’t, yeah, I can’t get out and push or, or, you know, this is a bit awkward. So, um, I tried a few times and eventually found this guy who had a disabled triers club and it was only him and another guy.

So I got in contact and, and, uh, Got friends with him. And he said, come out with us. And we ride, and one of the guys who, who was, uh, disabled he’s, he’s got a really bad arm and a bad back. Mm. Um, but he, but he can walk and drive. Okay. And all that, um, and went with them and they’ve turned out to become really, really good friends.

And it’s the, the only way I can really cycle with confidence is because I know that if anything goes wrong, I’ve got mate Steve there, he’s brilliant, you know, uh, cycling mechanics and anything else, or if comes to the worst, comes to the. He can ride back to the car, pick my car up, drive it back, and then we can, I can get out and get him a wheelchair and you figure out.

Yeah. But so it’s that moment. Um, Floyd and, and Steve good friends. Okay. We’re called, um, good little safety net, but it’s a community that you’ve kind of yeah. You’ve taken on. Yeah. Yeah. So I have a friend had, uh, he’s had a stroke, so he’s got, uh, Nothing down one side. Yep. And we laughed about the fact that the three of three of us make up one whole person, you know, but, um, if anyone’s interested, it’s, um, it’s called, uh, wild hogs, um, disabled triers club and our, and our motto is spazzy, but speedy

Um, yeah, so I shoot as well. That’s one, another thing I found when I was in hospital, you could go shooting and I, yes. I used to shoot, um, in army cadets and in the army and all that. Um, so I started shooting again and now I’ve got, as my wife gets complaining to me, uh, six rifles. Now you get shot. Yeah, I shoot.

And, um, I just do a pistol license at the moment. Have you ever shot. A couple, uh, ski shooting, 12 gauge. Okay. And, uh, 20 twos. Right. But so you not, not used the telescopic sites at all? No. Oh, that’s a whole new building. Yeah, I can imagine. So, um, describe my, uh, hobby in the most boring terms would be poking holes in bits of paper from a hundred meters away.

least you can hear the paper. I shot a gun once and I was. Awful. like, I remember the Thai guy that gave me the gun was just like, he like looked at me and laughed and I was like, actually, I did shoot a, um, like a Remington in Vietnam. Yeah. That’s over there, but it was like on a Mount. So all I did was like, hold the triggers, like get, I was like a little, super loud fun.

Um, the, the telescopic sites were new to me because I used to shoot what they call iron sights. Um, right. Yeah. Which is the old 3 0 3 wife was in the, in the, uh, in the, um, army Cades. And then the. Uh, 7.62 SLR went, I joined the army and that’s you cock that once and every time you fire that the fired gases are used to recook it and being another one up for magazine.

So that’s semiauto. Yep. Which isn’t allowed in Australia anymore? No, because of the obvious reasons what happened in port a, you know? Yeah. Yeah. But also swimming. Swimming’s good as well. I found swimming to be probably one of the single most best exercise you can do with spinal cord injury. Yeah. A hundred percent.

I agree. Yeah. We’ve been in the pool before and uh, but I prefer to get in there cause I can’t lift my head. And I can’t twist my body to get the, the strokes going. I just put a snorkel and a pair sudden I put my head down and I just, I go out and down until I’ve done like 15 limps or something, you know?

Yeah. Yeah. Good. Yeah. I must say that, um, watching, cuz you never, until you see someone in your position jumping in a pool, like you don’t know what to expect. Yeah. And you’re like, oh. You just, you know, floating around. Yeah. Backstrokes pretty good. Backstrokes fantastic. But I have found it cause issues. Um, I was doing a backstroke a little while ago and, and slammed into someone cause I can’t see where I’m going.

Right. Yeah. And I just assumed that the person who’s coming forwards can see where they’re going. Yeah. Looking. Yeah. They, they didn’t. So, so I’m looking at now is probably, which is all these things I should have done when I first came out to hospital is working out review and um, um, as we did Harry before.

Yep. Um, having a good setup at. Yes. Um, but now we’re gonna get a swim spa at home so that oh, thanks. Just outside my door. I can get up in the morning. I can go in, in the shower chair, straight in there. Jumping the pool at a swim. I’ve got lifted to get me out. Yep. Back in of a shower. Whereas at the moment, brilliant.

It’s a long drawn out affair of getting dressed into the white stuff because you can’t get changed there. Um, I frame myself in, at the pool. They hold the back of the chair and I just roll out. Then they lift me out the chair and I go around to my car again, transfer one on wet, go home. Yes. You know, get all your stuff off.

And your bum sticks to the sheets cuz you’re wet. Yeah. It’s a real, it’s a real awkward logistic nightmare. Its yeah, yeah, yeah. It’s worth, worth the effort, but it does take. By the time you’ve gone parking and there and driving back and you’re looking at three or four hours, you know? Yeah. Wow. Whereas it’d be nice to get up every morning and swim for an hour and, you know, start me down that way.

That awesome. So you definitely recommend getting into the movement and setting up at home as soon as possible. Soon as you can, as soon you can get into it, the better as you say, I’ve got a bit of a belly at the moment. I’m calling myself out on 88 kilos. Yep. Uh, and my average rate was running about 78 before actually.

Gotcha. Yep. Um, and I went down to 71. I was in hospital. Yep. So this is, although I good, good, um, whole food and vegan food and stuff like that. I do like sweet things and maybe a bit too much. And it’s mostly wine as well. But though, yes, I’m the sweetest thing. I’m starting on Monday on a, on a, on a fast.

And I’m gonna see how it goes, but I wanna try and lose 10 kilos if I can. Beautiful, good luck. Yeah. Thank you. I’ll be there watching it happen. yeah. Watching me shrink. See how gr how, uh, grumpy you get. Yeah, that’s it? Yeah. Probably lose out off everywhere, but my stomach. Yeah, like really skinny, fat.

That’s it? Yeah. Uh, Bri, do you have a photo there for us? So this is the way it was gonna end, uh, each podcast. We just, once your snap reaction, when you look at this photo, what do you think? All I got. Okay. . Yeah, I’ve just told you a joke. That’s what I think , that’s really good. No approachable as well.

That’s a big thing in it. I think people with, with a good sense of humor are so much easy to approach. Yes. Like new dads, new dads with a surrogate baby on the way. I suppose it could though, it looks, it looks like AJ’s just burped to heart.

Perfect. Mick. Fantastic. Always a pleasure mate. Thank you so much for coming on board. Yeah. Thank you for sharing your story. It was awesome. Um, I guess next thing is we don’t really have a close off, do we? We’ve gotta take our clothes off. Yeah. Tell do it on camera.

See everybody. all right, mate. It’s great to talk to you. Thanks. No worries. Thank you very much. See everybody. Thank. Hope you guys enjoyed the latest episode of be stories. Make sure too like comments and subscribe. And if you wanna be part of, be stories with be physiology, hit us up on Instagram.

Meet the hosts

Be Physiology

At Be Physiology we focus on exercise and movement for the management and improvement of neurological and chronic conditions.

Related Podcast

Trent Brock | Mobile Exercise Physiologist

Trent Brock

mobile exercise physiologist
I have had 3 major passions throughout my life; exercise, competitive sports, and a strong will to help others. Those 3 factors made it an easy decision to pursue a career as an exercise physiologist. By encouraging and facilitating evidence-based exercise rehabilitation, I can help individuals living with various chronic conditions, particularly those living with neurological conditions.
I see exercise physiology as an extremely beneficial practice that enables clients to experience an improved quality of life. Personally, being able to provide insight into exercise and other tools that can equip clients with helpful skills and wellbeing improvements is extremely fulfilling. Being able to improve not only an individual, but their support network’s day-to-day life fills me with great joy and motivates me to continue to be better so that I can do better. I understand that everyone has a different view of exercise and there is no one-size fits all approach, so I operate with an open and adaptive mind, supported by evidence-based practices. If you or anyone that you know is looking to improve their quality of life and begin a journey to improved living, or just have any general questions, get in touch and let's have a chat!
Michelle Marais AEP

Michelle Marais

mobile exercise physiologist
My passion for movement, health, and helping others led me to become an Accredited Exercise Physiologist. Through this role, I facilitate exercise-based rehabilitation for individuals with various chronic conditions, with a primary interest and area of expertise in neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is about equipping clients with valuable skills that make daily tasks easier and empowering them to achieve their goals while enjoying the process.I take great pride in being a part of my clients' rehabilitation journey and exploring new methods with them to find the optimal exercise approach that works best for them.If you have any questions or are interested in starting your journey to a happier, healthier lifestyle, please feel free to reach out to me.
Angus Sullivan AEP

Angus Sullivan AEP

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
As an accredited exercise physiologist, I see my role as an opportunity to facilitate a safe and effective environment for my clients to explore their physical capabilities, identify areas where they would like to improve, and then prescribe meaningful and appropriate activities to achieve these improvements.
I currently work predominantly with individuals living with disability and have a keen interest in acquired brain injuries (ABI), traumatic brain injuries (TBI), cerebral palsy (CP), spinal cord injuries (SCI) and rare neurological conditions.
To me, exercise physiology is not only about achieving narrow objective goals (eg. 1 Rep Max bench press), but improving an individual’s lifestyle and making activities of daily living easier (mobilising, transferring, feeding, and more).
I love what I do and enjoy learning new methods and discussing different opinions about exercise. I am always happy to chat about it so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share!
Our team of mobile exercise physiologists

Walter White

manager of good vibes
Being active has taken on a whole new meaning and I am 100% here for it. I like to fink I'm pretty active, and I keep up de vibes during team meetings - just making sure everyone's hands are always moving (across my butt) because I know dat any exercise is good exercise.
I keep close to everyone, real close, just to keep dem on their toes when dey walk by too.
Fings are always better when I am der so if you need some good vibes, I will be der for you.
Brb just going to have a snooze.
Love and licks,
Brittney Kenward

Brittney Kenward

co-founder / Operations manager
I’m NOT an exercise physiologist, but I do take my hat off to my team and get to admire the work they do each and every day. Be Physiology means that we’re able to apply our passion, and our experience, to make exercise physiology more accessible to the people who need it the most.
You might hear the team describe me as ‘the person who does everything else’, and that can be translated to ‘marketing and operations'. My background is marketing and business, which I’ve lived and breathed since 2011. I’ve worked in both the agency and corporate spaces, across many industries, with many amazing people and now with Be Physiology, I get to explore the health industry further and continue to meet the most incredible people who are the ones to define motivation.
If you’ve met Harry and Aj, you’d know that they don’t really need marketing - they’re genuine, have ridiculous amounts of charisma, knowledgeable, and extremely passionate about helping people to be a better version of themselves. But, sometimes getting an introduction is the hardest part and that’s where I come in.
If you want to chat, a coffee, a laugh, I’m always here to make one or all of them happen.

So call me and let’s keep sharing the love!
Keegan Betts AEP

Keegan Betts AEP

mobile exercise physiologist
As an Accredited Exercise Physiologist, my work is driven by my passion for movement, health, and empowering others. With my experience working with individuals of all ages who have neurological conditions such as autism, stroke, and cerebral palsy, I focus on delivering activity-based therapy to optimise their independence.
Seeing people empowered and handling daily tasks easier is incredibly rewarding, as well as being able to give others the tools to improve their mental health and prevent secondary health conditions.
I know the importance of creating a welcoming and safe environment particularly when improving our health and I always strive to ensure everybody feels supported by the team around them and receives the highest level of care.
Get in touch today and let's make it happen.
Kristen McCluskey

Kristen McCluskey

Mobile Exercise Physiologist
If you spend as little as 10 minutes a day exercising, it will still make a huge difference to your overall physical and mental health - this is a fact and it is very often underappreciated! The benefits of exercise don’t discriminate and the rumours are true, exercise is medicine.
Spinal cord injuries, neurological conditions and women’s health are areas I find to be very dynamic and that I am particularly passionate about, but all aspects of exercise physiology are unique and have a significant impact on people’s everyday lives and I want to continue bringing it to those who will benefit the most from it.
I'm passionate about learning new methods and learning what my clients enjoy and how they approach exercise. I am always happy to chat about the many benefits and outcomes of exercise physiology so please get in contact if you have any questions or knowledge that you wish to share.
If you’re interested in learning more about who I am or want to ask any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch at .
Charlotte Gill

Charlotte Gill

marketing assistant
My name is Charlotte, and I'm a sports enthusiast currently studying for a marketing degree. Although I am not an exercise physiologist, I have a passion for sports having a background in ski instructing and adaptive skiing. Like the team, I believe exercise is medicine and share a similar passion and values to help and motivate others I meet.
I've been fortunate enough to work globally with a background in event management, ski instructing, administrating, and climbing supervisor. However, working alongside the Be Physiology team as my dream role in marketing is a highlight. If you have had the pleasure of meeting the team, you will know their genuine, funny, knowledgeable, and passionate to help others. These are values that I also pride myself in, and I am so fortunate to be surrounded by like-minded colleagues.
Harry White AEP

Harry White AEP

co-founder / supervisor
Exercise physiology combines two of my favourite things: health and helping people. As an accredited exercise physiologist with more than seven years’ clinical experience, I have treated people presenting with a wide variety of health conditions and concerns, postural issues, chronic injuries and rehabilitation needs.
My expertise is spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders and helping my clients to achieve an improved quality of life through rehabilitation and functional training. Rehabilitation for spinal cord injuries and neurological disorders can be slow but incredibly rewarding for clients when results are achieved, no matter how small. Assisting people through learning useful skills and functional training is the most important role that an EP can play to help people lead a more fulfilled life.
Working for many years with people who have suffered serious injury or live with a disability, I know that taking a proactive approach to your health changes your life. If you care for your body, it will take care of you.
I’m passionate about helping people live a long, healthy and active life, so call today.