This was the answer to my question when asking the local council sports department if they had a hydrotherapy pool.
* Groan *
…here we go again. Forgive my pessimism, but every time I try to access some form of sports facilities something doesn’t go right and it’s usually because of the restricted growth.
Take this hydrotherapy pool incident last year, I do not cope well in cold water, I especially scared my once beau when we were in an outdoor one in 30 degrees heat and my lips turned blue, so your average British pool is no good for me. Even if the beau rather humorously tries to suggest I get a wet suit… that and the average pool temperature swimming is not going to happen.
So rather than thinking I’ll never swim again, and as I actually used to love going in the hydro pool at school, this was what sent me on my quest to find one.
You see, I can request hydrotherapy treatment through my GP. However, this treatment is usually in a hospital and only for a certain number of sessions. I have tried this at a couple of hospitals. But the problems in just getting to the buildings makes the whole process incredibly stressful.
There was one place where I had to go on a particular day, because I wasn’t allowed in a group session, for the health and safety reason because the pool was too deep. I had to get there at least 45 minutes before the session to try and get a parking space. For one session, I had to do on-street parking and was exhausted before I’d even stepped into the costume.
The other hospital in question at the time was miles away from home and the problems of having to make up the time to work around these sessions (with the knock on effect of being tired because I was having to fit in extra time) and also the stress of dealing with hospital car parks spaces (or lack of them again), far outweighed any of the benefits the treatment was supposed to have.
And there in lies the problem, hydrotherapy is seen as a treatment not a public access right that your average person has to a public swimming baths. Whilst there has been great strides in equality in some areas for people with disabilities, I do feel that there is still some way to go for inclusion in exercise activity, especially for people with restricted growth and I’m finding when it is available it can be prohibitively expensive.
I’m glad to say what a difference a year and Twitter makes, well almost, I never tried the local council again. I posted a tweet asking if anyone knew of any hydro pools in the region I live. One person came forward with a couple of places which I contacted.
After a look around the facilities at a rehabilitation centre that runs it’s health club facilities like a gym, I’m glad to say I’ve got my first session booked in for in a couple of weeks time. Now I’ve just got to find a tankini that fits… (another issue, another post to write me thinks).