Woops! It has been a while.. but good to see you back here!
In the past months I have been busy with graduating (yes!), finishing work projects and vacationing. And I have enjoyed all of it. However, one thing that also belongs in this list of activities is rehabilitation. I took part in an intensive rehabilitation programme and I am going to tell you all about it in this blogpost!
After my first attempt of starting a rehabilitation programme that did not work out due to bad communication of the organisation, I was sceptic. Luckily, there was one other option with an organisation called Winnock zorg.
Winnock does it different
The first thing that was different than what I experienced before with other organisations were waiting times. Normally, you have to apply and wait for approximately 2 months before you can start or even have an intake. At Winnock, I called and could plan an intake for the next week! For me, this was perfect because I had time to do it now, not in 2 to 4 months.
I had the intake conversation and it immediately felt right. The team is to the point and are honest with you from the beginning: ‘here, we do not focus on the diagnosis of your physical issues but we are helping you to improve your daily life despite your physical issues, therefore you will also be in a group where people have different health issues.’ During the intake they also make sure that you are ready to start the programme, by talking with a rehabilitation doctor, a psychologist and a reintegration coach. At the end of the day these three meet and conclude whether you are suitable for the programme and with what intensity.
One week later, I could start with the intensive period which meant: 2 weeks, 5 days a week, the whole day. This scared me a lot, because of my energy level and pain at the time. I thought I could not do it. And so did a lot of other people in my group.
And guess what? I did it! and I feel great.
How did a day look like?
You started your day at 09:00 with a therapy session of 2 hours. You might think this is very long and exhausting but it was actually ok. Because you are in a group, this helps to keep things interesting and dynamic.
At 11:00 you would spend 2 hours in the gym. Every. single. day. When I heard that, I was shocked. I love to exercise but I had stopped because of the pain in my body and I thought I could not do it any more. The first time when we went to the gym, they told us to give 30% of what you normally do when you exercise. For someone, who always gives a bit more this is very hard and somewhat annoying. But after one week you realize why they ask that. Because I did not exercise I had to build up and most importantly, they always repeated: you should be able to do the exact same exercises on good days and bad days. On good days, you do not do more and on bad days you do not do less.
After a break you would have another therapy session at 14:00. This therapy session was more interactive and included some nice exercises. For example, we had to blow up a balloon, put it on a chair and sit on it. My brain could not cope with this so I refused to sit down. Which was ok, but I had to explain why. This took a lot of energy and when they asked me what my energy level was from 1-10 I said 5. After that, the therapist told us to get up and try to knock the balloon out of each others hands, the group had fun and was laughing. When we had to indicate our energy level again I said 8. This way, they want you to experience change in behaviour and what the effects are on your energy level and body. Furthermore, they use mindfulness to ‘slow down’ and teach you to listen to your body.
After the intensive period
Once the intensive period was concluded, I had build up such a nice relationship with the rest of the group because we shared some very intense moments during the past two weeks. And despite our differences, this programme connected us. Also, the professionals at Winnock are doing a great job. What I particularly loved was that they also shared personal stories and struggles with the group to show that we are all human and despite the fact that our current society maybe tells us to not show our problems and struggles, we all have them.
Now I go back once every 2 weeks (together with the group) and this will get less in the next couple of months. In total, the programme lasts one year.
I can honestly say that I have learned so much in the programme and throughout I feel incredibly supported by both the professionals and the people in the group. A life changing 2 weeks! 🙂