July 22, 2021 – update
How to donate to Charm’s Project? You may direct deposit into BSB 182-512 Acct 969025279 (don’t forget to leave your name/email for the receipt) or via credit card by hitting this DONATE button.
In other news, Charm and her team have changed the venue to Lake Crackenback due to more predictable cold water temperatures, and the date will be 2nd AUGUST, provided all her support team can make it. Good luck, Charm!
June 15, 2021
I can’t remember the last day I wasn’t experiencing pain.
I’m not starting with this statement to get sympathy. It’s part of what’s made me who I am today and for the most part I’m pretty happy with that.
Apparently I have been born with degenerative discs which began to make themselves known when I was in my late teens. When I was 20 I had my first lot of back surgery and had several more over the next 18 odd years. I don’t regret any procedure that I went through as they all helped me in some way. But the degree of assistance they gave diminished over each one.
In 2009 I was referred to the Pain Clinic at North Shore Hospital where I met Prof Michael Cousins (and later on Dr Rebecca Martin) and the rest of the team. This place is the reason I am here today.
Their multidisciplinary approach, individual treatment plans and honesty about my condition have enabled me to cope with chronic pain and the life it entails. It’s been a combination of noninvasive, invasive procedures and mental training that has got me here. I still attend the clinic for treatment now.
It’s for these reasons that I am aiming to raise money for the Pain Foundation to help them expand and further their research into chronic pain and its management so others can benefit like I have.
I’m a swim coach by trade who has trained and supported dozens of long distance Channel swims around the world. While this has been an amazing experience I’ve struggled with it a bit as these swims were something I have always wanted to do myself. My spine had other ideas.
Over the years I’ve alternated through stages of being able to swim quite well to not being able to swim at all. Walking with a stick to taking the dogs for a massive walk. Weighing nearly 90 kg to down to 70 and training with a PT twice a week. Last year a friend suggested I try and do an ice mile and I discovered I can swim quite well in cold water.
On August 20th 2020 I became the second Australian female to swim an Ice Mile (1600m in water under 5 degrees) and then 3 days later the second Australian and the only Australian female to swim an Extreme Ice Mile (2km in under 5 degrees). At the moment I’m 25th in the world in the distance travelled in cold water.
This year I am aiming to swim as far as I can in water under 5 degrees. The world record is 3.75km and the female world record is 3.3km. I think I can beat these!
AN END TO PAIN?
To find out more or to help research into understanding pain please contact Shaan at the Pain Foundation on email email@example.com.