Sometimes I sit here and pinch myself thinking I might wake up to find it was all a dream. This year in our house we have seen one smiling baby boy arrive combined with the horrors of postnatal PTSD and a global pandemic. Lock down with three small boys under 6 and a husband working from home was not exactly how I expected maternity leave to go. At work we joked that I would be back in the clinic a week after giving birth in order to escape the chaos at home! I am just glad I was blissfully unaware of what was around the corner.
However, though in many ways the hardest and most horrific year of my life, these experiences have a way of making us stronger or more determined than ever. After surviving the past 18 months I feel like I could now survive anything. It’s true what they say…if it doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger. Though I don’t always feel that strong.
When my brother Richard Denton CTO at TQA and entrepreneur went to Romania for an ACL reconstruction during the pandemic, I must admit I wasn’t that encouraging to say the least. However, I am a big believer that ‘all things happen for a reason’ and whether you believe in God or not this was one of those God given opportunities that could not be missed.
I remember Richard ringing and saying:
‘Carys have you seen these sensors? Shall we try and bring these to the UK? You can be Head of Physiotherapy!’
‘Head of Physiotherapy I said, I can’t be Head of Physiotherapy…that’s for grown up physios’ I replied, thinking of all the legendary ‘Top Dog’ physio's I had worked with over the course of my career.
I settled on Specialist Physio Lead as had always dreamt of being a clinical specialist, but that imposter syndrome still crept in a little as I still felt a bit of a fraud. To be honest it was either sink or swim, this ship was moving with or without me and I had to get on it or I would be left behind to regret it in years to come. So, with a 6 month baby in my arms and bleary eyes I suddenly found myself flung into action, speaking to the Reflex team in Romania on the phone and attending the most significant board meetings I’ve ever been in in my life.
What started with a few excited text messages showing my colleagues this latest technology; thanks to lockdown quickly became an established family business. I was surprised to suddenly realise that as a physio I had developed a whole load of skills over the years – networking, communication, research, marketing, clinical skills. So much that could be used in this new and exciting role. Starting off I was very naïve – I had no idea what I was stepping into. I had no idea about procurement or red tape or the practicalities of sales and marketing but with the help of Accelerate Wales and some other key supporters I managed to keep up with this very steep learning curve. And what started as working for free on my kitchen table with a baby and bottle in my arms became a very much loved and exciting career path that I could fit around the kids.
We are now 8 months into DPT and again I’m pinching myself that we are still here and I have a sneaky suspicion that we will still be here next year and maybe even in years to come. There have been ups and downs, it’s been a roller coaster ride but as more and more patients come through our doors, their testimonials confirm that even if we were to stop tomorrow it has been worth doing.
With special thanks to my team in no particular order Alasdair, Josh, Daniel, Alex, Camil, Andrei, Tania, Rachel, Richard, Ali, my long suffering husband and all those who have supported us on this journey so far. We are very excited to see what the year ahead brings.
Specialist Physio Lead
Denton Physio Technology