Dolphins rookie Ella Jones has spent the last couple of weeks recovering from a medical procedure at the home of 2016 Paralympian Monique Murphy.
The pair share similar diagnoses of endometriosis and adenomyosis, and with the postponent of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, both took the opportunity to heal.
In fact, it was Murphy who encouraged Jones to see a specialist in the first place.
“If Mon hadn’t encouraged me, when I told her about my symptoms, to get it checked, I probably wouldn’t have,” Jones said.
“Having Tokyo postponed means I have this opportunity to focus on my health … we don’t really get a chance to stop and take a break because we’re always training, so this has actually been a positive.”
Murphy, who underwent her second laparoscopy to remove her endometriosis in March, added: “I have been absolutely loving the fact I can recover from surgery without the pressure of training.”
Being able to recover in isolation, together, is a plus.
“When you’re on your own, you notice how much you do need that other support to keep you accountable, so I am excited to have Ella here,” Murphy said. “Just having someone else to cook for, someone else to talk to other than my cat … and actually get a response!”
“We’re both full on knitting at the moment,” said Jones. “And we’ve had crazy nights watching the Disney channel … all the classics. Hercules, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid.”
With pools closed in QLD, they also ventured out for an open water swim.
“I’ve never really done open water swimming before. We thought we’d swum a kilometre, but I think it was actually 400m,” Jones laughed.
“It was so lovely to get in the water,” said Murphy, who is a below-knee amputee. “Floating in the water, I personally feel so much more freedom. I feel like I could stay in there for hours, whereas I jump on the bike or do some land-based activity, it very much starts to get undoable. I had a sense of freedom being in the water – it felt very, very good.”
Endometriosis pain almost ended Monique Murphy's career, but a diagnosis changed all of that: https://t.co/8fhCdSdLTh #Swimming #Paralympics #endometriosis
(Pic: Monique Murphy) pic.twitter.com/90fpjo5u7L
— ABC Grandstand (@abcgrandstand) May 8, 2020
As plans to reopen pools begin to take shape around the country, Murphy, who was recently appointed a Lifeline Community Custodian for the second year in a row, urged junior swimmers not to lose hope.
“I think when I was young, I thought I had to be making the advancements and the achievements right then and now,” she said. “I didn’t make my first team until the age of 21, and if I went back and told myself that, I would have been shocked. I would have thought that was too old to make a first senior team.
“So I think it is just knowing that there is time … there will be ups and downs, but we are moving forward. Those opportunities will still be there waiting for us.
By Swimming Australia
Photo with thanks to Swimming Australia / Delly Carr