dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Respecting Your Physical Limitations: Be Honest, Cautious, and Accepting

I want to offer a warning that is often hard to hear. We all have health issues that limit us in some way, and we know when we push our bodies too hard bad things can result. Recently, I saw that happen to someone else and it was so traumatizing I want to share it. My aim is to remind us all to be honest about our limitations, cautious in our environment, and to accept the aids & assistive devices that we need (even when we don't want to).

I had just finished swimming & chatting with a friend at the warm water pool. She is in her 70s and uses a walker, but like all of us with physical issues & stubbornness (I'm raising my own hand here) she doesn't use it all the time. She was moving around the changing area and scuffed her shoe where the floor slightly slopes downward to a drain. She tried to recover but kept stumbling forward. She smashed her head into the wall with an awful sound, trapped her shoulder between a bench and the wall, and crashed into the cement floor. As soon as she hit the floor I knew it was bad and started screaming for help. Lifeguards called for an ambulance. 

I could tell right away she had a dislocated shoulder. When they got it straightened out, she started yelling about her knee... it was a compound fracture and looked horrid. She has since had to have surgery for the knee and is now moved to rehab. She lives alone, and this will affect her independence going forward.

I'm not telling this tale to shock, but to remind us that denying our limitations and not using our aids can really hurt us short and long term. It only takes one misstep to threatened our overall health and independence -- whether we refuse to use our cane and fall, eat something we know will trigger a problem, push beyond our physical endurance and create an injury, etc.

I hate that my body makes me so vulnerable and creates so many limitations, but I know that not honestly respecting them will only hurt me. Sometimes that hurt is temporary, but it can also permanently change our lives. 
 I implore you to hear my message and I send you all a gentle hug.


  1. Thank you for the reminder. I didn't listen to my body yesterday while volunteering and ended up with an asthma attack. It is so easy to ignore our limitations.


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