I used to think it was safe to walk in mall parking lots but not anymore.
While cheerfully walking along a large chain store parking lot a month ago (cue the sunshine and the birds singing…), I stumbled into not one but two gigantic potholes and had the indignity of hitting the pavement with these body parts: forehead, nose, arm, hands and knee. My daughter and a kind store employee helped me stop the stars from circling and helped me up. Of course, I did report the incident to the store manager and then tried to continue with my day. Except…..
I was in much pain, especially from my elbow and knee but didn’t think I should go to the hospital. My thinking was: ”why go through the trouble–I’ll feel better in the morning” so I didn’t. Big mistake.
Over the next few days to a week I found out that I fractured my right elbow (did I mention that I am right handed?), banged up my knee pretty well and oh yes, had a mild concussion. All are on the mend, thank you, but this was a wake-up call for self-care.
Now in my splint and limited state of mobility, I had plenty of time to contemplate what I should have done–take care of MYSELF first and then do everything else. Since I’ve been running at high speed for years (ok, decades), my body had no choice but to give me a very clear message to slow down and take the time to care for you.
I know I’m not alone in this but something like this does make you think and change your actions. I did continue to fulfill all my obligations after this fall but I was very clear about my limits. I napped (found out that was fun), told people “no” to various requests and was a model patient for this first month of my recovery. The “self-care” model is paying off as my elbow and other injuries are healing ahead of schedule.
So the take-away message for all of you is–be a practitioner of self-care every day so if you fall in a pothole on a sunny day with the birds singing and hurt yourself, you will recover quickly.
Tags: Health, mentors in caregiving