July 30, 2008


“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
-Eleanor Roosevelt

So yesterday I misread my calendar and thought that my PT appointment was two hours later than it actually was. Because I thought I had several hours to do other things before getting ready, I happily commenced putting things back to order in my messy kitchen and family room.

For days, everything else had been neglected as I busied myself with preparing several batches of chicken crepes that I was making as a surprise for Mike's birthday. It was delightful to finally feel well enough to accomplish this task again. I felt joyful to realize how much progress I had made in the last few weeks.

Just three and a half weeks ago, and two days before Pete left on his most recent trip to Vietnam, I had started driving again. It was wonderful to feel so much more self-reliant. Day by day, I noticed small improvements. Going up and downstairs was becoming much easier. With each passing day, I was able to do more and more things with only minimal pain. I felt overjoyed with each and every little mark of progress. It was wonderful to be able to finally use my energies to give out to others, rather than being on the taking end.

But yesterday, I misread my calendar, and one-half hour after the true PT appointment time, I received a call from their office to find out why I hadn’t appeared. I felt embarrassed and quite remorseful that I had made this stupid mistake. I asked if it was possible for me to still come in for a session. I was told I could, but only if I could be there in twenty minutes.

I ran up the stairs, washed my face, put on my contact lenses and hastily threw on some appropriate clothes. Grabbing my purse, I went quickly back down the stairs, got into the car and drove as quickly as I could to arrive at the newly appointed time.

Once there, I made my apologies and began to proceed through the assigned exercises. But this time, my therapist was not her usual encouraging self. This time she was not at all pleased with my execution of the workout. She made continuous comments and corrections about my form and methods, even though it seemed to me that they were exactly the same as they had been on previous visit

She told me that I should be getting much better bend in my knee, the way I sat on the bike was wrong, and I wasn't wasn’t using proper form while doing my squats. She added that if I didn’t soon get it right, it will necessitate some surgical intervention. That would mean that at a surgical center, they would put me out, then force the knee to bend as far as the artificial joint would allow, breaking through any scar tissue that was limiting the current movement.

I came home somewhat disheartened and frustrated. And, a little stung by my therapist’s tone and her criticism. Though I know that certainly I could have been doing better, I didn’t feel as though I had exactly been a sluggard. As I considered the things she had said, I could hear my negative inner voice begin its blameful talk. Then, while walking up the stairs to my bedroom, I stopped mid-step, and stood still for a moment before the damage started to take hold.

In that simple moment I realized that just because someone said something negative about me, I did not have to own it! And in that moment, it came to me that I had the strength to face whatever might come next. Right then and there I refused to move to a place of fear or begin to mentally beat myself up because of someone else’s disapproval.

In that moment, I knew I had made progress, even if it hadn’t been up to someone else's expectations. In that moment I decided to be kind to myself. I will try harder and I will do what I can to avoid a a painful additional procedure. But if I must submit to yet one more surgical intervention, I will. I've been though worse.

Within a few moments of this realization, the joy I had been feeling returned and my step became more confident and sure. Life is like that sometimes. Onward. Onward. :-)

Posted by Judi at July 30, 2008 10:53 PM | TrackBack
Post a comment

Remember personal info?