Do you know there is absolutely one thing that YOU will never achieve? Take a guess. Go ahead. I can wait – I’ve got time (cue Jeopardy music. ).
The answer is…Be Someone Else.
So why do we try? It’s human nature. But it’s also very self destructive. Especially when you venture into our world of medicine – physical therapy. I’ll let you in on a little secret. But first I will tell you a story.
We had a patient of ours recently complaining about how much better their friend was doing after a joint replacement. She was chatting with them nearly daily and comparing notes. And, we were getting all the updates. Our patient was getting more and more frustrated every time she came into the clinic. And, it was obvious. Her friend had better range-of-motion, more strength, better looking scar, could walk farther and faster than them, could go up & down stairs…everything was better!
She asked us why she was not further along after her joint replacement like her friend. As a team, we were brainstorming and making sure she was progressing well. Actually, she was ahead of schedule as determined by us and her doctor. But it wasn’t good enough. At least not for her.
Then it happened, she walked in for her physical therapy session totally quiet one day. She had found the answer to why her friend was doing so much better than her after her total joint replacement – her friend had the surgery a year ago!
She fell into the trap that captures so many of us – comparison. And if someone is doing better than you, being envious doesn’t help you in any way. Your healing process is yours – no one else’s. I, like my brother, have had both of our ACLs (a major ligament in the knee) repaired via reconstructive surgery. Not a fun process by any means. We were chatting and comparing if one surgery and recovery was easier and less painful than the other. We both tore our ligaments pretty similarly – a non-contact injury. We discovered that one knee surgery was very very painful & a long arduous recovery while the other one was a breeze.
So what did we both learn? Each injury, surgery, recovery is unique unto itself even in the same body. My brother sees this in his medical practice with his patients as well (he’s an ENT & Board certified Neurological Otolaryngologist). We see it here in the clinic as well and there is no rhyme or reason for how someone recovers & progresses.
Here’s the answer to the little secret…You can only be you! No matter how hard you try, your body will recover on its’ own schedule. Some people will rehabilitate faster than you and some slower…and we don’t have the answer to why this is – no one does.
But there are a few things you can do to maximize your recovery. Don’t over-do it, give your body a chance to heal. More is not better when your body is trying to be normal. Eat well so your body has the building blocks to rebuild. Be patient. Being impatient creates a negative hormone environment thus impeding positive progress. And, focus on what your medical team says for you to do – they have your best interest in mind.
So I challenge You this holiday season – Embrace Your Uniqueness! Look around, see how others are challenged, fail, succeed but focus on yourself. Win Your Day – Every Day! Be You. Until we chat again…
Be & Stay Well!
Ps: If you are experiencing pain or inability to do what You want to do – contact us…We are here to help You!
PEAK Physical Therapy – Where Help, Hope & Healing lives within Medicine!™