Do The Thing
By Kelly Wilkins
I’ve been battling what I thought was severe bone-on-bone arthritis for a few years now. It’s kept me from doing a lot of the things I really love to do. Recently, my insurance decided that they would not cover any more steroid shots into my knees until I’d tried physical therapy.
I recently had my first appointment, and it was something I’d been dreading. My therapist said “This is the hardest thing you’ll do in here, coming to this appointment. Congratulations, everything after this is easy in comparison. It’s one of the hardest things to do, asking for help.”
After my range of motion consultation, I had surprising news – my knee joints are achy and crackly, yes, but they’re not the main problem. My main problem is that over the years, I’ve adapted a bad walking gait and it’s causing my leg muscles to overstress.
But it’s treatable. The damage can be mitigated.
The next thing he said was “I’m going to ask you to do things your body isn’t going to want to do easily. We have to teach you how to walk again without pain and strengthen your muscles. It’s going to suck, but work with me and you will be walking better.”
I said “When I’m doing difficult things, I congratulate myself for doing them. We’ll start with doing one thing, and we’ll move on to more, and better things. Deal?” He took the deal. So did I.
Today, I walked the length of my front yard without my cane. That was my one thing to do today. I did the thing. I celebrate doing that thing. It wasn’t easy (it hurt, not going to lie), but I did the thing, and I feel better for doing it.
As you recover from disclosure or discovery and enter into the new life ahead of you, you’re going to have difficult things that suck to do. You won’t want to do them, and they’re going to hurt, but in the end, you’re doing them to help yourself. So be gentle with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Congratulate yourself when you accomplish a difficult thing, and encourage yourself to continue.
Just do the one thing today. Better things are coming tomorrow.