August 2010 - The Accidental Patient
- Created on August 1st, 2010
- By Dr. Mary S. Harris
"If you don't have your health, you don't have much." Truer words were never spoken. What does it matter how many meetings you have, if you're too sick to show up? What does it matter if you've planned that vacation, but you're too sick to go? What does it matter how much money you have if you're too sick (or dead) to spend it? Let's face it, without your health, life is a lot less interesting, a lot less fun, and a lot less pleasant.
Last Saturday evening, I was at a dinner party and left the party briefly to retrieve something I'd left in the car. On my way out the door, I mid-judged the last step of the stairwell, missed the step, twisted my ankle and fell---hard! While I was able to get up and get the gift out of my car and return to the party, within 30 minutes my ankle began to swell and throb. By the end of the evening, I could not walk or put any significant weight on my foot. Luckily, nothing was broken, just a badly sprained ankle that's very swollen and really hurts. This injury has had me incapacitated and unable to do my usual myriad of errands at breakneck speed. Moreover, there's no way that I can even begin to think about my usual daily trip to the gym because I can't get my sneaker onto my right foot. The doctor says I should try to stay off of my foot as much as possible until the bruising goes away. (I've decided to include "no cooking" as part of my healing process-good for my foot AND my attitude!!).
While my injury is a temporary inconvenience, I'm reminded of how much we take our health for granted and how quickly -literally in an instant-you can lose your health and your life can change. Just last week, I was moving faster than the speed of light. Like so many people, my "to do list" was long and complicated. I was in the gym every day doing at least 30 minutes of strenuous cardio exercise combined with another 40 minutes of weight training. I had meetings, projects, and obligations scheduled through October, with no thought of slowing down. My life was full and busy. Then, all of a sudden, things came to a halt. I HAD to slow down and put my feet up-literally.
It's really important that you not take your health for granted. Once it's gone-temporarily or permanently-life is different and a lot more complicated. So much is based on your being healthy and able to handle everything that's on your plate. All of those things that you "have to do" depend on it. All of those people you care for and about depend on it. I'm not saying it's impossible, but it will be more of a challenge. Adjustments will have to be made, trips will be cancelled, projects will be postponed, your life will be put on hold.
The old folks used to say, "You don't miss your water ‘til your well runs dry." It's up to you to at least try to keep your " reservoir of good health" full, if not overflowing. If you don't, I can personally attest to the fact that once that well runs dry-you will miss it!!
With You on your Journey to Wellness,
Dr. Mary S. Harris