I just went outside to give some hay to the horses, and I noticed Silk was hot so I decided to rinse off her neck with some cold water. It took me so long since I had to protect my right arm – I am no longer wearing the brace! I was struggling with the hose, the pump, the corral gate, getting over heated and so frustrated that when my husband appeared magically and asked if I needed help, I started to cry.
This is only Day One of my daughter’s vacation in California, and I promised myself that I wouldn’t get discouraged over the next week as I attempted to get back to my usual chores. I’ve had a setback in my physical therapy due to over zealous aggravation of my soft tissue around my elbow. Both my doctor and my pt guy – two very confident young men - blamed me for being too diligent with my exercises. I walked around for a while feeling bad and angry until I realized that this was not my fault. I was only doing what I was told to do. So I decided that I wasn’t going to be blamed or intimidated by anyone. There felt like there was all this pressure and false deadlines being imposed on me. I am going to heal in whatever time it takes, through thoughtful and encouraging steady effort, not by anyone trying to make me feel worse than I already do.
Over time, I’ve learned to be an advocate for my horse and for my child. Now, I have to stand up for my own instincts about how to deal with the pain and get better. So, I’ve had a talk with the pt guy, and he is backing off, being less aggressive. We’re still working hard on bending my elbow, but he promises he will listen to me when I tell him to stop, whereas before he’d keep going while telling me that it has to hurt if it is ever going to bend. Hopefully, I’ll feel less frightened when he starts to go at it. Just as I had to gain Silk’s trust in the beginning before she would let me do things to her when she was sore, this fellow is going to have to win back my trust. There’s a delicate balance in this pt twisting and bending, and I think it’s a real art to know how far to go and when to stop. If I don’t feel confident about what he’s doing, I’ll look for a new person to help me.
It was unexpectedly hard when I wasn’t feeling my usual strength and confidence to be able to stand up for myself. And even though I have moments like I did in the barn with Silk where I am overcome with frustration, I know that this too shall pass. There are so many people in worse situations than I’m in who persevere and triumph. This summer, I’m certainly gaining a new perspective on my health and aging that I’m sure will change the way that I approach so many things in the future.