Monday, February 16, 2015

Each of us battles our own personal hypocrite

When I worked with children and young adults with disabilities, I had one iron clad rule. Never avoid or accommodate limitations which should be confronted. And, yet, recently I found myself doing exactly the thing I forbade them to do.

A little over three years ago, I took a hard fall on my right arm on a tile floor. For a few days, it was just sore. Then, it became sharp stabbing pains. As I relinquished to it, the pain dulled. After several months, I asked our parish nurse to recommend an orthopedist. She gave me the name of several. When I asked her to tell me about them, I quickly realized they were orthopedic surgeons and, just as quickly, I crossed them off my "to do" list.

As time went by, I began to limit more and more activities as each one became either more difficult or more painful. It wasn't until we had returned to our former house in NC and needed help dressing that I realized I needed help.

Fear of the likelihood of its being a torn rotator cuff drove me to an orthopedist up here whom I already knew. His office referred me to the sports medicine specialist there. He gave me a shot and scheduled me for physical therapy three times a week. The therapist group are very good. They have "homework" assignments.

Yesterday was a milestone! I took my pea coat on and off without any help! Not once but three times! This was the first time in well over a year that I had been able to do that. In fact, I have only two blouses with set-in sleeves that I can put on alone.

As I mentally congratulated myself on my progress, I realized that all those students whom I had held to that higher standard now had every right to call me a hypocrite. I had expected them to confront their limitations before avoiding or accommodating them but I had not.

Lesson learned. If confrontation does not produce success; then, and only then, should we try to avoid or accommodate the limitation. I put this in writing so I will be reminded and, if it aids you, even better.

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