Debra Swersky
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Limitations (Continued)

I figured out the secret to recognizing my limitations. It was crazy simple and very funny for those watching at home. I laughed at myself and said, “I can’t believe it has come down to this.

Remember four months ago when I was grounded and gave up my faithful friend, Fitbit? I wrote a letter acknowledging the lack of recognition that I have show my limitations. Since writing the letter I’ve done better at allowing others to help me recognize my limitations, but haven’t necessarily internalized them for myself… until Wednesday. On Wednesday, me and my limit became friends. 

This past week I started treatment for a hypothetical diagnosis to my mystery condition. (The hypothetical diagnosis is one of last resort and I have not, to date, ruled out all possible causes via appropriate imaging… don’t get me started.) I sat with the occupational therapist to discuss treatment plans and we came to the conclusion that I would move forward with a soft bandaging option. We discussed what these would do for me, how long I should expect to be working with them, and what I could anticipate. She said, “Yes, you will be able to exercise with the bandages on.” She told me I could. 

On Wednesday we started the treatment plan and she spent 40-minutes teaching me how to wrap myself up. I thought I would be able to hop off the table and walk out the door. Holy wrong! 

I laughed out loud and said, “Yeah. I don’t think that I’ll be exercising with this on.”

After letting the reality of the situation sink in, I reflected back on that moment. She told me I could, but I recognized that I couldn’t. As upset as I was when I walked out of the office, I was pleased to have consulted my limit, my new life partner. 

In appreciating my limit after hopping off the bandaging table, I started to notice all of the other instances where my limit was coming in handy: taking the stairs, sitting, standing, driving, and finding ways to better accommodate my physical condition. (In reviewing this statement I find myself cringing… this isn’t me… But, I recognize the limit. And, I further recognize that this treatment is not forever. New limitations are still being negotiated.)

At any rate, what’s my secret for easily recognizing my limitations? Tell me that I can and then physically disable me such that I couldn’t possibly execute the activity to the best of my abilities. That’s it: I need to be physically forced into making the decision for myself - figuratively and literally. It’s just that simple (… yeah right).

Debra Swersky