For most of December I’ve been in California, land of sun and desert helping my mom recover from hip surgery and get her and my younger brother moved into a sweet mid-Century condo. Having been a PTA (physical therapist assistant) previously, I was able to use much of that training to add to Mom’s PT activities and daily living tasks.
She and my brother received basic instructions to get in and out of the car along with precautions about moving her operated leg past midline, bending over too far or turning her foot inward. All this to allow the partially replaced joint to heal and the newly installed appliance to be accepted by her body.
Pretty straight forward stuff for most folks, except mom has had some other injuries and life experiences that have weakened her shoulders and which limit her arm movements. Did all that get factored in? Yes and no.
Some of her caregivers have been more dedicated than others, which is the case with any profession. Having a background in the rehab world makes me a bit more picky and I was and will continue to help her, the rest of my family (my older brother wanted some back strengthening exercises the last time I saw him). Along with my family, I am dedicated to and my bodywork and movement clients to get the details they need to live a bigger and more engaged life.
But what about all those folks who are either left to their own knowledge or like my mom are not really informed or confident enough to ask more specific questions?
And who was going to be there to reach for the paper towels in the movie theater bathroom that are so high she can’t get to them?
There were a multitude of every day experiences that were and continue to be challenges to her and other human beings. We are not all the same shape, size, nor have the same ability levels and why have some many of our retail and entertainment experiences expecting everyone to do so?
What other activities could my mom and I have done to “correct” and/or “improve” her function before she fell and broke her hip? We all tried to put a positive spin on it to think of it as a “reset” and an opportunity to get stronger than she might have been before. To focus on things other than her water exercise class, since she couldn’t participate as the incision from her surgery was healing, like her sewing projects or walking with her walker at a more even pace than she had while using a cane. All good things, but mentally taxing and actually very challenging to all of us on certain days.
Your environment and surroundings can make a huge difference. I love Katy Bowman, a biomechanist and prolific writer, who promotes natural movement. She has replaced couches and chairs in her home with low tables and cushions. During the holiday she has posted a do you know squat advent calendar which focuses on a different natural movement each day. Take a peek and she was you think.
Beyond the holidays which are usually filled with celebrations, eating and drinking and fun traditions, what active games and routines could you start with your family to get everyone moving? Katy has some awesome ideas, get inspired at her website.
After the holidays, take a look at your home and workplace. Instead of a huge New Year’s Resolution what small change could you make to move bigger, more freely, just more so when that time comes that changes your ability you are a bit more prepared.
If you need ideas, give me a call. I’m running a special at RMT Fitness for January … schedule a 30 or 60 min. stretch session and get $10 off a 60 min massage. Combining these protocols can help make a significant impact on your health and movement. Time to tune up for 2018 and get ready for whatever life presents.
Hopefully not a hip surgery, but I will tell you I’m ready to help if it does happen.
All the best for 2018 and beyond.