(~2 minute read)
Back in February, I broke my wrist. “Play sport,” they say. “Be active,” they say. “Fall over,” they don’t say. Don’t get me wrong, I have played sport all my life and I needed no coaxing to get on that netball court.
It’s 11 weeks later, and I am still only at about 15% functionality. Yes, I broke my wrist so badly that I am now the proud owner of metalware in my wrist. I am at the physio twice a week and exercise my wrist daily. Even so, I’m told it will take up to a year to get my wrist functioning to capacity … and that my new 100% functioning will not be near my previous 100%.
I have been supported through this by many. Geoff has tied my shoelaces, put my hair in a pony tail, cut my food for me and so much more. However, I can now proudly say that I am tying my own shoelaces and doing up zips and buttons! I’m not quite there with tying my own ponytail though. Family, friends and clients have all called, texted and checked in, offering help and encouragement. And clearly, the physio and my surgeon have been great.
I am thankful to all and I am thankful #itsjustalimb. I am thankful for what I would have considered the small things, like doing up my own shoelaces. I have become more mindful of doing the small things and am grateful for being able to do these small things that impact every day, and that I have not considered in the past. So, please know that #itsjustalimb is not my devaluing its importance.
At the same time that I broke my wrist, a client broke her elbow; we were both walking around her workplace with our left arms in a sling. And yes, we raised some interesting comments from others.
More importantly, she brought the following to my attention. There are many people whose illness and/or pain is not evident. I had a cast and sling, and now have a splint, making it very apparent that something is not quite right and people inquire with genuine care. But how many people are in our midst who don’t have an apparent illness or injury? Who are not wearing a “splint?” How often do we check-in and inquire with those around us? Of course, we need to be mindful of people’s privacy, but do we mean it when we ask, “How are you?” Do we really want to know the answer? Do we notice possible signs and signals that others may deliberately or unconsciously send? If we notice, do we actually take it one step further and inquire or do we think, “it’s not my business” or “it’s too hard to get involved?”
I am grateful that #itsjustalimb and it is not more serious, and I now do not take it for granted. As #itsjustalimb, I know that it will heal. Perhaps not to the previous 100%, but it will heal.
How many of those around us have more serious illnesses that perhaps we are unaware of? That perhaps would like us to check-in, even if they may not want to share a lot of information? Or perhaps we are aware of their illness, but for whatever reason, we don’t check in?
As a common humanity, let’s care enough to check in … illness or not … just because we can and just because we care enough to do so.