With two new complete hip replacements, my activities were limited by my doctor. As many of us do, I decided to push the limits of my recovery with the thought that I could be careful and not overdo it. The group was going on a four wheel drive expedition around our property and I wanted to join them. Of course, I was not aware that not far down the trail, a tree had fallen right across our path.
I tried to be careful as I pushed the throttle to help the four wheeler crawl over the tree. The crawl turned to bouncing and the landing on the other side was not what I expected. I felt the jarring in my hips and began to feel like maybe I was pushing my luck.
I rode with the group a few more minutes over bumpy terrain and then decided that this must not be good for my new hips. I began to get a little nervous and wish that I had stayed at the house. I told the group that I was going to turn around and head home and was happy with that decision.
As I returned, I came face to face with the tree across the road again. I decided to try to get over but this time my luck ran out and I got stuck. I knew that if I were healthy I could wrestle the four wheeler off the tree and get back to the house. Finally, however, common sense and old age prevailed and I crawled off the vehicle and started walking back home.
It is amazing how good I felt…like I had been given a second chance to not mess up my surgery. The doctor had told me that walking was the best exercise I could do and here I was walking back to camp! I was slow and careful but gradually made my way back home.
As we get older we all push our luck and treat our bodies the way we used to when we were twenty. We sometimes forget that our bodies are different and cannot handle the punishment we used to dish out upon them. We act like we really have a choice…and maybe we do…but the day comes when the choices we used to have are physically removed from us by what our bodies will endure. Sometimes it just hurts too much for our bodies to take the abuse anymore.
That’s when we finally figure out that the doctors meant what they said all those years and we start looking for a second chance. Sometimes we get it and sometimes we don’t. It is the wise person who takes care of their health when they are younger and continues as they move into old age. We do not have the cure for all diseases but it does not take a guru to tell us the basics of good health. We all know.
Maybe the doctors get it right a lot of the time and we should do what we need to do to take better care of ourselves. I hope we all make the transition from youthful carelessness to wise old carefulness while we still have the chance to “get off the four wheeler and walk home.” It is a good feeling when you know that you still have time to make it better.
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