Compassion for aging, ailing bodies

Recently someone close to me (hi Sarah!) asked me a really hard question. Do you think that if your knee can’t be fixed you could make peace with your current level of ability? How would you feel about a new normal where your level of activity is set by the limitations of your knee?

It’s pretty clear I’d get back to riding so long distance cycling stays on the agenda. Everything else is short. With pain.

I didn’t know how to answer that question. I’d find other things to do. I’m a relentless optimist. Life would still be rich and rewarding.

I’d read more books.

Maybe I could learn to swim? I don’t know. I’m still thinking about this.

Today I met a new physio person at the University of Guelph clinic. She was lovely. She protested though when I called my left knee “the bad knee.”

We don’t say that here. We talk about the affected knee and the unaffected knee. They’re both good knees. It’s your body, she said. You should appreciate and take care of your knee. No name calling.

Our job here is to help you support the left knee.

Here’s the sign outside the physio clinic. Recovery, success, those are words I like.

Acceptance and compassion are not exactly my strong suit when it comes to me. But I’m thinking about it.

2 thoughts on “Compassion for aging, ailing bodies

  1. I learned to swim (formally) in my 40s while rehabbing a running injury. It was great. It’s an inherently soothing mix of movement and environment. If I still had an accessible, comfortable place to do it, I’d definitely have kept it in my routine, but I moved away from that city (which had a nice open water park) a few years ago. I don’t know what your question marks would be, and I don’t even remember what mine were, but it can certainly be a surprisingly good option – not just a “compromise.”

  2. I’m doing similar thinking in that I’ve developed some kind of autoimmune disorder and have been dealing with painful arthritis in my hands, wrists, toes and knees for several months. I’d had high hopes of spending more time hiking and cycling this past autumn, and getting in a couple of weekends of skiing this winter, but alas…

Comments are closed.