I have lived with a chronic illness for over 30 years. It’s something I usually choose to ignore because I refuse to let it define me and I do what I can to prevent a flare-up.
Sometimes I kind of forget it’s there. But, occasionally it rears it’s ugly head and reminds me it’s there.
This week was one of those weeks. Weeks of travel and the stress of finishing up my National Boards exacerbated my right knee. Add a not so graceful squat and I was done. As usual, I rested, iced, and babied my knee. Most of my flare ups are cured by this and a little movement, some yoga or elliptical, just being kind to my joints. But this time, by the end of the week, I realized it wasn’t really cutting it and it was time for a trip to the doctor for a cortisone shot.
I gave in.
I accepted my limitations.
I am pretty good about accepting my limitations in my work, leaning on others when I need to.
And over time I have learned to accept the limitations with my joints too.
I can remember the days early in my career when I didn’t always accept my limitations or admit I was wrong or lean on others. Now I can’t imagine working any other way. This week I told someone I couldn’t imagine working in an environment where I was not part of a team. I can’t imagine not being able to lean on others and trust in my team. I can’t imagine not being part of a team where I can admit I am wrong or ask for help. There are days I am reminded of my limitations in my work, just like there are days my physical limitations creep up. There are days when I need others to hold me accountable. There are days when I can’t do it alone and that’s okay.