Oooof. I've returned with a clickbait of a title! I'll explain where I've been shortly.
First, let me explain that rather suspect word I've used. It's a slang noun version of the word PUSILLANIMOUS, which means to act with timidity. It has its roots in the Latin for "puny" and the Greek for "faint-hearted".
It's been a little while since I've written for you, one of the main reasons being that my mam (yes, I am northern) has had to have some toes amputated - an all-too-common plight of diabetics. She's seemingly out of the woods now and will hopefully be out of hospital soon.
Having not had the easiest time of it for a number of years, I have seen her battle through many trials.
Not having your outside two toes, as I'm sure you'll be able to imagine, will take some adapting to even after the pain of removal has subsided and the tissue mends. Balance will be a little more challenging from a hardware perspective.
It also will be from being bed-ridden for a few weeks. We lose strength, mobility and balance quickly when off our feet.
I've seen her stable on a zimmer frame, less so on crutches and wobbly on her feet.
I know her.
She will try too much too soon. She will want to battle. She will want to be back to where she was as soon as she can be.
Upon examination of the phrase I unconsciously scrawled down just a few lines ago, it's easy to see how unclear thinking can be around matters like this.
"Too much too soon" is a common turn of phrase but in using it we miss lot of useful information.
I have no problem with her being active. Activity is a great healer and a great builder. My real issue is how risky that activity is.
A significant risk for somebody out of hospital like this is falling and breaking something. When unsteady, walking is risky. The harder the surfaces being walked on, the greater the risk of a fall doing damage.
Walking stairs in riskier.
I hope my mam listens to me and is as active as possible while keeping risk as low as possible. Crawling instead of walking at time around the house and bum-shuffling upstairs are options I hope she explores. They will help rebuild strength, mobility and balance and carry much lower risks.
I think my mam isn't alone in her avoidance of perceived pusillanimity.
I think many of us in veer towards taking unnecessary risks in our rehab and training. I think many of us let our fear swing the pendulum too far the other way so we do too much too soon or perform activities that have a shitty risk-reward ratio.
If you're in pain, feeling weak or unable, sit with it for a moment. There is no shame in it. There is no need to fight that feeling.
The only thing to do is honestly appraise your capabilities at that time - not what you want to be able to do instead - and work out a progressive, risk averse plan to get you there.
Arton "The Pusi" Baleci
Float Sting - Sports Performance and Rehab