Many years ago, while I was teaching Ms. Daisy how to walk again after undergoing a total
hip replacement, she made a comment that stayed with me ever since.
“It’s a shame that you could only teach one person at a time.”
She added, “There are so many Boomers like me that could benefit from the valuable knowledge a healthcare professional like you can share.”
Her comment took me aback since I had been thinking of the same thing myself.
I had the same questions:
- “Is there a way to help more people other than the ones I’ll be working with face-to-face in my career?”
- “Is there a way to extend that help to a million Boomers?
- “Maybe even more than a million?”
In the middle of our conversation, I brought my attention back to training her how to walk again —
I couldn’t help but notice the stern determination in Ms. Daisy’s face each time she attempts to put one foot in front of the other in what seems to be a parade of baby steps.
Considering her age, and how painful each step seemed to be, I couldn’t help but wonder what drives Ms. Daisy to keep on trying.
A younger, more robust person would be daunted, discouraged, or even depressed by the challenge of learning how to walk again after having a broken hip.
My curiosity got the better of me, so I asked her why.
I asked her why, when other people would be discouraged and would easily give up after a grueling therapy treatment, she never fails to smile despite the obvious pain she’s in.
Ms. Daisy replied that on many occasions she was also tempted to give up every time she thought of how daunting the task ahead of her is.
She also mentioned the “little things” that add up to making her recovery even harder:
- Arthritis on her other hip.
- Her trouble sleeping because of the pain and discomfort of the hip she had the replacement surgery on.
- The challenge of managing her pain with medications that ease her pain but cause her increased drowsiness and constipation.
- And not the least, she said, her age.
Ms. Daisy then enlightened me with wisdom that could only come with age.
She said, “For every reason I have for giving up, I can think of a hundred more why I should keep on.”
Ms. Daisy explained that for every painful step she takes in the walking training, she could think of the thousands of miles she’s traveled visiting different countries in the world.
For every aching hip she has, she could think of the stairs she used to take every day when she would bring her kids to school.
For every sleepless night she suffers, she could think of the nights she and her husband used to share in the different countries they’ve been to.
For her aging years, she could think of all the joy and blessing she received throughout her lifetime.
“Not everyone is blessed with aging well,” she added.
By the time Ms. Daisy walked up to the end of the parallel bars, she looked up and exclaimed, “A million miles begin with a few short steps!”
She then looked at me and asked, How about you? What keeps you from taking the first step to helping a million Boomers?
One step at a time. Each step, one foot in front of the other. Little by little, we make progress with each step.
Ms. Daisy, thank you for asking me that question many years ago.
Beginning today, I’ll answer your question one post at a time.
Helping a million Boomers. Starting with one.
Little by little, we will make progress. One step at a time.
Dr. Lex Gonzales, PT, DPT