This month marks a full year since our dog, Roo, had her accident and back surgery that left her paralyzed at the hind legs. Over the last year, we have learned how to custom-fit disposable diapers for her size. How to help her with going to the bathroom. How to improve her diet so that her whole gastro-intestine tract moves more efficiently. How to custom fit her cart/wheelchair so that she can run around like other dogs without injuring herself. We’ve gone through several battles of urinary tract infections, bowel issues, and many weeks/months of asking ourselves if we’re doing any of these things correctly.
What this past year has taught me is that we can’t know everything or do everything perfectly. There isn’t just one answer to how to manage the problems that arise in our life. When it comes to physical or mental health we must look at the standard line of what is quality of life. For Roo our definition of quality of life is can she run? Check. Can she play? Check. Does she chase squirrels? Check. Does she bark and chase cats, buses, and skateboards? All Check! Can she roll onto her back for belly rubs or tell us that she wants to go out? Can she tell us she’s hungry? Can she tell us there’s someone at the door? Can she tell us that there’s a cat at the door on our stoop without actually looking out a window? Guess what, all check!
I look at what we’ve gone through together and I think about what I ask of myself and I ask of my clients. What can we do to establish a good quality of life? And what can we do to improve upon that quality of life? For Roo it's giving her the most amount of park, grass, and belly time. For us humans it's making sure we do our best to make sure our minimum quality of life isn’t just the minimum. It should be an ever-progressing line that rises and then grows wide. We can expect to reach certain limits to our strength, endurance, speed, etc. But then from that, we can improve how well we achieve those limits. The actual quality of our quality of life standards.
For my scoliosis clients, I tell them before we even start our first session, “Our primary goal is to stop the progression of the curve. To improve how we find ourselves in sitting, standing, walking, and to continue to improve the quality of those actions with our daily lives, without compromising the spine.” This truth can be said for any injury or “abnormal” diagnosis. When it comes to the physical or mental health of an individual, the standard of a norm is different for each person. It is shaped by the history of that particular body. And to improve upon that body and mind we must first calibrate to find the more effective norm and then challenge ourselves to be strong enough to move away from it occasionally but find a way back to that central norm.
My business and my service have been built upon this concept. I hope that I have imparted that concept to each of you that is my client. If you’re not my client I hope that you begin to look upon yourself in this same way. I truly believe it is the best way to improve your physical or mental health. If you’re interested in learning more about how my practice works you can schedule a free e-consultation today. We can talk about your current body and the life it leads and if I am the one you should be talking to, to improve its status.
Thanks for reading my thoughts this month. Remember that our quality of life is not just based on one-dimensional numbers of strength, speed, weight, etc. Our quality of life is truly just that. How well can you physically and mentally exist for yourself and your loved ones?