Shortly after my spinal cord injury a friend of my mother whom I knew growing up in London that suffered from Polio asked me, “Meena, have you figured out your limits yet?” I answered her, but don't think I honestly understood what she meant. It’s taken me a little over a year to build myself up again and know who I am after being diagnosed with a neuromuscular disease, and in learning the depths of my new limitations, I have had no choice but to learn to listen.
To know that my legs didn't work anymore was a learning curve. I have gone through the rigorous teachings from many amazing therapists over the years, and learned how to function independently from a manual wheelchair, and now from a power wheelchair. However, dealing with the new diagnosis has given me a new level of understanding. The idea that you can do whatever you want to, is not always true! Continuing to work hard and challenge ourselves is very important, for me remaining independent and functional will always be the goal. But, if my body doesn’t want to do it - somtimes I just can’t! This is not giving up, but being wise. If I push myself too far and don’t rest in between activities and ignore the excessive tiredness taking over, I will pay for it. Before my recent diagnosis, if I pushed myself too far, I would just need to rest a couple of days and I would be back up. Now, if I ignore what my body is telling me I could be putting my life in danger.
I love life, and having fun has always remained a necessity in my life. I enjoy wheelchair water sports, playing basketball with my older son, and being involved in the constant activity of my four year old. There are times when the constant pull and push of wanting to do more, but having to say "that’s it guys, I am done for today!" can very frustrating, but I've learned the importance of reading the signs my body is sending me.
Limitations and limits are different, have you figured out yours yet?