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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Don’t Plop!



During my recovery from the brain tumor that changed my life, I spent a two-week inpatient stay, followed by weeks of outpatient rehabilitation at Health South Rehabilitation Hospital so I could regain my strength after completing an aggressive chemotherapy protocol. Of all the things that I experienced as a patient, the one thing I remember was a common term I heard over and over; ‘don't plop.'  

The first time I was told this, I asked my therapists, what she meant by don't plop? The therapist explained she wanted me to pay attention to how I was going from a standing to a sitting position. She explained that when you don't pay attention, you plop, and can hurt yourself. She demonstrated what she wanted me to do so I understood and had me repeat the motion to ensure I understood. 

I recall all of the therapists took great pains in reminding me, (and the other patients) to take our time. Be mindful of where you are and where you want to go.  Being in a weakened state, I was at-risk for falling. As a result, I had to learn to take precautions when getting up, sitting down and doing simple things that most abled body people don't pay attention to.

The therapists showed their concern about safety by watching us closely and reminding us not to plop! These efforts stayed with me over the past two years. Due to neuropathy and bilateral foot drop, I have had to adapt my lifestyle to minimize risks that could cause an injury. Today, when I go to sit, I reach for the chair and make sure I am in the right position to sit. I am very conscious when I get up to make sure my feet are in place and I am safe to take that first step. 

I do recall one time at the pool. I was talking to someone and went to sit in a lounge chair. I was not paying attention and did not judge the distrance to the chair and 'plopped down'. I did hurt myself and maybe for the first time, truly understood the words, don't plop! Since then I have been more careful. 

As I contemplated the advice the therapists gave me, I realized the message has implications for all the things we do in our lives. How many times have your rushed to get something done, only to see a mistake? If we would have taken a few more minutes, we could have avoided the mistake and accomplished what we wanted to do. When we don't pay attention to what we are doing, we put ourselves at risk. So keep this saying in mind, 'don’t plop’! Take your time, know where you are and where you want to go, and do it safely!


Have a good week.