A little over a week ago I fell down my front stoop carrying my 1 year old daughter Norah. I'm still not sure exactly what happened to cause me to stumble. As we fell I lost control of Norah and she hit the ground head first with her neck in an awkward position. I fell a few feet away, and as soon as I hit the ground I popped up to check on her. Natural parental instinct I suppose to check on the offspring. I held my daughter as she cried and even denied giving her up to my wife Kari for a time as I tried to comfort both of us. As I held her I slowly realized my own injuries. I had skinned the tip of my right big toe, and scraped up the arch of my left foot. Finally I gave up Norah...with some convincing from Kari. This is about the time the pain started to settle in for me.
I sat for a bit longer and then finally got up and made my way to the bath tub to clean my wounds. By this time Norah was over the event and laughing with Mommy in the other room. I however wasn't done crying. Both from the pain of my grotesque feet, and from the injury to my soul. This was the first time I felt directly responsible for a near cataclysmic event for my daughter. I cleaned my self, bandaged up, took a large dose of Ibuprofen, and went about my day in a mild haze of drugs, and mental exhaustion.
The next day I began to feel the bruising, and the additional stress placed on my body from the fall, and having to walk awkwardly. By some serendipitous event, one of the clients I was supposed to have that night called and cancelled, I took this as a sign that I do need to take time to heal physically and mentally.
I think back on this and start to really dig into the event, what happened? Did I trip over my own feet, did I catch the edge of the planter, did the dog trip me? But the final result is simply my own awareness. I simply was not in my own body. Maybe its time I start to reconnect with myself on a deeper level again. I have been slacking in the selfcare department for sure. As a healthcare worker, especially one who has to help other heal mentally and physically, we have to be constantly self upgrading and keeping fit mentally and emotionally. But really this is true for anyone. You could be a professional athlete, or a office worker weekend warrior type, but if you don't keep things in balance between the stress and self-care, you will lose, or at least lose your balance and throw your child, either way...not fun.
Nicholas Garman, LMT NSCA-CPT