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The longer I do physical therapy on my foot, post-surgery this time, the more I have to explain to people what happened, and therefore the more I hear myself tell the absurd story of self-neglect. If any of my kids had rolled their ankle on the stonewall out back, saw stars, had significant pain, and then swelling for 18 months (yikes!) I would certainly have taken them to the doctor. Not only did I not take myself to the doctor I thought it a fine idea to start dance lessons with my husband. Now, for that I have good reason in that he’d denied this great opportunity the first 27 years of our marriage, so why would I let a torn tendon I barely acknowledged stop me at last?

So, I need the physical therapist to remind me to take care of my healing foot and ankle today as I head into Philadelphia for a movie and dinner with a friend, because my own good sense is clearly broken. The obvious measures one would take to care for herself apparently do not function well in me, and so I ask my guy to remind me of when to slow it down.

Maybe we are all born with some basic common sense about protecting ourselves from further harm once we are injured, but I am pretty sure this normal process was forced out of me when I was young, by claims that my ailments would heal themselves, or go away, or not matter, or something else equally non-action oriented. But now I am a fully grown adult in charge of my own well-being, and I need answer only to myself. When all else fails I purchase my good common sense from professionals.

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