Health Setbacks Can Be Great Teachers


Most of us would prefer to stay healthy and injury-free throughout our retirement.

Life, however, doesn’t always cooperate.

Suddenly we’re housebound like Paul Sheldon in the Stephen King novel, Misery, with no choice but to surrender to medical professionals, caretakers and our body’s natural response to treatment and rest. For us type A personalities, recuperation—which requires doing absolutely nothing—can be more challenging than the issue itself. However, instead of complaining, we can empower ourselves and grow from the experience.

Here are three qualities an illness or injury can inspire us to cultivate:

1. Humility. No matter how much effort we put into staying healthy, nobody’s invincible. A health issue might be a much-needed reminder not to push yourself—or take your health for granted.

2. Patience. We all want to recover ASAP—as in this second. Meanwhile, we could spend weeks or months relearning how to walk or even sit up. After that? Traffic jams are nothing.

3. Understanding. When forced to slow down, we notice things we normally wouldn’t. We have time to reflect on our lives, relationships and what’s important.  

Recovering in the comfort of your own home is wise for various reasons. You’ll feel more at home (because you’re home). And home health care, sometimes called short-term care, is usually less expensive, more convenient, and just as effective as care in a hospital or skilled nursing facility. A home health care policy from your association and AMBA covers a range of benefits, covering costs and services Medicare may not.

In the meantime, appreciate the body you have, just the way it is. Whatever appears to be going wrong with it, there’s a lot more going right.


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