Friday, June 4, 2010

Am I doing this right?

Have you ever thought to yourself, "Am I doing this right?" when it pertains to something you have been doing for a long time. I had this thought today while in the bathroom and I will explain later. But how many things do you do in your daily life that you were never taught? I mean, who taught you the way to put on pants? Not just how to put them on but specifically the way to put them on. Do you put your left or right leg in first; do you stand or sit on a chair, toilet, or bed; do you hike them up on your legs then pull up or are they bunched at the feet and you jump to hike them up? As an occupational therapist, as crazy as it sounds, I analyze these things for my patients and suggest compensatory strategies to do it better. But who taught you or did you just figure it out? "As long as the job gets done, its right." Right? Well what if there is a better way out there and you just dont know it. For example, if you have an injured/less flexible leg, did you know you should put that leg in your pants first? Cause your "normal" leg is more flexible to get them into your pants last. And did you know, when you do steps, you step up with your good leg and down with your bad leg? Its all about weight bearing and flexibility. But would you have known that if a therapist didnt tell you?

I just found out I have been brushing my teeth the wrong way for 30 years. Until my dentist told me, I just "got the job done." But I wouldnt have known it was the wrong way until I started to brush away my gums cause I was brushing too hard. Who loves Sensodyne? I do now!

There are some things that people dont teach you but you learn on the fly. Like changing a tire, stopping your first nose bleed or how to unclog a toilet. In those times you teach yourself cause those are true emergencies and you have to learn quick. Cause if you dont learn, you will end up with a mess and most likely be calling a professional.

*If you are easily offended please skip the next section and cut to the end*

But this line of thinking occured to me when I was in the bathroom. My thought: who taught me how to wipe? Because you have 2 options: back to front or front to back. I dont remember mom and I having a good old heart to heart about proper wiping style. Maybe you had that kind of weird open relationship with your parents or a "TMI" too open friendship with a friend, but most sane people have not been taught but have just figured it out. But have you ever wondered if it is the right way? Try doing it the other way. It feels like signing your name with your non-dominant hand. You know you got the job done but it doesnt feel right or look right.

So next time you are doing your everyday things you've done for years and years just think to yourself, "Am I doing this right?" Cause there might be a different or even better way to do it that no one has taught you. Then you can write a blog about it.....and go back to doing it the way you've always done it.

Giving you something to think about on the toilet,
The Joyful and Tired Dad

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