As a Physiotherapist, I tend to see the best side of humanity. I think it is because people are generally nicest when they are vulnerable and being in pain or injured makes us vulnerable. It has enabled my love story with humanity to grow and blossom and has helped me to accept my own vulnerability, slowly but surely, drip by drip over the years.
I have my whole life admired courage and worked hard to try to be courageous. I think I have only just, as I approach my 40th birthday, understood the direct link between vulnerability and courage, thanks to the wonderful Brené Brown, whose TED talk I would highly recommend – see below.
Part of the recovery journey for patients involves accepting vulnerability, which takes courage. The sooner someone accepts their vulnerability, the quicker they will recover.
I have been asked many times ‘what kind of patients do I like to like to treat’ and ‘what do I specialize in’ and I have always found this a very hard question to answer because there seem to be no patterns in the characteristics of my favorite patients. My bio on this website will tell you my official specialisms are chronic pain, marathon runners and a few other things defined by body part or sport, but perhaps my honest answer should be: people who have the courage to face their own vulnerability.
This is because courage and vulnerability mean that they will be strong enough to weather the ups and downs of the recovery process and that they will get better quicker. They are also less likely to expect perfection from me, so our physio-patient relationship will be a healthy one.
Every patient I see who demonstrates courage by facing their own vulnerability is an inspiration that I have drawn on my whole life. I would, therefore, like to say thank you to the thousands of people over the years who have shared their vulnerability with me, for helping me to accept my own, and enabling me to be courageous.
Here’s to stepping forwards into the unknown, with courage.
Lucy Macdonald, Chartered Physiotherapist
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