What a Broken Arm Taught Me About Change

I have had a reality check.  As a veterinary practice management consultant, it is my job to help practices implement changes to help them prosper and better serve their patients.  I have always known that implementing any type of change is a challenge but a few weeks ago I learned about change the hard way… I broke my right arm.

I am right handed so the difficulty of changing hands immediately kicked in.  I couldn’t do anything the “normal” way.  Dressing, brushing my teeth, opening doors and even Ziploc bags became tasks that I had to ponder.   It was shocking to realize how many mundane tasks our brain allows us to accomplish without thinking…until I had to really think about solutions.

Over the last 35+ days I have accomplished all my normal tasks including air travel –(with the exception of opening those bottles of water with the minute caps and flimsy plastic- they are a pain with 2 good hands).  I learned to make choices based on my circumstances– you can’t cut a steak with a broken arm so I ate a lot of fish.  I learned to ask for help.  Kind friends, acquaintances and even strangers have been solicited to assist me.  This was tough as I tend to think I can do anything I set my mind too.  Pain is a good deterrent for this.

My husband has been there to aid and monitor my healing.  He is the watchdog that stops me from doing more than it is time for me to try.   Because if I overdo I will have to have surgery and I am not interested in going there.

In the future I will be even more cognizant of the difficulty of change.  I will teach my students to be patient with themselves, to just pause a moment and think about how to accomplish those same old tasks in a better way, to ask for help from team mates and others willing to step up and finally to show them that not changing and keeping the status quo will result in a” major surgery” and possibly the continued illness  or death of their business.

Just for fun – try to go just one hour not using your dominate hand.   I dare you!  Then you too will understand the difficulty of changing a lifetime of habit.  I hope it opens your eyes and heart to see change in a new light …necessary for healing.