Saturday, August 20, 2011

"You put your right foot in , your put your right foot out.."

       "Legs come with a high price...  The motors controlling a leg have to alternate between keeping the foot on the ground while it bears and propels the load and taking the load off to make the leg free to move..All the while they have to keep the center of gravity of the body within the polygon defined by the feet so the body doesn't topple over"

from HOW THE MIND WORKS by steven Pinker

      I love this quote. Its a miracle that we walk without toppling over.
     "I was just getting out of the shower when the next thing I knew I was on the floor." is what I hear from so many people I visit in the homes. I often see the words "FALL RISK" on many patient  history reports.   What is most humiliating is when it is tactlessly posted on the  wall of an inpatients room in an effort to communicate to all other medical personnel that this patient is not safe to walk alone. When I was very new in Physical Therapy,  I  thought the sign meant that  I  risk falling by entering into the maybe the floor was slippery or something...
         One of the hardest things to tell a patient is that they have to continue to use a cane or walker eventhough they think they are ready to go solo. Didn't  we all love to utter: "Look Ma no hands"  when we were children and realized we could walk without holding onto anything!!!   Its still a mighty thrill when one can leave crutch, walker, cane in the dust and take long solid strides by oneself.
Maybe that is what the hokey pokey was all about... you know that dance that we learned in kindergarten.  We celebrated each part of our bodies.. Remember?
"You put your right foot in
You put your right foot out
You  put your right foot in and then you shake it all about
You  do the HOKEY POKEY and you turn yourself about
Thats what its all about!

The leader or teacher would then call out various other body parts like: finger, toe, nose, chin elbow.. of course we all loved the bottom the best... especially the shaking it all about...

Trust me... Its almost alway best to put one foot in front of the other,.look ahead to where you are going and  as Nat King Cole said: "  Straighten up and Fly right"

Nat King Cole publicity shot for Capitol Records.  Image courtesy of the Dave Dexter, Jr. Collection.


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