Hitting the Wall

by Joanna Smith on Aug 12, 2014

I was in New York City recently and decided to ride my bicycle around the perimeter of Manhattan. There is a Greenway bike path, and I thought it would be a good city adventure. Off we started. The weather was great–not too hot, a light breeze. My bike was a borrowed commuter bike with a single gear. But Manhattan is pretty flat…, so it should be smooth sailing, right?
All went well as I circled south toward the foot of Manhattan. But then, as I rode up the east side of Manhattan, the route took some interesting twists…
Suddenly it would come to an end: with no warning, a fence would appears and the bike trail would stop suddenly with no warning or sign that a change was ahead. It forced us to change route and direction if we were going to get where we wanted to go.

It suddenly dawned on me that this is much the way health works for people: we are all going along on some kinds of trail and abruptly our clear path, our course, either stops or changes. It may be a new diagnosis, a change in condition, a side effect of a new medication. And suddenly the trail stops. What can we do at those times?

1. Change direction
2. Look for other route options
3. Ask for help from friends
4. Get another (medical) opinion
5. Make sure we are using all resources at hand

I am constantly amazed at how many people say they are reluctant to ask their physician for names for a second opinion for fear of offending them. If a healthcare provider is offended by that question, then they are not the right provider for you: better to find someone who is willing to help you get the information you need to help you start the trail again…….
BTW—Manhattan is 35 miles around the perimeter. The hardest part is getting past the George Washington Bridge….