There is, of course, knowledge I would rather not have. One such bit of knowledge is the extent of the damage I have done to my arm and shoulder.

At a previous job, I was on the phone quite a lot, and we didn’t have a handheld option. Sounds minor, but over a couple years, the tension and repetitive stress added up to a workplace injury of severe pain from my shoulder blade up the side of my neck and down to my elbow and wrist joints, as well as tingling in my fingers and arm. I had several weeks of physical therapy, which helped immensely. They gave me exercises to do, which I did a bit, but then haven’t been doing much for a while.

Even though I’m no longer at that job, I am sometimes reminded of the injury, in varying degrees. Sometimes it’s just by remembering that I shouldn’t carry very much, sometimes it’s not being able to help with a project at work.

For the last several days, I’ve had similar symptoms again, from trying to lift some books, from sleeping on it incorrectly, for driving a lot in traffic. And today, my fingers are tingling again.

I would rather not have the knowledge of this limitation, because I’d rather not have it. At the same time, these days of shooting pain are reminders that I need more knowledge and awareness of what I should and should not do, and especially reminders that I need to be doing the exercises from physical therapy daily, and not just when I am in pain.

I need to adjust this habit, so that my reminder to do these exercises is not current pain every day, but knowledge of pain like today’s pain.

How do you remember to do physical therapy or actions recommended by your physician?