Imposing Daily Limits: Finding beauty in mandatory restrictions

As part of my recovery from my hospital stay and to prevent more bloating, I've had to restrict the amount of fluids I drink.

Each day, for the last six days, the doctor has set my limit at 1200 milliliters (about 40 ounces). 

This may seem like a reasonable amount at first glance, but when you start to measure every drop, you realize how quickly the target can be reached.

I take medicine five times a day, so I need six ounces of water in the morning and another six at bedtime. Then I use about three ounces each for the other three doses. This brings me to twenty-one ounces, about half of my allowance, just for swallowing pills!

The remaining nineteen ounces gets divided among meals and snacks, about five ounces each. That's less than half a can of soda, or a third of a tall glass of water.

By the end of the day, I look longingly at juice, milk, and water with a thirst I can't quench. I question why I'm following my doctor's advice, and I'm tempted to drink more than my limit. You can see how the restrictions are tedious and frustrating! 

But limits are also healing.

In the last week, my body's balance between fluids and sodium has improved. This is the only thing that has kept me from straying away from the target amount - I'm feeling better!

I have also gained a new perspective on water and other beverages. I'm so accustomed to reaching for a drink and having it in abundance, that I forgot what a privilege it is.

I think about the homeless man who would like to have forty ounces of water every day. Or the refugee family fleeing their violent homeland who would savor those forty ounces of water. Or the child who walks hours each day to access less-than-clean water who would rejoice at having forty ounces of fresh water at the touch of a button.

When put in that perspective, I can be grateful for my temporary fluid restrictions and see the beauty in setting limits.

What kinds of limits have helped you find beauty?

What are you taking for granted for which you might, instead, be grateful?


Some Doorways from this week:

  • I met with a former colleague and friend last week and discussed my last job at the school. It was wonderful to reflect on the impact I had made and the joy the role had brought into my life.
  • My dear sister made me her taco soup (again!) at just the right time. And she did it in the midst of one of the busiest weeks for her, proving once more how powerful and healing love can be.
  • We went camping this weekend, and I was filled with peace and beauty as I observed the landscapes and nature around me.


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