Friday, November 1, 2013

Is there any humor in Physical Therapy?

There are three phrases I don’t want to hear today in Physical Therapy:  
1) straighten your leg, 
2) Let's see how far you can bend your knee,  and
3) you will be sore tomorrow.

I hate to think that I’m decrepit, but if the cane fits…

Today I had an appointment with the physical therapist to help me strengthen my knees, so that I can start walking better and begin exercising.  
That last part wasn’t thrilling, but if the PT works, I’ll put exercising on my New Year’s resolution.

The first thing I was told, was to pedal a bicycle… Yea, right!
I can hardly walk and I’m supposed to “warm up” on the bike.  “Are you kidding?” 

I was told to just go back and forth and not around and around, for 5 minutes.  
To take my mind off the activity, the therapist asked me mindless questions.  

Perhaps she thought about “mind over matter”; if my mind wasn’t on the pain from biking, then the time I spent warming up wouldn’t matter.   
Okay, she’s a psychological whiz; the time went fast and I didn’t die.

Next, I sat in a chair with a latex band around my foot and began sliding it back and forth on a carpet glide.  Who knew these things had another use?  I lived through this too.

Then I sat in a chair, leg straight, toes up and I bent over my knee.  This was to stretch the hamstrings.  
The right leg did fine.  
The left one, well, if I could have gotten away with crying like a baby, without looking like a baby, I would have.  
So, when I yelped, the tech said not to lean over as much, and I became a grown up again.

Then to the table.  “Hop on,” said the technician.   
Yea, right.

After a series of stretching, the tech asked me if I liked ice.  
“I love ice in my tea.”  She didn’t smile.  “I don’t mind using ice.”

“What about a little stimulation,” she asked?  
“What kind of stimulation?”
“You know, using some electrodes around the knee.  This should stimulate the muscles to work more.  Once you’re on them for ten minutes, then you can go home,” she said.
“Okay.”  

She pulled of some sticky pads that had a port attached to them and then pulled out some red and black tipped wires and began plugging me in.  
“My dad told me that you should put red to red and black to black,” saying it with a smile.
“It doesn’t work that way,” she said without smiling.  
What happened to that mind over matter thing, especially with electricity?  

“Just let me know when the tingling gets to be too much.”  
Too much?   Sure, I’ll let you know!

After a few adjustments, I sat with electrodes and a freezie bag on each knee, and after ten minutes, the tech said, “Okay you’re finished.  How does that feel?”

“My legs are frozen and they feel weird.  I think I need a wheelchair.”  I think she finally smiled, but I wasn't.  

“Unfortunately, you’ll be sore tomorrow,” she said.  
Tomorrow?  I think today is tomorrow…


Oh boy, three times a week for the next six weeks.  No humor here.


May all your days be without ice and electrodes, unless you're into that.  Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com.
Have a great day.

1 comment:

  1. So, you're saying your PT doesn't have a sense of humor? Argh! That should be a job requirement. Make it your mission to make her(him?) smile during each visit. Hope you're healing well.

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