Sunday, November 27, 2011

P.T. is no F.U.N!

I know exercise is good for us. But, I find it to be a little bit dangerous. For example, a few months ago I was doing some exercises with ankle weights on. I guess I was daydreaming, which to me is the only real benefit of exercise time, and I felt a pull in my knee. Long story short, I strained my meniscus, a part of the body I had never heard of until I injured it.

I managed to hobble around for three weeks before deciding I needed to go to the doctor. His recommendation? Three weeks of physical therapy, and if there is no improvement, an MRI. I was really looking forward to my first appointment. I had physical therapy after I broke my collar bone and I still remember the heating and icing treatments, and the deep tissue massages administered by a young attractive pro cyclist named Matt.

I arrived and was introduced to Denise, one of the many all female physical therapists I would work with. She looked me up and down. “Next time, wear athletic shoes” she said after her gaze lingered on my black sparkly flip flops. I couldn’t imagine why I needed athletic shoes. I started to take in my surroundings. Holy crap, I was in a gym. My dreams of a green tea body wrap and pedicure flew right out the window. Well, there was one positive—I was on the young side of the other patients I saw. Good, I thought. If we are forced to compete against each other, I have an excellent chance of winning.

After measuring how much movement I had in my knee, I was led to an exercise bike. Ten minutes, she said. This didn’t seem like a good idea to me, but no one asked what I thought. I survived bicycling, and waited for my next instruction. That’s when I met my first of many elastic bands. She tied a length of elastic around my ankles and told me to walk sideways for forty feet and back again. I felt ridiculous—like I was walking the ledge of a building with pantyhose around my ankles. There was a man throwing a ball against a slanted trampoline and catching it. That looked like fun. Why couldn’t I do that? The next circus trick exercise she had me do was stand on a board with a ball underneath. Talk about being set up to fail, this was an impossible feat. I guess she took pity on me and told me to follow Jason and he would set me up for a something something treatment. I really wish I had heard what she said, but asking someone to repeat something is like shouting I AM OLD AND CAN’T HEAR A WORD YOU ARE SAYING. I find it more agreeable to go through life completely clueless.

Anyway, I was really encouraged when he told me to lie down on the table and he would get some pillows for me. I was still in denial, so I thought I was finally going to get my spa treatment. Next thing I knew, he had rolled a machine over to my table and started attaching wires to my knee. “This is going to stimulate your muscles with an electric current” is all he said. He turned on the machine and there was a fun little tickle going from one electrode to another. He continued turning up the current until the tickle had turned into a jolt. He said that the highest current I could tolerate would do me the most good.

Now, I have no explanation for what happened next. I didn’t know this kid, would probably never see him again after I was done my therapy, but I did not want him to think I was a baby, so I allowed him to turn it up until my leg was literally jumping off the table. He said he’d be back in ten minutes. I looked around for something to put between my teeth so I wouldn’t bite my tongue. When I wasn’t wincing, I watched the big clock on the wall. When I thought I couldn’t take it any longer, I looked pleadingly at the man on the table next to me. His leg was being iced and he was fast asleep. I wanted to sit up and yell WHO is this man’s therapist? How do you expect him to heal just lying there being comfortable? He needs the jumper cable treatment!

By my last appointment, I had gotten smarter. I would say the current was high enough, even before they turned on the machine. I no longer cared what they thought of me. When a young man asked if he could get me something, instead of saying “No thanks, I’m fine”, I asked for cucumber slices for my eyes. As I was leaving, my therapist smiled and said “Now keep up your exercises. You don’t want to come back here.” I smiled back. Ah, truer words were never spoken.


Robin said...

Sounds like it was really fun. I had that electric torture for my back and did just what you did the first time. After that I was perfectly happy to have them think I was a big wimp! And doesn't this girl know that we just plain DON'T wear "athletic shoes"!


Marianne said...

I laughed hysterically at this Big Sis, as my daughter has been getting PT for headaches since April. You haven't lived until you see your daughter's eyebrows twitching because of the "jumper cables"! But what was funniest to me is that NOW I know what all the OTHER patients are thinking while Melanie is laying comfortably having her neck, temples and back massaged while they are attempting to surf on the board/ball contraption or desperately trying not to lose the ball that is crammed between their back and the wall! I'll never be able to keep a straight face there again:)

Honey at 2805 said...

I feel you pain. I have a titanium plate and screws in my neck!

I just became a friend and follower!

Lizabeth said...

Oh you are so funny! I visualized this so well! Well at least you didn't hve to have surgery like a friend of mine did. I hope you heal up and are done with it!

Cathy said...

Oh I am so glad my twisited ankle healed in a week, I would have been a real cry baby if I had gone threw what you did. Glad your better<;)
New follower

laxsupermom said...

Ouch! The recovery sounds almost as bad as the original injury. Glad you're feeling better.

Sandra said...

That was hilarious, glad to see you have a sense of humor.

~Tablescapes By Diane~ said...

Hi lovely lady.
I hope you get better soon sweet lady. I hope you have a wonderful week with your family.
XXOO Diane

Susan said...

Hi Elaine...

Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.

If you like miniatures, the museum there in Denver is fun! There's another one is Tucson, Arizona, that is fabulous! But I enjoyed visiting both.

By the way, I have had (and will have many more) lots of posts on things I saw in Denver. So if you have time, come back to visit. You might see very familiar places!

Take care. Susan

Entertaining Women said...

Oh my, I've spent so many days/months/years in therapy. I mean it when I say that I feel your pain. I'm a veteran of five knee surgeries...two on one leg and three on the other. All I can say it that when they tell you to continue to do those exercises, they mean for life! I hope that you're doing better. Thanks for stopping by my post for a visit. Cherry Kay

Chubby N Chieque said...

GOD! it's not funny when you get injured.

I am a freak doing all gym, zumba, power yoga, step up, ladies marathon & dancing. I thought I am still young. I am 52 yrs old, Lady? and I realized that age matter.

I injured my right knee and I take painkiller just to dance and all those stuffs. Crazy huh?

AH... need a therapist too. Hope your getting better. Take good care.

I am now your new follower here and hope I can win the gorgeous treasure that nothing such in entire Sweden. Keep your fingers X §:-)

Be well,

Linda said...

Wow, I do feel your pain. Your post is full of whimsy. Us ladies hardly ever wear tennis shoes. I say more sparkles are always better. I am your newest follower. Merry Christmas!

Jo's This and That said...

Thanks for sharing, I fell you I went to therapy for a year for my rt cuff thinking of you joann

Lizabeth @ Infuse With Liz said...

Okay I'm checking in on you! Where did you go!! I need some humor!!