March 2012


Honestly I thought I was going to wimp out, but I didn’t. No more Physical Therapy!

Last week, after my initial two physical therapy sessions, I was harboring doubts about the veracity of physical therapy. (Actually, I lie: it started immediately with the first meeting.)

As a consequence of my doubts, I sought to find out whether or not I was required to use all six physical therapy sessions that had been prescribed or if I could cancel the rest of my appointments – of which, it turned out that the answer was a resounding “yes”.

But I decided to give it another week, just to see if maybe something other than the passage of time would actually help. Tuesday I was tugged upon and pulled upon – and, again, I couldn’t really tell the difference between how my back felt before the appointment and how it felt after the appointment – mainly because, perhaps, I was already feeling pretty good.

Today’s appointment started with the therapist starting with the question, “on a scale of zero to ten…” – and before therapist could finish, I cut her off with a “one” – which seemed to be a surprise. I, on the other hand, was relieved that I wouldn’t have to hear about suicide again.

With the news that I was feeling fine, she decided it was time to have me do stupid human tricks in the gym at the end of the hall – including, first, some kind of push-ups on a weird-ass semi-spherical ball-plate.

I knew immediately that it was going to be difficult, if not impossible: I’ve never had that kind of ability, not since I was a child. I have a poor sense of balance (I constantly hit walls with my shoulders, in my own apartment) and I have terrible hand-eye coordination.

Expressing my doubts aloud only resulted in me being informed that I had a bad attitude.

Which, I suppose, is true from her perspective.

I prefer to think of myself as being realistic about my physical abilities after years of experience. I pointed out that I know that I am bad at singing and that having a positive attitude wouldn’t change the fact that people run in horror when I start to sing.

After being unable to do the odd push-ups, she switch me to an even stranger task – not knowing that she was actually building me up to the point where I was going to say “No, I’m done with physical therapy for good.”

Because, the truth is, that I had somehow decided to be compliant. If they wanted to tug and push on me for 20 minutes, I was just going to endure it (and endure is the right word) for another week, mentally complaining to myself about what a waste of time it was.

Instead, as I found myself falling (from a low distance) onto the floor for the fifth time in two or three minutes, I stopped the malarkey and said, “I don’t understand what this is supposed to accomplish.”

The therapist said something and, when I thought she was finished, I said, “I still don’t see the point.”

It turns out that she wasn’t finished explaining what the even stranger task was supposed to accomplish – but I explained that my question was more meta, and that I didn’t actually see the point of the physical therapy.

When I pressed her, she admitted to saying exactly what I thought she had said at the first meeting: Time is the best cure for a Hexenschuss.

She offered to convert the last two appointments into a gift certificate for a massage – since I had already paid for the time. I declined the offer and, at the same time, refused to sign for the last two appointments as listed on the prescription from my doctor.

I’m not going to rook the insurance company.

2 comments to Honestly I thought I was going to wimp out, but I didn’t. No more Physical Therapy!

  • Mateo

    People run in horror when you sing?! I would have loved to see this woman’s reaction to your whole session!

    • It went about as it always goes when somebody who has never-ending enthusiasm for her job runs into somebody who is starkly blunt and forthright about the situation.

      She did her best to remain upbeat and positive as I told her that I didn’t see the point. I doubt she will think of me ever again – alas, I will remember her and her assurance that I would be good at these activities for awhile.