I have been going to physical therapy for a couple of weeks now. I began going when I found myself unable to properly put my bra on anymore. Despite shooting pain down my arm and the inability to move in certain ways, I ignored it for a while although I had a referral to go and get PT. I hoped that it would resolve on its own. Unfortunately my range of motion just seemed to get smaller and smaller. The muscles seemed to be shrinking and tightening. It was making me nervous. So I finally called. Made the appointment. And met with my PT therapist.
The first time I went, there was a woman in a wheelchair and a blind woman. It really made me feel sort of wussy for being there in the first place. My therapist told me that it was good that I had come. She told me that I could get frozen shoulder. That my muscles were really tight. That I needed to be there.
That first day I went, she evaluated me. She measured my range of motion with giant tools that looked like the ones I had gotten for my son’s geometry class this year. She confirmed that there were just some ways my arm refused to move. She gave me a couple of exercises to do at home. I scheduled more appointments.
The second time I went my PT therapist put on little pads and stimulated my stiff muscles with electronic pulses. She wrapped a giant heated towel over my shoulder. Put a giant roll under my knees and left me lying down. It was blissful. After that she warmed up my muscles with some ultrasound. Then, she massaged my super stiff muscles and had me lie back down and stretched everything out. It was literally the best part of my day.
The following week I learned that I had been awarded coverage for eight visits in a certain timeframe. I was sadly canceled that week since my therapist was out sick. But I was back the next week. Going through the entire process again. I can, in all truthfulness, say that my range of motion is better. My pain is not as bad. So it is definitely doing some good.
Most of the folks who are in the facility are much older than I am. They have knees that are giving them problems. Aching backs after unloading the dishwasher. My therapist and the others, chat with the patients. Sessions are an hour so it is a long period of time to be the focus of any medical type person. I began to think about why it is that I love it so much. I think it is because, first of all, I do not have a terrible injury. It is an inconvenience injury. I think that PT to re-learn how to walk or recover from a devastating injury is in a different class from my PT.
I think that the PT love that I have can be attributed to a combination of the hour’s worth of attention and the touching. It probably explains why my mom sees the chiropractor so frequently. For that period of time, it is only you. And then your parts are being manipulated in a way that is calming and while it does not always feel good, it feels like they care. Even if they don’t. And isn’t that what we all want? I see all of the folks who are getting PT. I wonder if this is the most conversation they have all day. If it is the only time someone touches their bodies in a way that does not seem like a medical procedure. And I think about this and wonder. How different are we really?