I don't know how many of you have ever had the "pleasure" of being instructed to go to physical therapy, but if you haven't, may I say that it's a lot like I would envision joining the Army...or maybe the Marines.
Upon arriving at the facility, there was much to see and the first appointment didn't go too badly. I was evaluated and given a few exercises to do at home. I took my sheet of "tortuousness" exercises and went merrily on my way.
The real "you know what" began as I arrived for the second session. We had a fire drill at school that day and I hadn't been cool since. So upon arriving, I asked to change into my exercise appropriate clothes...my Bon Worth matching capris and top. I thought I'd brought a little bottle of spray perfume because I felt I might be a little "musty" after the fire drill. I couldn't find the perfume...so I just pulled on the clothes and dashed to the appointment. If they can stand football players surely they can stand me.
They called my name loud enough for all of the state to hear and I ambled to the "room" purse in hand and dread in my heart. My PT was immediately cordial and assigned me to a machine. He told me to sit and then he lifted a lever and pushed me close enough to put my feet in the pedals. He said to pedal the machine...."For how long?" I inquired. "Ten minutes," he countered. I laughed, "No really, how long??"
"I'll be back," he said, "get to pedaling." I gathered by the tenor of his voice that he meant business. I haven't pedaled anything except my car in 15 years.
I saw the name of the machine...the Recumbent Cross Trainer. Uh, oh...I began pedaling. The speed said 49 steps per minute. That's not exactly a world class pace, but I was feeling pretty smug...then I spied a little old man. He was watching me struggle with the handle bars and the pedals and I sat a little straighter...I'm not going to let some old person laugh at my 49 steps per minute. I sped up...58...he smiled...finally somewhere between 9 1/2 minutes and 10, I hit 71. "Take that," I thought. Really!!!
The PT came to get me (that's Physical Therapist for all you healthy people) and I could hardly walk. My legs felt similar to jello on a hot day. I had to be helped out of the Recumbent Cross Trainer. How embarrassing. Now we went toward a leather benchlike bedlike thing. Pillows were at the end and they had just sprayed the leather with cleaner and wiped it down. But somebody missed a spot and I felt the spray stuff through my clothes as I sat down. "Lie back and put this ball between your knees." Oh, no...first, this is going to mess up my hair and second, I had to squeeze the ball and then lift my hips...I'm not particularly coordinated so this looked a lot like someone doing the "snake" only in reverse. "How many times?" I inquired...dreading the answer. "Thirty". He walked away. Now I have to admit that I fudged a little here...I stopped somewhere between 15 and 30. I believe it might have been 15. More assorted tortures were performed by a weak kneed older woman in the mirror...oh, no! That's me!
Then I was led to another section of the unit..."Oh, thank goodness!" I thought, "there are other women here and I can whine and complain with them"....HaHa. It was the "wall of shame" for me. Every woman there was between 17 and 20. They were all basketball players and were in tip top shape. They laid back on the bedthing, faced the wall and walked up the wall with their feet. I knew I was in trouble. "Hello," I offered to one, "what are you "in" for?" "Torn ACL"...she countered. "We all have basketball injuries." "What's wrong with you?" she asked. "Bad knees," I said with a very serious face. They had 6 and 7 inch scars where they had been surgically repaired. I had nothing to show except a sweaty brow and a limp. I felt pretty low.
Then the PT and his assistant came over to do an ultrasound treatment on my knee. I heard him tell the assistant, "Inflamed duck's foot". Now just a minute, just because I have on my Princess Reeboks doesn't mean you have to make fun of the way I walk. Beside that I really try not to limp noticeably. "Excuse me, did you mention my feet? I am here for therapy on my knee. Have I been doing the incorrect exercises?" I was pretty steamed with all that ball between the knees stuff and my hair standing straight up in the back and all. "No, the area that is causing you so much trouble is called the "duck's foot". It's inflamed," the nice man said. Well, that's better. I settled down.
After ultrasound and icing my leg. I was on my way. It wasn't too bad and beside that I only have 7 more sessions. I will fill you in on those as they occur. However, for some reason as I walked to the car, I had a strange desire to waddle and quack.
May your duck's foot never be inflamed,