Tuesday, March 08, 2011

tales from PT

My 8-week course of knee treatments is coming to an end and this is my last week of physical therapy!

My 24th and final visit will be on Friday. Each visit lasts an average of 2 hours long, which means that I have been spending 6 hours or more a week at the facility. It's funny – when you spend that much time with a group of people, you get to know a lot of things.

I calculated that there are at least 12 employees that I have worked with and talked with on a regular basis.

There's Candace, who was 7 1/2 months pregnant when I started the treatments. As time went by, she had a countdown and her co-workers had an office pool going to guess her delivery date. One day when I was there, I heard that she wasn't feeling well and went home. She delivered a beautiful baby boy a few days later!

Brittany is newly pregnant and a little green around the gills. She eats oranges to keep the nausea at bay, and sneaks candies out of the treat drawer to give to Eva.

Katherine is very petite, I think 4'10", so she often puts on/takes off ankle weights to help out her co-workers, especially the pregnant ones. She and her husband just bought their first house and moved in and she is happily unpacking and organizing.

Jeb is the loudest guy in any room. He is comfortable conversing with anyone, on any subject. He likes to talk dinosaurs with Eva because she knows about the newer ones he has never heard of before. He teases everyone, and the older patients seem to really enjoy it. He sees me reading and keeps telling me about his favorite book, Vertical Run. It is apparently a real action page-turner with quite the body count. I've told him it's not exactly my style, but he hasn't given up trying to persuade me. He has a 5-month old baby girl and lives for the weekends when he gets to take over her care and spend lots of time with her. He's got a gruff exterior, but he's really a softie.

There are about 10 other patients that I see frequently, as well.

There's Pat, who seems to be an ex-military guy. I think of him as a show-off. When he does his leg raises, he puts his foot all the way over his head and touches the wall. I don't like to do my exercises next to Pat. He always has a book with him, though, so I guess we do have something in common.

There's the woman with dark spiky hair (I never caught her name) who is always bubbly. She is cheerful and talks to everyone. I am even more reserved than usual when she is around.

There's the man who turns the speed way up on the anti-gravity treadmill and runs on his tiptoes. When the PTs ask him to slow down and walk heel-toe, he is belligerent and demands one good reason. (They have many good reasons.) I can't really blame him, it is a delightful feeling to be able to walk (or run) without pain.

Then there's the woman who comes to work out with a different, ginormous ring every time. What a character!

Blaine, a distinguished-looking older man, is polite and cooperative. He wears pink oxford shirts and jeans and has a quiet, dry sense of humor. I found out yesterday that he has made 9 trips to Ghana to help build a school. I love Blaine.

I've learned all kinds of things by talking to people at physical therapy.

I heard a terrifying story about a woman who unknowingly got a spider bite. She had a little red mark on her hand and didn't think much of it. She went out with some friends that night and they noticed a dark line going from her hand up to her elbow. They persuaded her to go to the E.R. (she didn't have insurance and was trying to avoid it). By the time she got there, it was up to her shoulder. She had blood poisoning and the doctors told her that if she had waited until morning, it would have gone to her heart and killed her! A cautionary tale.

I learned about a shooting app for smart phones. Apparently, you can enter in the type of gun you are using, and it looks up your location and factors in the wind direction and speed and tells you how to compensate. There's an app for everything!

I learned about a diet I had never heard of before – The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet. I got it from the library, read it, and am now on day 5 of following it! Who knows, maybe I'll lose all this weight and have physical therapy to thank for it!

I'm going to miss some of the people. I'm going to miss the anti-gravity treadmills. I'm going to miss the end-of-workout shaking machine. I'm definitely going to miss the knee massage and icing sessions – the reward after the pain. I'm not going to miss the big chunks of time (close to 3 hours with travel time).

I'm not sure how I used to spend all of that time when my kids are all at school, but I'm excited to find out!

p.s. My knees are feeling much, MUCH better than they did before I started!


Anonymous said...

I love this post! What fun things to have picked up during your weeks- and I dig that you thought to record them :)

Liz said...

It sounds like there are some really interesting people at your PT place. It is so great that your knees are feeling better! I hope this continues. I'm curious about this new diet plan. What does it involve?

patsy said...

what a great post.

I really love that the PT is working!
curious about the diet..?

Melinda said...

I love people watching. It is so interesting to learn about others. I am so glad your knees are doing better. I wish mine were.

Susan said...

Sounds like you really were observant during therapy sessions! And, some interesting characters to boot.

Icing after anything-simply frightening. Oh my. Glad the knees are feeling a bit better.

jt said...

I love this too. I'm so glad you recorded it all. I love thinking about all the different characters that populate our lives, even or especially the ones we don't know well. I would miss some of them as well. I hope the improvement lasts!

Jill said...

It's just crazy that you have had so many appointments there and have this whole world happening. I think it's awesome that you've been so proactive about helping yourself get better, that has got to be empowering even though it's expensive!

Denise said...

What the heck is an "end-of-workout shaking machine?!" If it involves something chocolate and frothy, count me in; but if, as it's name implies, it shakes you around, I'm afraid it sounds like a headache-inducing nightmare to me!

Rebekah said...

People are so interesting. I wish I could have a job that just involved learning more about people's lives.

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