Thursday, May 20, 2010

Running with the Bulls

After suffering for many years from a back injury, it has finally gotten to the point that I decided to mention it to my Dr. So he says how did it happen? " I'm wanting to say something like It happened in Spain, I was running with the bulls when....." or maybe "I was in San Francisco, minding my own business when 5 ninjas attacked"... but somehow I didn't think he would believe that.

So I had to confess, I was roller skating when I was about 30, a couple of teens who thought they were playing roller derby came up behind me and plowed into me. I took a shoulder in the lower back, did a flip and landed on my lower back on top of a roller skate..my own.

It left a bruise that went across my entire back and most of my bottom. I could barely walk for weeks. About a month later I decided to show my son's some "moves", on a skate board. Nuff said about that. The Dr rolls his eyes and I hastily remarked, "I was real thin back then! What was I thinking??? Did I somehow subconsciously think that he was picturing me as I am now hitting the concrete in a great big splat?

So anyway he says I need to take some physical therapy as I probably have a pinched nerve causing the problem. Ok I'll go.

First I have to get X-Ray'd , lower back, both hips and legs. Then I get an appointment for the Physical Therapy.

Today was the big day, I drive into Stockton, which is a big city for me. Here in the Foothills if there are more than 6 cars on the road at the same time its either a parade, funeral or church is letting out. Although I lived
in Stockton for more than 30 years I still get lost there and everyone is driving like they are in time trials for a stock car race.

I arrive at the appointed time and the first thing I notice is the sign says " Sports Medicine Therapy". I'm thinking hmmmm, wonder what sport falling off a skateboard is?..

I go in and fill out the required 16 pages of insurance and past medical history. Then I wait in the lobby humming to the overhead tune of Girls Just Want To Have Fun, done by a classical orchestra, I'm thinking it's a pretty appropriate song.

The "PT'ist" comes out and gets me and we go into a room where she has me trying to do ballet moves to determine my range of motion. Then I lay down on the exam table and she digs her fingers in every joint I have and asks, "Does this hurt?" which I nod the affirmative at every chance hoping she will ease off a bit. She goes over my medical history, then briefly tells me hers. I'm not sure why but I am sure there will be a test at the end so I really listen. Then we go into the "PT Room"...in other words the Torture Chamber or Dungeon whatever you prefer.

Bicycling comes first, the seat is small or my bottom is big, maybe both. I have to pedal for 7 minutes. Pedaling is not the problem, the disappearing seat is the problem. I am suddenly absorbing the seat like the La Brea Tar Pit. I am positive the sound of me coming off that seat is going to sound like a champagne cork coming off the bottle.

Time is up and I slowly get unwedged off the seat and walk back to the PT'ist. I can still feel the seat somewhere "up there" and I begin pulling at my pants to make sure they are not buried in an uncomplimentary way as I walk thru a room full of University Jocks with pulled ham strings and popped tendons. I suddenly had a vision of a lady I saw on a plane once, coming out of the bathroom with her skirt neatly tucked into the back of her pantyhose. As she walked down the isle back to her seat I saw about 15 heads pop into the isle as she walked past each row of seats...Please God , not me!

So next on the list is to lay on the giant table-bed next to a man I have never even met. I kept thinking, "I'm married and in my entire married life the man next to me has always been my husband"... I couldn't even peek over at him to see if he was as uncomfortable as I was. Anyway she had us both doing the same exercises at the same time and we both kept our eyes averted from each other (at least I did). I would imagine the young man got a good feeling for what it would be like to do exercises with your grandma..

When I was just at the point of not being able to do another knee bend or waist twisting thingy she said time was up. PRAISE GOD! I managed to walk out to my car after she tells me I need to come in twice a week. ( I gave her the I'll call you routine). I drove home and I could barely get out of the car. I suddenly remembered I have to go to my grandson's Open House tonight and there would be no getting out of it.

My grandsons school is on the side of a hill. You have to take a series of stairs up levels and down levels to visit classrooms. So the classes were all on the lower levels, there was an Art Show on the upper levels and a book fair on the far side of the upper level, we were parked down two levels, across the campus and up one level... I was in such pain by the time we finished I could barely walk to the car.

So the next time someone tells me physical therapy is just the thing I need, they just might be needing it too....

Grouchy Gold Rush Grandma!

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