A Tired Older Woman: Loses Weight and Keeps It Off! by Annie Acorn.
Well, I guess it comes to us all in the end – the dreaded PT – Physical Therapy.
All of my life, I have felt a great sense of relief when this friend or that co-worker left for a PT appointment instead of me. Now, though, with two broken bones in my foot, it was definitely my turn to go. (See ATOW Does Crutches and ATOW Moon Walks).
Wimping out wasn’t really an option and neither was hiring a look-alike actor to play my part, although I did briefly consider the latter. For a moment, my thoughts centered on an extended vacation in Italy or somewhere equally far away, but I was already committed to going to Seattle for Thanksgiving.
So, armed with my customary pitcher of espresso and an oversized bag of mixed Lindt chocolates, I picked up the phone to make my appointments for the next six weeks as prescribed. When the gal on the other end of the line would only allow me to make a single appointment for evaluation only, I was initially surprised and then somewhat relieved before my overactive writer’s imagination took over.
Was it possible that most people actually did skip town after this single visit, due to the torture that they had been put through? If so, that would explain the receptionist’s refusal to make a series of appointments that would then have to be cancelled.
By the time my sister dropped me off for my evaluation two days later, my character development skills, such as they are, had kicked in. In just this brief period of time, the soft-voiced receptionist had morphed into a fire-breathing dragon, and the physical therapist had been firmly outlined as a hard-hearted Sumo wrestler on steroids.
Before I could determine if my fears were warranted, though, I had to get through the four ton front door. An elderly couple was passing through the monster as I started forward, but it closed when I was still about four feet away.
With a confidence built on innocence, I made my way towards the large blue button ten paces away that promised to open the heavy door, and lifted the tip of my crutch to provide a gentle push. I was too close, making the crutch too long, so I edged back. Now, the crutch was too short to clear the distance. I edged forward – too long again.
This time I moved my hand up the length of the crutch and managed a firm push. Then, with the speed of a Formula 1 racer, the door opened and shut before I could reach it. Frustrated, I let out a proverbial sigh, turned around and tried again with the same result.
I was acting out a bad comedy routine, and believe me, I wasn’t laughing. This time, an elderly gentleman waved me back towards the door with a smile and pushed the button for me. With the help of my new found friend, I finally made it in. The question now was did I want to be there?
I arrived on the second floor with a friend’s description of PT as Hell on Earth flitting through my mind to the tune of the elevator’s Muzak.
The woman behind the reception desk was a pleasant surprise. With a smile as sweet as her voice, she seated me first and then asked for my insurance card. While she finished her paperwork, I sat quietly in my chair, visions of Kermit the Frog’s skinny green arm being twisted relentlessly in an ER scene from one of the Muppet movies filling my head.
Then a gray-haired woman with a nice smile approached me, held out her hand, and introduced herself as my physical therapist. She has proven to be as nice as her smile. Four weeks later, my injuries are healing, and my physical therapy regimen will hopefully help me to avoid similar incidents in the future.
During this time, I have made my way from D.C. to Seattle, completely dependent on the kindness of strangers, who I think of as my Thanksgiving angels. It won’t be long now until I’ll be able to put aside my crutches and air cast, but I have followed the path of those who are always restricted and often dependent on others for several weeks now.
As with most paths, there have been patches of both sunlight and shadow. Sometimes there have been the crowds of an unfamiliar airport swirling around me. Other times, there have been long periods when my injuries have left me frustrated, isolated, and alone.
During this holiday season, consider reaching out to those who too often know similar periods of isolation, who find it too much of a struggle to get out and about. Make a lunch date, or take them shopping. Ask them to share your holiday dinner.
My friend, denise hays, who wrote that fabulously funny mystery, Bloodhound, decorates a wheelchair bound friend’s home for Christmas right after Thanksgiving each year, before she even decorates her own home. During the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve, she returns to her friend’s house and takes everything down, packing it all carefully away. Each time, the two of them share a lunch out and run a few errands together. What a gift! What an example to the rest of us! (An Interview With denise hays and Thanks Giving – a denise hays guest post).
Is there someone in your life that could use a helping hand or a day out on the town? Give them a call. Believe me, you won’t regret your decision to take action.
Speaking of giving, don’t forget that I’m giving away several FREE COPIES of From Women’s Pens’ amazing Christmas anthology, One Last Gift. Enter your name and email address in the box at the top right of this page for a chance to win. You won’t want to miss this one!