Thursday was my final session of physical therapy for my back. I knew I wanted to do a blog about these folks but I have jokingly referred to them in the past – there’s of course Agador Spartacus (Paul), Officer Sam (Samantha), and my precious little Chunky Monkey (Steve) or I sometimes call him a cuter James Belushi. Quick note to Steve: Chunky Monkey is not meant in a mean way – on the contrary it is a compliment. Why you may ask? Because Steve has the most amazing personality and such a sense of humor and he’s silly and compassionate all at the same time — he can be an imp – and that’s close to chimp and well, he has this adorable little tummy on him (I know he’s gonna get teased about this – sorry swee’pea!) and my Devoted Spouse also has a little tummy and well, I just Looooove men with little tummies – so Chunky Monkey is a term of endearment. I just love the stuffin’ outta you, Steve. Whew – got that one explained. Now you all know why I call Paul Agador – it’s coz he reminds me of the actor Hank Azaria (although he just doesn’t see it) and he’s just cute as the dickens (“clench those butt cheeks, Linda”) (“kiss my butt cheeks, Agador”) :) And Sam is Officer Sam coz she really read me the riot act one day when I had overdone the activity and I could just envision her in the police outfit with the handcuffs (whoa up – don’t go down fantasy road) – but she cracked the whip on my activities is what I’m trying to say. She is the sweetest lady around.
Anyway – these folks have gotten me through the painful rehab of a dislocated shoulder and then the painful rehab of a broken back and all told I’ve spent 9 months with them. They became like family to me. We laughed and we cried – okay I’m the one who cried. Steve and Paul were always nice enough to say it was the lights up in the ceiling that were too strong and made my eyes water. Simply said, I couldn’t have made it through this personal injury hell of mine without the tenderness and kindness of these folks – and that includes those who helped me with my exercises, Lori, and Kristen who always made sure I didn’t bang my head on anything or break any of their equipment.
So because I know my 6 faithful readers expect something at least slightly humorous from me I’ve decided to give all of you some of the wisdom I’ve gained from these past 9 months of physical therapy. In fact I’ve made you a little list.
1. Please bathe before you go to PT – they will make you exercise and to start out smelling bad and then sweat while exercising is just plain cruel and these people don’t get paid nearly enough to sniff your stinky body. Shower first. Drowning yourself in perfume is not the solution.
2. The night before you go to PT kindly refrain from eating beans or any cruciferous vegetable, whether or not you have eaten a bottle of Beano prior to your meal - trust me don’t eat anything that will cause your body to go into severe Toot-mode prior to your appointment. These folks twist you, pull on your limbs, put your legs over your head at times, and contort your body in all kinds of positions that just begs to push out air — and when your PT is telling you to clench your butt cheeks, he’s talking about general muscles while you may be thinking I’m clenching and if you only knew why… Trust me – no chili the night before – ever! And no breakfast burritos either!
3. Don’t b*tch at your exercise coach when she tells you to do 3 reps of 10 each. Yes, it seems like torture and yes, it IS torture at times, but it will help you. I’m just thankful my Drill Sergeant there (Carol) never told me to “drop and give her twenty” because there were times I felt she might do just that!
4. Don’t think for one minute you can tell them you did your 3 reps of 10 when you’ve only finished 2 reps of 10 because these people are flippin’ psychic – they KNOW what and how much you are doing. It’s creepy. I learned early to add one or two more times on the bar or a few more leg pushes just to keep them happy — 5 minutes on the bike? I always gave at least 6 if not more. So there! I did my work. But they cruelly always turned the tv on to Regis and Kelly and the rest of us had to exercise while looking at the ripped arms of Kelly Ripa (who actually should be force-fed in my opinion and made to always wear long sleeves). Talk about incentive.
5. When they give you exercises on a nicely printed sheet of paper to take home and perform – do that — take the paper home, study it, and do the exercises. Don’t wad it up and play ball with your dog. He will get the exercise; not you. Although there were times I looked at the paper and WANTED to wad it up, I never did. Nope – I DID those exercises and I’m STILL doing them (I hate the new bridges Sam, whine, whine). I sound like somebody’s mother when I say this and I can’t believe I’m going to say it anyway: This is for your own good – so follow through!
6. Don’t push them; don’t tease them; don’t piss them off. These are highly trained individuals and they can put your limbs where you will never find them again – do everything they tell you and do it with a smile on your face.
7. Always bring them something good to eat – they may live a healthy life-style but we ALL know an occasional blueberry muffin is good for the soul.
That’s my list and I’m stickin’ to it. If you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods and you need physical therapy these are the folks to see – my friends at OrthoAdvantage - and now to introduce the team themselves:
So, that was my team – and I love them all dearly for their wonderful treatment of me. I’m going to go do some exercises now and then eat some yogurt – oh joy, the life of a recovering broken backaholic is just one fun thing after another. BTW if you don’t understand the title of this posting (and I’m really disappointed in those of you who don’t get it), go Google Douglas Adams coz you’re obviously not an enlightened fan of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.