I feel the need

I feel the need

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

You can call it Physical Therapy...I call it getting to Second Base.

Good evening!

I'm your defense against the Dark
Arts teacher. Today, I'll teach
you the spell to ward off the gentle
muscle manipulation spell cast by
physical therapists.
Many of you recall I was in a very serious car accident last July.  Since then I've been through two completely different courses of physical therapy involving no less that 9 practitioners of that dark art, I've seen two medical doctors, (one of whom QUIT the practice after my case got to be too difficult for him, I'm not even making that up) one awful trip to the MRI, two sets of X-rays, and a trip to a spinal surgeon. I've also run through the complete talents of two very nice chiropractors, one of whom quit the practice shortly after he couldn't solve my case.  (Again, I'm not making that up.)  I've missed almost 2 weeks' worth of hourly wages due to doctor's
appointments.  Oh, and there were two trips to the ER.

Covering the smell of muscle ointment
since 1900...or whatever.
I've been on no less than four different kind of pain killers, wait, no, five.  One made my legs swell up so bad I couldn't walk.  One gave me such bad heartburn, I couldn't breath.  Two were controlled substances that I couldn't take for an extended period...and they didn't really work anyway.  I'm now on a muscle relaxer that sort of works and I have this nifty lidocaine cream I get to smear on my neck and shoulder 4 times a day.  (I cover any hint of smell by covering my desk in Wint-O-Green Life Savers.)

I'm telling you this because I want you to understand that in the last 10.5 months I have done everything that was asked of me.  I've been to every appointment, I've taken every pill, and I've done every weird exercise, even the one that makes me look like I'm trying to shake my brain back into place.  (I'm supposed to do that one five times a day for five minutes.  Sweet.)  And yet, after all that, I still don't sleep through the night  (10 months and counting...)  and I still can't make a lane change to the left or a left hand turn in my car without great pain.  Oh, and I get blinding headaches 3 out of 5 work days.  So there's that.

So on Monday when Medical doctor #2 and chiropractor #2 came to the same conclusion  ("We don't know what to do to help you, so now we're just going to try stuff and see what happens.")  I realized this was not going to go well, but that I would probably get a good blog out of it.

I was not disappointed today.

They sent me back to Physical therapist #1 from PT course #2.  I guess that makes her 2.1, which is what I'll call her.

2.1 is a very nice lady.  She told me today that every time she drives through the intersection where I had my accident, she thinks of me.  That's remarkable since I haven't seen her in three months, but she does drive through there a lot, so I guess I believe her.

I was sent back to 2.1 because, as I said, they are starting to run out of ideas...and pills...to help me.  (The pharmacy at Sam's Club LOVES to see me coming.  I always get the weird stuff...and they love reading the side effects of the meds to me.  Given my recent reactions to many of the meds, they even get to read the really weird side effects to me, like "Your legs are going to swell up and you won't be able to walk if you take this."

Anyway, today I went to see 2.1 because she, I was told, can do some very gentle muscle manipulation on my neck and shoulders.

Doesn't that sound lovely?  Gentle muscle manipulations.  Almost sounds like spa time, right?

Very little could be further from the truth.

She had me lie down on the table.  Oh yes, get me good an vulnerable with my soft, gushy belly facing the unflattering lights.  Then she began her gentle manipulations.

"Does this hurt?"  She asked softly touching a spot on my neck.

"It feels a little tender, but it doesn't hurt."

"Okay, HOW ABOUT THIS?"  She then jams her retractable claw into my neck muscle.

"YES!  That HURTS!"

See how his eyes are shining...
Those are tears.
"GOOD, then we're going to do THIS!"  And with that, she jabs the neck muscle harder, while at the same time finding a good tender spot on my collar bone to shove with the heel of her hand.

This sort of thing went on for nearly an hour.  She poked and shoved my skull, my cheekbones, my neck, shoulder, armpit, collarbone, some little bones near my throat she claimed were ribs, but they felt more like explosions of glass under her "gentle muscle manipulation."

It was when she moved down that tiny ladder of bone that I realized her definition of physical therapy and my high school definition of second base were a little...closer than I imagined.  I mean, hey, if I knew I was coming in for a mammogram, I would have prepared better.  I would have worn my good bra and the invisible deodorant.  (Because, see, they don't want you to wear deodorant at a mammogram.  The pictures apparently turn out better if the woman's humiliation is complete when she not only is half naked and in pain, but almost stinky.)

Apparently, there's a muscle that is attached to my neck, my skull, my armpit, the top of my girl gland and the bottom of my girl gland, and yes, also at the patch on my chin where my lovely hairs grow...and that muscle had to gently manipulated until I was left dizzy, weeping, and feeling a tiny bit violated.  She asked me how I felt...I wanted to quote "The Princess Bride" because, well I like quoting that movie and because I wanted to say, "I've just gently manipulated away one year of your life. Tell me, how does that make you feel?"

The good news, I guess, is that 2.1 feels we made some good progress today.  I get to see her once a week now for four weeks. 

Meanwhile, I just can't shake the feeling there's a camera in the ceiling of that room and somewhere in another room there's a group of medical people, people who have attempted to fix what ails me, and they are watching this and they are laughing...just a little bit.

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