Non-painless gains…

I’ve been doing the exercises assigned by my physical therapist for a week now. So far, the net result has been to see the pain near my lower back and raise it occasional mid-back spasms and, rather inexplicably, a sore left shoulder. I’m not entirely sure this is going according to plan. I’m sure all will be revealed to me tomorrow at my next appointment. Or not. If my track record of these things proves consistent, what we’ll really do is add new and different exercises so I can get sore and achy in even more places that were previously pain free.

I’m sure there is plenty of evidentiary proof behind why physical therapy is a good thing, but honestly, I’m always going to be more appreciative of the medical sciences that involve a pill or a jab and send me on my way. Yes, I want the easy way out. Sue me.

Oh, don’t worry. I’ll keep up with this new assigned routine through the four or five weeks it’s set to run. I’ll bitch and complain about it the whole way, of course, because that’s just what I do when something comes along to interject itself into my well-honed routine… especially when it also brings me new aches and pains for my trouble. So far, I’m willing to withhold judgment on this process, but if we get into week three and four with even more new stuff hurting, we’re going to need to have a long think about where we are and where it’s headed.

In conclusion, whoever coined the phrase “no pain, no gain,” was a putz. I’ve achieved many painless gains and I rather wish this could be counted among them.

I want my money back…

I’m going to a few weeks of physical therapy in an effort to resolve some lower back issues. I don’t love it. Being laid out flat on my back (or front) in an open bay storefront getting worked over by a perfect stranger just isn’t my idea of high jinks. That’s not the worst part, though.

The worst part is the five pages of “homework” that I’m supposed to lay down on the floor and do three times a day. Firstly, have you ever tried laying down on the floor in a home occupied by a young dog who lives for attention? Yeah. Then thrown in a cat who thinks he’s a dog and insists he should also be part of the program. Something that’s supposed to be 30 seconds and three repetitions takes approximately nine minutes to get through. Then there’s four more pages of things to do, each more ingeniously designed to provoke more attention from the resident canine who’s determined it all means uninterrupted playtime.

I’m pretty sure I dislocated my shoulder trying to keep the dog from licking my eyeball this afternoon. I guess that’s something I can bring up with my new PT guru next week. Maybe there’s some other kind of supine bend-twist-arch-single-elbow-tuck I can try out to get after that one. 

I can’t believe we’re living here in the 21st century and this can’t all be solved with a pill or a shot. This isn’t the future we were promised and I want my damned money back.

I’ve been referred…

I went into the doctor’s office this morning expecting the normal checkup and regular drubbing for being too fat, too in love with salt, and hating all forms of exercise that aren’t yard work.

I got those things, of course, but I also got three unexpected referrals. The first involves an as yet undetermined amount of physical therapy for a back that never entirely quits hurting. The second is for a dermatologist to take a look at a stubborn bit or rash on my arms that the doc now thinks could be an acquired allergy to one of my medications. The last, well, that’s the one that just adds insult to injury.

The final referral is for a consultation with a nutritionist. Apparently, the idea of most of my collected recipes being directly from the 1950s and 60s is abhorrent and “not at all” recommended.

Yeah, well, they all taste good. Which is inevitably more than I’ll be able to say about whatever diet cardboard with lite vinegar sauce I’m about to have recommended for me. I’ll try to go in with an open mind, but the first time someone tells me cauliflower is an acceptable substitute for bread, pizza crust, or rice, you’ll be able to hear my eyes rolling from wherever you happen to be in the world.

I’m not convinced healthy people really live longer so much as it just feels longer because they’ve sucked every ounce of joy out of living. Anyway, it looks like I’ll be burning off shit tons of sick leave in the near future, so at least I have that to look forward to.

Getting physical…

I had my first meeting with the physical therapist this past Friday. While it wasn’t as god awful as I expected, it didn’t exactly tickle. Plus, strange people touching me. *Shudder* I think the fact that I didn’t either take a swing at the guy or find an excuse to run away should be acknowledged as a major accomplishment for me.

The last thing they handed me before turning me loose into the world was a schedule for future appointments. That’s fine. Although it would have been nice, I in no way anticipated this being a one-and-done kind of endeavor. I didn’t expect, though, that this was going to be a 3-day a week kind of effort. While that’s bad enough, the very best part is that my scheduled start time on most of those days is the same time I’d usually be leaving the office. I’m sure blowing out the door early three times a week for the next four weeks is one of those things that will further endear me to the bosses.

If there’s any bright spot to the next few weeks, it’s that at least for the moment the joys of physical therapy won’t be sucking every minute of free time out of my evening schedule. If that costs me a couple of days worth of sick leave over the course of the month, that’s probably time off well spent. At least it is to me. Like I said, the powers that be are sure to be less than thrilled with this turn of events. This is one of those times when they’re just going to have to learn to live with disappointment, because when it comes to sacrificing my time or theirs, well, it’s not really a contest. We’ll just have to see how well that theory holds up on Monday when a sheaf of leave requests land on someone’s desk.

Shouldn’t have mentioned it…

I shouldn’t have mentioned to the doc this morning that I busted up my shoulder a few weeks ago. There was no yelling during the fist up until that point. Usually before he’s even in the room he’s raising three kinds of hell about some kind of test result, my weight, my diet, or whatever he’s decided to focus on that morning. Today was going swimmingly by comparison.

We could have wrapped up that way except I opened my big mouth… and which point the yanking and cranking on my arm started. Then there was shouting, except I was the point of origin instead of him. For the record, I like it better when he’s the one doing the yelling.

After the yelling part of the visit, I found myself with a tentative diagnosis of “something rotator cuff related” and referred for physical therapy and a recheck in a month. I should have kept my big mouth shut, because now I’m stuck shoehorning one more thing I don’t want to do into a schedule that’s already too full of that kind of jackassery.

You can’t see it out there in the blogiverse, but I’m rolling my eyes.