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Tales from Physical Therapy - The Scream

There was a scream; a loud yell sorta scream that one does when they are getting stabbed.  This was followed by a few smaller yells and then silence.  I got ready to jump to the ground in attack mode assuming these were the sounds of a loose killer; getting ready to throw an elderly over my good shoulder and start saving lives!  

No.  These were the sounds I heard walking into my first physical therapy session for my injured shoulder. What was I walking into?

I looked at my therapist -- she at me-- "is this normal" I asked, hoping she would say no.  

She replies "Oh that?  Oh that's nothing" with enough sarcasm to put up a fight with the question mark. The question mark got its crooked ass kicked.  

I replied "Oh".  She just laughed.  Still wondering what that meant.

That's how it went down.  My first therapy session on October 17 -- 8 weeks since my surgery -- started with a scream.  Now 9 sessions later, I hate to admit this, but today I was that elderly woman screaming in pain as my torturer slowly pulled my arm back, like my arm was a rubber band, trying to make it snap, as she was "reassessing" me to check my progress.  Well, I can say I progressed all right -- progressed in pain.  I screamed like my 4yr old this morning because she did not get to wear blue underwear today (it was all in the wash).  The only difference is I am wearing blue underwear today and am 38.  Now I totally get the sarcasm in response to the screaming I heard on the first day. 

"Ah Ah Ahhhhhhh" - said a red faced, side parted tool, as my torturer slowly took her time to measure my range of motion.  This went on for at least 10 minutes.  The reward -- if there is such a thing -- was the news that I am progressing very well and am on track.  Now on track for what I am not so sure. It was then I realized that PT really does stand for Pain and Torture.  Don't let anyone tell you differently as I so did not want to believe it either. 

The irony of it all is that I got this injury from doing Brazilian Ju-Jitsu.  This requires you to tap out if you are about to have a ligament broken due to your opponent trying, with all his might, to break anything he can hold on to.  And here I am, trying to tap out as my opponent/therapist, aka Jack the Ripper, is trying to pull my arm out of my socket to "help me".  Apparently tap outs don't work in real life.  But screaming does!  I sooo wanted to yell FREEEEEEEDDOOMMMMM like William Wallace as my ego is being ripped out of my puny, lifeless, no-muscle arm.  But I didn't as I am not tough like Mr Wallace.  I am Danny with pussy shoulders.  Booo

"What is your pain today? 0-10?", is what I am asked at the start and end of each session.  0 is what I say because I have no idea how the 0-10 scale of pain works.  Its sooo irrelevant.  I drop a weight on my toe and its an Ouch, but I stub my toe because I cant walk normal and trip on a flat floor, and its an OUCH (in all caps).  So how does 0-10 work.  No clue. I just try to stay tough, say 0 every time, and let her hurt me enough so I can scream like I'm a 74 year old cheerleader rooting for Rudy; but hey, I am making progress. 

15 more sessions to go!  Yayyy me!   I got this.




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