Day three of physical therapy got a little less pleasant. I guess the honeymoon is over.
The routine is to add on something new every day, I guess. So today when I got there a young therapy technician by the name of Katie, who is a nursing student with one year left, did the ultrasound deep heat thingy, followed by the electric shock treatment and the mother of all heating pads. Then I did my 15 minutes on the bike, which went rather well, except for one little problem, which I'll explain later. Then I did the wimpy leg curls with the rubber tubing while sitting in a chair, and then four way foot stretching, and then it was time for THE NEW THING.
First, Katie had me walk backwards on the treadmill for 5 minutes. It was at very slow speed, and it wasn't fun. My knee was popping a bit, and it kinda hurt. I had to grip the handrails for support so I didn't fall over. This is supposed to help fix my gait and get rid of that painful looking limp (aka The Lurch). Personally I think they just make this stuff up to keep you busy for an hour so they can charge $$$. At any rate, just as I was getting used to it and doing a little better, time was up. I went back to my exam table to await the next step, which I hoped was ice. I was ready to be outta there.
Then the therapist (aka the Dungeon Master) deigned me with his attention, and pressed my stiff knee toward the table as far as he could until I was gasping from the pain. He asked me to contract my quad muscles, and nothing happened. He didn't look surprised. In fact, he smiled. Then he said, "Okay, we're going to hang you straight". This struck fear into my heart, because it sounded like there might possibly be pain involved. An image of being strung up by my toes flashed through my mind. He must have mind reading powers, or maybe he just saw the brief look of panic that washed across my face, because he chuckled and said, "well, not you, just your knee."
For some reason this didn't comfort me very much.
Then Katie came over with my friend the ice pack, and this other black thing with straps. As she got closer, the black thing began to look more and more like a big heavy ankle weight. Oh. No.
Oh yes. She strapped the ice pack on, then had me lift my leg so she could put a rolled towel under my lower leg, halfway between the knee and ankle. Then she put that big weight on top of my knee! Hello!? That hurts, honey! She set the timer for TEN freaking minutes and as she walked away, said, "If it gets unbearable, go ahead and throw the weight off."
These people are sinister. They are smooth. And they know exactly what they are doing. Because there was nothing she could have said that would have made me more determined to last the entire 10 minutes. I've given birth to four really big babies, twice without anesthesia, little miss Kay-Tee. I can endure anything for a measly ten minutes! I didn't realize I was mumbling out loud until the tech at the next table asked me if I was ok. I smiled and nodded, and then turned up the volume on my mp3 player and listened to "Phantom of the Opera" while I focused on a black speck on the ceiling above me. And then, after only one song, the battery on my mp3 player died. With this method of distraction lost to me, I was forced to dig deep and apply the focused breathing/relaxation techniques from my natural childbirth days. The speck on the ceiling became a birthday candle, and I was going to blow it out. The speck was a distant hut made of straw, and I huffed and I puffed... and then the timer rang. And I snatched that black abomination off my knee and hurled it to the ground in triumph.
Ha HAH! Feeling a bit proud of my toughness, I smiled fiercely at Katie as she came over to unwrap the icepack. She smiled sweetly, and then spoke four words that chilled me to the bone:
"See you next week!"