My physical therapist is giving me a complex. Is he supposed to do that? Is that included in his list of services?
I was hoping to just get this shoulder pain treated, but apparently the rest of me is in complete shambles. It's a wonder that I'm ambulatory. The first thing he observed, as every medical professional I have ever seen or walked by or made out with wants to tell me, is that my shoulders are hunched forward. Yes, I know, and you know what? They've always been like that, and there's apparently nothing I can do about it. I am a freak. There, are you happy? Are you satisfied, medical professionals of the world? I have freaky narrow shoulders that are bizarrely tipped forward. I thought it was a likeable slouch, but apparently it is WRONG and CRAZY and needs to be TSK-TSKED over.
And that's not all!
"Did you know that your torso is twisted over to one side?" the therapist asks.
I sigh. I actually did know that. "It's come up," I said.
"Does your back hurt?"
"Sort of. Yes. Pretty much always." I like to just not think about it, Physical Therapist Guy, but now that you're reminding me, OW. THANKS.
"Your right hip is twisted, as well."
"That might be because of the, uh, club foot."
"You have a club foot?"
"Well, I did, at least that's what they called it, but they treated it when I was little. So now it's okay."
He frowns. "Except it's thrown off your entire right side."
"I'm sorry," I murmur. Why am I apologizing?
Then he tries to twist my neck in some sort of impossible direction.
No, ow is my mantra. "Yup."
"Your neck is extraordinarily stiff. I could only move it this much. " He shows me a tiny increment with his two fingers. "I should be able to move it this much," he says, and swivels his head 360 degrees. (I exaggerate, but less than you might think.)
Well, kudos. Aren't you nimble! I will call you Mr. Nimbles! "Wow," I say.
"Yeah. That's a problem."
And it is only the beginning of my problems. The biggest one is that, after seeing him four times, after having been manipulated and stretched and prodded and told how stiff and inflexible I am, the pain in my arms is worse than ever. "Your body's not healing itself," he tells me. Then he takes my blood pressure, which is, according to him, alarmingly low. Technically I shouldn't be alive. All my blood should be pooling around my ankles—my freaky ankles.
I'm supposed to go for blood tests, because, I don't know, he's concerned about my liver? Honestly I stopped listening after a while. I should probably just go to someone else, someone who'll make me feel not quite so misshapen and hopeless. He's not saying things I didn't already know, so I can't blame him entirely. But no one else has made me feel quite so unfixable.
He also told me not to eat too much sugar, because it will impede my healing. But really, after you make me feel that bad, you think I'm not going to go home and eat cookies? Well, you don't know everything, Mr. Body Smarts Guy.