I’m not any different than anyone else during this pandemic. My only outings every week are to physical therapy. I’ve gotten into a routine now with two other patients. They space us out but there is a brief time we overlap together. At the end of my session, I usually beg Nancy to let me stay longer. Don’t send me home!
Nancy is a very talented therapist and we all know it. She also has a sense of humor so we can give her a hard time because we KNOW she is great.
One of the men obviously has more pain and a longer road to go down than I do. He is usually in a separate room but we crack jokes back and forth. He calls PT “premeditated torture” instead of physical therapy.
Nancy has this streetlight analogy she uses. It drives us crazy. A green level of pain is preferred because it means you are still ok. I did tell her that it’s not easy being green. She thought that was funny, but it turned into bigger laughter when it was quiet and I started playing Kermit singing that song on my phone.
This man has two canes to walk. I can hear and see when one of them falls. I yell out and ask if Nancy has knocked the cane out from underneath him again. He says of course she did. I told him he was lucky because she usually kicks me.
Today was out of control. We exchanged the usual banter and were really proud when a therapist who wasn’t usually there said she wanted to stay in our unit. We are much more fun than other therapy rooms.
I was balancing on the balls I’m supposed to walk on and I look across the room. It was the first time I had seen this guy on the bike. And it was the first time I realized that he had a prosthetic for a leg.
“Oh my God!” I yelled louder than usual. “Nancy, you’ve gone too far this time. The poor guy’s leg fell off!”
Raucaus laughter. I wondered if I had gone too far but he said he has loads of jokes. One time in a hospital he put his leg on backward to freak people out. His sister is making him a t-shirt that says, “Don’t pull my leg. Seriously.”
Later in the session, Nancy asked him how he was doing. “How the hell do you think he’s doing, Nancy? His leg fell off!”
Then it got really bad.
Two of us are laying on tables and our guy is still on the bike. Nancy yells over to him, “Do you need help getting off?”
I couldn’t stand it. I burst into laughter, which started everyone else. The other woman was telling me she had it under control until I had to go and laugh. Leg-guy says the same thing. Nancy says, “Was the only one who didn’t get it?” The three of us say yes in harmony.
Eventually, it was almost time for me to go. By now, Nancy really does have to help him off the bike. The two of them are standing together and she asks him if he needs help. “Getting up?” he says. And the raucaus laughter starts all over again.
Nancy says the redness in her face will probably last forever.
The woman next to me says we really need to get out more.
You said it sister.