I’d tried other options. Then a nurse from my doctor’s office sent me for X-rays. We were guessing until then.
Confirmation. Yes! I was not imagining this pain which ran from my lower back, down my leg. I had a nerve needing a little extra help.
My thanks to Jan, Susan, and Jennifer, physical therapists.
I thank you for listening to me grumble, mumble, about the pain. I told my housewife story about getting the sheets off a bed, how I must have angled my body. I knew exactly when the nerve moved. Not a thrilling story, but you listened anyway.
I am much obliged for the listening.
We had thirty to forty minutes together twice a week. For me, it meant giving up time and energy—a thirty-minute drive to and from the hospital at Calico Rock and another commitment. The pain was urging me onward! This was the least intrusive option.
You didn’t make me stand on my head to become pain free. But you knew that’s why I came. I told you right off that I don’t like exercise, but I don’t like pain, either.
You spoke in gentle voices and gave me hope. I asked questions; you gave answers and listened.
I heard your little stories, too. That helped create a connection with you. Then I was willing to listen to how the exercises would help me.
You softly nudged me toward a few movements that would eventually take my pain away.
Then you presented a plan. We’d start with four exercises. Four! Okay, I could do this!
Thank you for understanding that PT was not my first choice.
That listening made me want to work, to exercise “your way.”
We talked about that goal as if we were in it together. You warned that there might be some initial soreness. There was, but you’d prepared me.
When you told me we would build core muscles and strength, I was ready. By then, I could see I was making progress.
I asked about your brand of tennis shoe, but you weren’t into brands as much as “a shoe that feels good to the foot.”
I needed your encouragement, your strength, your belief in what we were doing. You were leading me down a path toward becoming pain free. I followed because of your belief, not mine. Thank you.
Thank you for being there with your belief, which has become my belief, too.
Thank you for your greeting each time I came. It made me feel like a real person in spite of pain.
It didn’t matter if it was Jan, Susan, or Jennifer giving the greeting. Someone with kindness on her face greeted me. Kind, but ready to work. It was the combination I needed and what I responded to.
I noticed the three of you are therapists of different ages, different personalities, but you are all focused, kind, and hard-working, and you work together. Thank you.
Oh, you physical therapists. You’re great. My sincere thanks.
* * *
On my fifth or sixth PT session, I had noticed a small wall-hanging above a desk. My therapists explained that those three whimsical figures represented the three of them. Of course! I could see that! And what color! Their attitudes shone through the fabric art.
Barbara Carlson, the local artist, calls herself an Art Quilter. Her creations are detailed and colorful. She certainly captured the essence of my experience in PT with these three talented and vibrant women. Barbara gave me permission to share her name and a photo of the wall-hanging in this post.
Blessings and good health to all my readers,
P.S. The art-quilt work of Barbara Carlson and her art-quilting friends will be displayed at the Calico Rock Museum in Calico Rock, Arkansas, the last two weeks of May 2019. Samples of her art can also be seen at dancingwitharedumbrella.blogspot.com/
Thank you, kindest readers. Bless you for shares and comments in the section below.
This art quilt, created by Barbara Carlson, hangs in the Physical Therapy Lab in the hospital at Calico Rock, Arkansas. Photo taken by Pat Durmon, April 2019.