Thursday, July 28, 2022

Pride goeth before fall

I thought I was doing fabulously in physical therapy.

Then, the day before yesterday I went to an appointment with my physical therapist.


My first two visits were overseen by the actual Physical Therapist (Ph.D) where he baselined my mobility and did a few (crude) exercises to get a coarse estimate of my capability.

The next four or five visits were with a Physical Therapy Assistant who used the PT (Ph.D)'s notes to run me through the paces.

Frankly, it was not much of a challenge and I was feeling pretty smug.

Unbeknownst to me, the PTA was also noting that I was not being challenged by the exercises.

The day before yesterday

The PT (Ph.D) took a turn toward the more-difficult.

"Hey, this isn't what Scott and I were working on!" I exclaimed with consternation.

"I know that." the PT said.

"But I wanted to impress you with how well I was doing!" I said, indignantly.

"I read Scott's notes. Duly noted." the PT said.

"But I cannot do these exercises!" I wailed.

"Good. My job is to find the line between what is impossible and what is possible but very difficult." the PT grunted as he caught me and prevented me from falling into the ornamental ficus plants.

Somehow, I think the vacation is over. I can look forward to the "possible but very difficult".

Furthermore, yesterday I was not worth a penniless Richard. I ached all over.

***The insurance company requires once-a-month updates to document "progress". When progress flat-lines then authorizations for treatment cease.

Starting out with an "easy" exercise program serves two purposes. 1.) The patient feels successful and gets into the habit of doing the exercises and not blowing-off the appointments. 2.) Re-calibrating the difficulty of the exercises to something closer to the limits of the patient's capabilities counts as progress or improvement.***


  1. Hah, been there, done that, only to have my (possibly just a little too obviously smug) sense of achievement neatly punctured by a pat on the head and “well, that’s the basic prep out of the way, now we can start the real work”. What?!? *

    “Put it in perspective. All those “easy” exercises really weren’t at the beginning now were they?

    Baby steps. You’ve got to crawl before you walk, and you have to fall on your fundament a time or two before you run.

    The test was just that, a test. They aren’t going to start you at that level, but work up to it. But … expect to be doing a ‘bit’ more work (some real “good training”) for sure.

    (*Despite the rumours I was 'not' left "curled up in a fetal ball, whimpering" after every session, as I was too sore and tired to either curl up or summon the energy to utter a sound - not that I'm trying to discourage you or anything lol)

  2. A good Physical Therapist has to have a bit of Dr Mengele in their soul to be effective. And in healthcare, contrary to popular belief, we are allowed to do things to patients that are painful. We can't cause harm but we can cause pain.

  3. Heh. I remember the strength coach in college. His motto was "no one gets out of my weight room alive."

  4. Been there and done that too. But take my word for it, the aggravation, discomfort and pain are well worth it. I've had both shoulders reworked (one of them twice, I'm a slow learner about ladders) and the grief my Physical Terrorist put me thru was way nasty, but I would go back to him in a heartbeat if I needed that kind of treatment again. You have to push yourself, if you don't, you will regret it later.


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