I know you'll be stunned to hear The Torturer is creating problems lately. It's definitely all his fault, and not at all mine.
After all, I can't be held responsible for his actions, right?
There seems to be a pattern to my Torturer problems. (Twenty seven months post-car accident, you'd think I'd be used to this by now!) I settle into a PT routine and things are going along as well as can be expected. The Torturer and I are getting along. I'm working with him; he's working with me. Everything is just blah, blah, blah fine.
Too fine, apparently, because then he decides I'm "doing well" with whatever torture he's implementing and he adds new and even more evil torture to my world.
We, quite astonishingly, begin fighting. It's become so predictable after all this time. Something about me being in pain, and him being an ass. Oops, did I say ass? I meant to say he gets on a power trip about what I will do. I get on a stubborn-bitch trip of what I can't (or won't?) do.
The resulting fireworks are, no doubt, entertaining to watch. I'm sure our arguments astonish his other patients. We always seem to have quite an audience when he acts like an ass I act stubborn we argue.
For the last three weeks he's been adding in new tortures. One or two new things have been added each week.
Can you believe he's trying to make me lift my arm? And then when I do, he yells at me and says things like, "That's not good enough," "You can do better than that," and/or "You aren't even trying."
(I have no problem lifting my middle finger though – it's really remarkable!)
And what the hell? Did he say I'm not trying?
Since I can't do it on my own, The Torturer stands next to me and lifts my arm for me. Then he lets go and I'm supposed to lower my arm slowly. Instead it drops like a rock. Over and over we go through this routine and he gets increasingly frustrated at my inability to control my own arm. For 48 hours after each attempt the pain in my arm and shoulder is intense.
Yesterday, I was in a lot of pain and I decided I'd had enough. It's always a lot of fun when I decide that.
"I think this may be as good as it gets," I announced. "Maybe I'm done with PT?"
There really are no words to describe The Torturer's reaction when I start to give up. It's like a switch flips and he becomes angry, determined, resolute, and a whole lot of other nasty adjectives all at the same time. It's quite a transformation.
He marched me over to the Evil Torture Machine. I refused to use it.
"You're not doing this to my arm today!" I stated firmly.
"It's my job to get you better," he hissed through clenched teeth.
Am I really that frustrating?
Really? I feel like I'm being so reasonable. It hurts, so let's not make it hurt more. Isn't that reasonable?
We stood there glaring at each other. Neither one of us was about to give in.
For a minute we stared at each other, both appraising just how determined we each were. Who would give in?
I decided to try a different approach.
"It hurts," I pleaded.
I saw his eyes soften (just a teeny tiny bit) and I knew I won.
"Lay down," he said.
We compromised. I didn't have to be tortured by the Evil Torture Machine. I let him do some similar (but less painful) manipulations and exercises on my arm. I'm still hurting, but I'm not in freaking-out-omigod pain.
When I left, I got the impression he's really looking forward to getting a break over the weekend. I'm sure I'm mistaken. The Torturer loves his job. I know he does.