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I've had a bad attitude lately. Actually, I think it's a great attitude, but in terms of my car accident recovery, I suppose it's a bad attitude. I've missed a lot of physical therapy appointments over the last month or so. First, there were the holidays. And then, I think maybe, there were more holidays. Then The Torturer went on vacation and I
purposefully accidentally skipped missed my appointments while he was gone. I've got a few things coming up where I'll be missing a few more appointments.
Damn, I just hate it when that happens. Heh.
I had a visit with my doc last week. He tells me I'm progressing just fine. "As slow as molasses, but that's to be expected with what you've gone through." he says. Hmmm. Progress is good, slow progress is not. On a daily basis it's hard to see any changes and that gets frustrating. When I look back a few months, however, I realize I've come a long way.
This is Dan. Dan is one of the techs at PT. He loves his job, can you tell? Maybe he just loves it when The Torturer and I squabble because we were really going at it when this photo was taken. The Torturer was particularly difficult yesterday. Dan thinks it's funny when we
fight argue disagree. Funny? Pffft.
Here's a picture of the door to MY room at PT:
I don't know how it happened, but room 3 is mine. I get really confused if it's not available when I'm there. I've spent more time in Room 3 over the last few years than I have in my own home. It's gotten to the point, on days when The Torturer is
being impossible upset, he says, "Twenty Four just go to your room." And I do. Room 3. He knows where to find me. (You know, once he calms down and starts thinking my way clearly again.)
If I ever get discharged from PT, I'm having a plaque made dedicating a wing of the building to me, but particularly Room 3. Everyone who works there knows it and is expecting it. I'd never let them down.
Inside Room 3 it looks like this.
You think it looks harmless, don't you? Well, you're wrong. I can't even tell you the horrors which have gone on in Room 3. It's a private room so the other patients out in the common area don't have to hear me
cuss like a sailor cry. To be honest, there have been a few days when I've known I'm just not up to seeing all the other cheery patients. There have been days when I've gone to Room 3 and stayed there.
I think sometimes The Torturer rips my arm right out of the socket in Room 3 and leaves it on the floor for the janitor to find later. I'm quite sure of it.
This is the EVIL arm bike.
It's evil, I swear to you it is. You "pedal" it with your arms. I'm up to a whopping 3 minutes in each direction. Those three minutes kill me. I cheat and mainly use my left arm to make the pedals rotate. Pathetic, isn't it? But don't tell The Torturer I cheat because if you do he'll stand over me and watch me the whole time I'm there. I can hear him now, "Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!"
I wouldn't cheat if I was capable of doing it the correct way. Just sayin' ….
This is Tina.
Tina is one of the nicest people you could ever meet. She is my co-conspirator. She's seen me so drugged up, I could barely walk. She's helped me walk. She's also laughed at my drugged up ramblings. She's seen me cry too. She gets pissed off at The Torturer when he leaves me in tears. I love her for that alone. She's also my faithful "mood-o-meter" for The Torturer. I arrive and she lets me know what to expect based on how his morning has gone. I can't imagine the past few years without Tina.
This is the dreaded orange ball.
I'm supposed to do stuff like that guy is doing. Arm stretches and stuff. I can't even tell you what an asshole that ball is. One big orange asshole. Really.
The real Torture Device From Hell is this thing.
Not the blue mat, but the machine next to it. There have been days when I've BEGGED not to be put on that despicable machine. Lately, I've given up.
I say, "It huuuuuurts!" and The Torturer nods his head and says, "How about two sets of 10?"
As if I have a choice in the matter. Really, where did he graduate from? The top school in the country for Torturers no doubt. He makes me do rowing, and bicep stuff, and tricep stuff and lots of other mean stuff too. Most of the time he has to help move my arm for me because I can't do it on my own.
Does that stop him?
I'm a lot better than I was. I live with pain, but it is now manageable most of the time. Feeling better means I want to get out and play. I'm finding it harder and harder to find the motivation to get to PT. I'm starting to feel like a normal person, and it therefore follows I want to live my life like a normal person.
I've become adept at using my left hand for more things. I no longer hesitate when I have to ask someone to lift, open, or carry, something for me. I just look them in the eye and state, "I've only got one working arm, would you mind helping me?"
People are kind. No one has ever turned me down.
Asking for help used to cause me great shame. It's hard to adjust to a loss of independence. Now I've adopted the attitude that everybody has a handicap, some are just more visible than others.
I mean, at least I'm not an asshole, right?
I asked the doc when I could stop physical therapy. He got a far away look in his eye and said nothing other than, "Hmmmm." Then he sent me off with a hug.
It has been two and a half years since my accident. It will be three years at the end of July.
I'm determined to be done with PT this summer. I'm determined to be done with it by the beginning of summer. This has been my personal goal for awhile. I've been afraid to voice it. I've been afraid of setbacks, because there have been so many. I've been afraid of facing the day when I have to accept "this is as good as it's going to get." But now I think I have something to prove to my doctor. I also have something to prove to myself.
It's time to get my life back.