What’s A Girl Do When Alone With Paul Newman?

Last week I received a comment from Kathy.

She asked:

Your posts about PT really make me wonder what actually goes on during PT. maybe some day you could write a post describing what you and Paul Newman do during your time together?

Well, I’m sure Kathy can probably think of all sorts of things she’d like to do with Paul Newman?

I hate to disappoint her, and possibly you,

But ….

The time I spend with Paul Newman is very post-writing-boring-ish.

What I DO (and what is done to me) at PT varies from visit to visit, and will continue to vary as time goes on.

Some things stay pretty much the same, however.

I arrive and immediately begin distracting his nice receptionist from her work.

This goes on for as long as possible, but rarely long enough.

(Paul Newman is very prompt with his patients.)

I’m pretty sure my prolonged chit chat with the receptionist increases her happiness at work.

Everywhere I go, I seem to have the ability to distract employees from doing their work.

Paul Newman doesn’t appreciate this particular talent of mine.

(Why are bosses always like that?)

Paul Newman wants me very relaxed when he works on me.

Chit chat with Nice Receptionist is, therefore, followed by dark rooms, blankets, pillows, and very warm cocoons.

(He tries to lull me into a sense of manipulated relaxation by making me cozy when I arrive.)

I know what he’s doing,

But I like it anyway.

In fact,

I wish I could stay in a warm cocoon all day.

The world would be a much nicer place if we all spent more time wrapped in warm cocoons.

Induced relaxation usually works for me.

I’m nothing, if not easy.

Paul Newman and I chat while I’m being forced to relax.

I think he and I suffer from When-We-Are-Together-ADD because our conversations wander all over the place.

We laugh a lot.

(He’s all about DISTRACTING me from the fact he wants to hurt me.)

Once I’m all toasty,

And we are sort-of caught up with each other’s lives,

He starts working on my now-relaxed arm/shoulder/whatever part of my dysfunctional body he’s chosen for the day.

He starts off very soft and very gentle,

But, of course, stuff like that never LASTS with men.

Paul Newman takes a lot of pride  (!!!)  in bending my body into very unnatural positions.

Since I can’t move my arm myself,

I need someone to move it for me.

If I don’t have someone move it for me, all the areas around my damaged parts stop working too.

Then my body (very quickly) forms a self-made vice and tightens up more and more via terrible muscle spasms.

Pretty soon I can’t move at all, and everything hurts way more than my Normal Hurt.

Moving me around a little bit actually feels good.

It kind of feels like a Big Sense of Relief ….

Things are moving that are supposed to be moving.

If I miss a PT appointment, my body craves that part of it.

Paul Newman never moves me “just a little bit” for very long, though.

(That’s the thing about those physical therapist types!!)

When he moves me hurts me, a LOT, I’m always shocked he would do such a thing.

I should be over that by now, but I’m not.

It surprises me every single time.

Yes, six and a half years later, I’m still startled a physical therapist would intentionally hurt me.

After Paul Newman hurts me more than usual,

He says things you’d expect a serial killer to say,

Stuff like,

I have to

You need this

Sorry, but it’s good for you

If you weren’t so bad, I wouldn’t have to do this to you

I always forgive him once he explains his Serial Killer Reasoning to me.

I forgive him, because I trust him.

I’ve just begun a New Phase of PT.

I’ve healed enough from Surgery #9 to step things up a little.

New Phase involves more days each week with Paul Newman.

Paul Newman is now attempting to re-teach my body how to move my arm.

(I move my arm some now, but I do this by using my neck muscles to move it.  It’s hard.  It also makes my neck hurt a lot.)

He tells me I’m like a stroke victim –

My brain, after six and a half years and nine arm/shoulder surgeries, no longer knows how to move my arm.

He’s trying to re-wire my brain.

I failed my first brain re-wiring lesson last week.

It was very frustrating.

How can I NOT do something as simple as move my hand the way he wants me to move my hand?

He wasn’t even asking for me to move my whole arm, or for me to use my shoulder …

Seriously, it is the most frustrating thing in the world.

It makes me get (really!) mad at myself.

To be fair,

Paul Newman and I talked about this very thing the first time we met.

He told me it would be a long road, and the progress would be slow.

I asked him (begged him?) not to give up on me.

There’s so much TRUST required in a long term PT relationship.

I honestly don’t know if physical therapists even realize how much.

(And yes, it’s very different than a short term PT relationship for a “normal” injury.)

I mean, you’re voluntarily letting another person hurt you over and over and over again for forever.

You’re trusting them with the most vulnerable part of yourself.

I needed to know I could count on Paul Newman.

He, on the other hand, was worried about me quitting.

He asked me if I could accept snail-pace progress.

He wanted to know I wouldn’t give up.

We made a pact.

Exactly what we do at each session will vary, but the goal remains the same.

Less pain.

Increased function.

It’s going to be a very long, long, road.

I’m extremely grateful to Paul Newman for many things.

Most of all, for being willing to walk such a long road with me.

10 Responses to “What’s A Girl Do When Alone With Paul Newman?”

  1. Jan's Sushai Bar

    “Less pain. Increased function.”

    YES. I am SO glad you’ve got Paul Newman – I was really worried about you for a long time. You seem to be in a much better place these days. Thank goodness.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you Jan.
      I think the hardest stuff is ahead of me, but there really is no alternative but to forge ahead. I could stop using my arm and sit on the couch all day. It would decrease my pain substantially.
      But I can’t.
      It just isn’t in me to stop living while I’m still alive.

  2. Elissa

    That brain rewiring thing really does work. It does take a long, long time, but it really does work so have faith and hang in there. One day on accident you will notice that your hand is doing what you wanted it to do, after days of frustration where nothing happens and it feels like it never will. I’ve been going through this recently with the right side of my face. 11 years post-accident, I have found someone who thought they could get my face/lips moving properly again and it is working!

    • Suzanne

      I’m so happy you’re seeing progress.
      I need to learn patience with myself.
      So much easier in thought than in practice!
      : )

    • Suzanne

      LOL –
      Your comment came across my phone when I was in a store.
      I’m pretty sure I snorted out loud …
      Which was followed by laughter.
      : )

  3. Jenn in Tenn

    I have been reading your blog for some time now and have followed your progress with your arm, losing and gaining PTs and all your other adventures 😉 I was especially interested in this post because it gives us all more of a glimpse into your injury and how you are healing. Truly interesting stuff, thank God for all the Paul Newman’s out there. Good luck…to both of you!


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