I’m being tortured. A strong man is pulling on my arm. Now he’s pushing on my shoulder. He’s leaning in, pushing down while holding my arm against him. I can’t get away. I can’t make him stop. In desperation, I try  to get off the table. Despite being inured to the pain he’s causing, he senses my struggle. “Where do you think you’re GOING?” he queries. “I’m trying to get away from you so you’ll stop hurting me,” I reply. He breaks into a grin and lets up for a nanosecond from reefing on my arm. Welcome to boot camp physical therapy.

Yes, I’m actually paying for this. My physical therapist, who studied at Mr. T’s school of physical therapy, has the hands of a mob boss. For the last few weeks, he’s been singularly determined to beat the tendonitis out of my shoulder if it’s the last thing he ever does. He’s exercised it, stretched it, iced it, heated it, ultrasounded it, taped it, and now he’s massaging it. Although it’s more like the kind of massage one might expect to get at Gitmo. In an earlier time, Mr. T. was a trainer for a Big Ten college football team. This explains a lot. A 300-pound linebacker probably would be saying right now “So when are you going to start?”

It’s not just physical therapy. In my efforts to keep biking despite the tendonitis, I’m accumulating a large collection of accoutrements. I have pages of exercise instructions scattered across my desk. The thought is that when I see these papers, it will remind me to do them. I have a foam roller for stretching the myofascia, leaned up against the piano. Yes, so I’ll remember to use it. I have a large red exercise ball in my living room, again, to remind me ….  I have a small exercise ball too, also red.  And a yellow stretching band. And a blue one. The Tony Horton “Ten minute trainer” series is sitting out on the table to remind me that if I give Tony ten minutes, he’ll give me the body I want, so I won’t have these problems in the first place. Right.

Then, there’s the Yoga stuff. I gave up Yoga when I started having trouble with my shoulder. But my massage therapist, the other torture guy, keeps giving me Yoga accessories to use for stretching. So, now I have a Yoga bolster, which is like a long narrow couch cushion, and a Yoga belt, which for the life of me, I can’t imagine, and really don’t want to know, what they do with this thing in Yoga class.

But back to Mr. T. He’s done “massaging” my shoulder and now he’s getting ready to tape it. The same man who minutes ago was pushing my arm in directions it doesn’t normally go, is stretching and smoothing out tape as gently as if he’s taping up a butterfly’s wing. He’s the same guy who softly wraps a wonderfully warm heating pad around my neck every time I arrive. He gives me all sorts of sage advice to help me balance my cycling habit with a shoulder that doesn’t want to behave, all the while making me laugh. When I’m not crying that is. He’s cajoled me into agreeing to have my bike refitted, and even recommended I hire a housecleaner, so I can give my arms a rest, and save them for biking. What’s not to like about a man like that? Turns out he’s more Mr. Rogers than Mr. T. And as I leave the office, I notice my shoulder feels, well if feels good. He’s managed to turn aiieeeeehhhhh into ah. Thanks Mr. T.

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 © Huffygirl


27 thoughts on “Aiieeeeehhhhh!

  1. I understand! Everything to keep biking! I think yoga helps with the core- just did a post on it.
    I have a sports massage/chiropractor that I see under duress- always wait til a crisis though he insists I should come for monthly “tune-ups!”
    Feel better! Ride strong & safe!

    • I knew you would Lisa. I’ve added the link to your yoga post to the bottom of mine. It’s nice to see that someone has better luck with Yoga than I did. I think I’m just too tight overall to be able to do Yoga. When I asked my massage therapist who is also a Yoga instructor about taking a Yoga class, he suggested someone else, I think because he didn’t want “awkward girl” mucking up his class! Thanks for stopping by.

  2. Your first paragraph certainly drew me in. As far as I know, you normally don’t write fiction stories, so I couldn’t figure out what the heck you were talking about.

    You sure are brave to keep on with all these painful activities. I am not a huge fan of pain, but my husband maintains (in a John Wayne voice) that you just have to walk it off. He insists that pain is a good thing…it lets you know you are still alive.

    Hope you keep on feeling good 🙂

    • Thanks Sandra. I’m not sure that pain is a good thing, but I think that I feel better by the time he’s done means its an ok kind of pain.

      I do write a little fiction on my blog, under the InFAUXmercial and Onionesque categories – but it’s fiction masquerading as truth, so not quite as obvious. If I ever get my espionage novel going, maybe I’ll use this first paragraph as the opening.

  3. Actually, HG, that’s a great idea. It’s obviously not for real, and people will wonder and want to find out what’s going on…you let them know about your physiotherapy, and then you say something like, “In my line of work, sometimes the pain is for real, and the Mr. T. character is for real too, only he’s not the good guy.” Oooooh I like that!

  4. Oh my, sounds so familiar. I think I have the twin shoulder to you. It doesn’t like me doing martial arts, working on a computer, carrying a brief case, or pushing a vacuum cleaner. My massage therapist reminds me that he can’t undo 3 weeks of damage in one hour, but he can help me mobilize it. He’s nice and it helps, but I don’t need him to state the obvious!

    Good luck with the PT. I have Tony Horton 10 minute trainer. It works … when I do it. Maybe you inspired me to do it tonight. I do not have all the rest of your other inspiring (?) collection, but I do have a pink exercise ball that looks like your red one. 🙂

    • Interesting to see that we’re collecting a lot of the same accessories, Techy. I have found too that the deep tissue massage keeps the shoulders moving, but does not treat the tendonitis or arthritis. Have you had an x-ray? I played around with it for awhile with massage, until the x-ray showed the calcification. That’s when I went all out with PT and a sports medicine consult. Despite my tongue in cheek description to therapy, this guy really is the best I’ve seen and it is worth it, despite the pain. Good to hear from you again.

      • I did have an x-ray and then physical therapy to get past some damage I had done. Now it is just up to me to exercise the area, regular massage, and try not to keep causing issues.

        So boring to have these kinds of worries!

      • It is, but unfortunately, it’s probably our future. The down side of getting older, but living longer. I hope it’s better soon Techy.

  5. I feel for you, HG! I had “frozen shoulder” some years ago and had to go through months and months of PT, and I remember how drained I was when each session was over. But each time I was just a little bit better. Hope you feel back to normal soon. Price of being a jock, I guess (though I wouldn’t know about that!). I like your therapist’s advice about getting a housekeeper. Go for it!

    • Thanks Susan. It is better. The best part is this physical therapist helped me figure out better ways to do the things I want to do instead of stopping doing them.

  6. Your red exercise balls reminded me that in our home there have been two blue exercise balls sitting around for the past sixteen years or so,. One ball is large, the other one medium sized. When our youngest daughter still lived at home, I believe she sometimes used one of the balls. My husband sometimes used the larger ball to sit on . But he hasn’t done so for a long time. People suggested I sh ould let the air out of those balls since we’re not going to use them anymore anyway. But I insisted I wanted to keep them the way they are. They look so beautiful! But sometimes I feel guilty that I don’t use them for exercise.
    I recently started with Gentle Exercise classes to improve ‘core strength and balance’. And I also started with Thai Yoga for beginners. The classes are designed for women 50 years and older. I enjoy the classes very much. I think they help me with my balance and breathing. It’s so good to have company doing the exercises as well as some stimulating music! We’re always warned not to do anything that’s painful.

    • I confess that I sometimes have to dust my exercise ball before I use it. 🙂

      You can also use your exercise ball for core strengthening. Some of the things you learn in your class you may be able to do at home on your unused exercise balls. Even just sitting on the ball improves balance and core strength. After you get good at it, you can try sitting with both feet on the floor, then straightening one leg and lifting one foot off the floor at a time. This will be a good balance exercise once you get the hang of it. You may want to check your ball to see if it’s the right size for you. The balls are usually colored coded according to the height of the user. I did an earlier post on exercise balls and home exercise equipment, that I think you can find by searching on “exercise equipment” in the search box at the top on the right hand side. I’ll try to post the link later today too.

  7. Thank you for your reply, dear Huffygirl. I’ll look at the link later on. Peter, my husband, is in the process of pumping some more air into the balls. Thanks for the advice on exercising. We’ll try and keep it in mind.

  8. Pingback: Do not be alarmed – I’m okay! | Huffygirl's Blog

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