Friday, January 7, 2011

Bum Elbow

Today, I had my third session of physical therapy.

The first session was uneventful, and consisted mostly of Physical Therapist #1 pointing out that although my hips are perfectly aligned vertically, my left shoulder is higher than my right, and my sacrum is slightly rotated out of place, towards my left side.

I have a C-shaped bend in my spine just above my waist, but that's old news, and it's been there since 7th grade, prominent enough to attract notice, but not severe enough to warrant surgical treatment.

After listing off my physical failings ("You have very weak thigh muscles"), I was given a few stretches to do and sent home.

On my second day of treatment, the muscle that appears to be giving me trouble was identified by Physical Therapist #2 - the piriformis - and a few more stretches were added to the daily regimen. After which PT #2 gave me a butt massage.

Yes, really.

The massage was actually referred to as trigger-point therapy, and involved finding those spots on my gluteus that are tender, placing her elbow on them, and pushing down with her body weight. She gave me a tennis ball wrapped in a long gauzy tube so I can do the same thing at home using the wall.

Today's therapy consisted of doing some exercises in the physical therapists' gym. I wasn't the only one in there, either. Nope, an elderly gentleman named Ed arrived a few minutes into my workout and joined me. I was riding the stationary bike, at that point - which is the only kind of bike I'll ever be able to ride - and he hopped onto the cross-country skiing simulator next to me.

There was an additional therapist, too, one that I had not yet met. It might just be my opinion, but I want my therapists to be in excellent physical condition, not overweight and wearing khakis without a belt. Could just be me, though.

For most of the session, I lay on what amounted to a naugahyde upholstered king-sized bed, contorting my body this way and that and informing Physical Therapist #3 that, no, in fact, I did not feel any muscles stretching in that position. Nope, still no stretch. (sigh) No, I am not made out of rubber. Okay, yes, I feel that. OhdearGodmakeitstopthathurts!

PT #3 commented that I seem to be stressed, seeing as I kept my fists clenched so tight my knuckles turned white. He was amused when I told him I had to consciously relax my muscles at night before I was able to go to sleep.

I was okay with the supine exercises until good old Ed joined me. On the king-sized naugahyde bed.

You could tell he wasn't 100% A-OK with it, either.

I finished up my exercising with some heel-lifts (also known as Hell Lifts), and was delighted to be told that my exercising was over.

Stretching, cycling, and humiliation weren't all they had in store for me. No, there was more butt manipulation to be had.

PT #2 had me lie down on my stomach on a table - in a room apart from Ed and PT #3 - and used a tennis ball to do trigger-point therapy once more.

Afterwards, she treated me with ultrasound, which involved slapping a wet papertowel on my bare backside and placing a ring-shaped instrument on top of that. Ultrasound waves beamed into my bum, and twenty minutes later, I was allowed to leave.

I had to leave my dignity behind, though. Heh. Heh heh.

Really, it's not that bad, but it's a bit embarrassing. I'm the youngest person in the therapists' office every time I go, and the elder folks who are there for post-hip-replacement therapy, or who sit so much (by the looks of them, eating Cheetos and frosting) that they can no longer function properly look at me funny. Why are you here? I know they want to ask. You look perfectly fine.

Yes, yes I do look fine (except today, because something happened with my undereye concealer, so I looked exhausted), but I'm not entirely fine. Better than I was previously, but still not great.

Baby steps, people. Baby steps.

And bum massages.

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