Monday, May 18, 2009

Welcome to my PT appointment!

You might think that “PT” stands for “physical therapy,” but you’d be wrong.  Let me assure you, “PT” definitely stands for “pain and torture.” 

And silly me – I keep going back!

This is where I subject myself to PT twice a week.


The ProClub gym – which has a full physical therapy department – is ever so conveniently (and coincidentally)located immediately behind the Microsoft building where (coincidentally) the Surface team is located, for whom I am (coincidentally) managing a marketing project!  With that kind of convenience, you’d think I’d want to show up there every day.  But for now, twice a week is just dandy, thanks.

Here’s the torture chamber physical therapy department:


This is my pain and torture station:


And this is Mary Ellen, my PTS (no, that’s not short for “physical therapy specialist”; it’s short for “pain and torture sadist”!).


What?  You don’t believe anyone that cute could hurt a fly?  You think she looks to sweet to cause me pain and torture?

Ok – FINE!  You’re right!  She is a sweetheart and she is really kind… and I am slightly melodramatic. 

She actually spent the first 25 minutes of my appointment today massaging my foot.  This way…


…and that way…


Pulling and prodding and tugging and pulling with her skilled (yet torturous!) hands. 

See? I suffered!  (That’s me doing my slow, patterned breathing.  Really!)


Can you believe that my ankle is still swollen and I still can’t fit it into my regular shoes?!  I really am beginning to wonder if I’ll ever wear my regular shoes again.

After the torturous massage (believe me, this ain’t no garden variety “foot massage!”), I was subjected to this odd ramp.


The idea is to stand on the ramp and touch your knee to the wall until it hurts – and then some.  I swear, everything’s “until it hurts, and then some.”


Or, worse -- “it’s supposed to hurt… that means you're doing it correctly!”  Now that’s just mean!

After the incline, I was forced to endure the bed of nails “Shuttle” exerciser.


This is my least favorite exercise in the whole place, but only partly because it hurts.  Mostly I don’t like it because it’s booooring!  Down, up, down, up.  OK, now up, down, up, down… Boooring!

Then I’m subjected to the humiliation of standing like a flamingo! OK, it’s not humiliation (I’m sure flamingos are very nice pink birds) as much as the pain.  Standing on one foot a soft, squishy thing for 30 seconds might sound easy to you, but ask anyone who recently broke an ankle – it’s… it’s… torture!!


Of course I do the exercise happily and with a smile on my face.  (Notice that you can’t see my face.)

The last exercise I do each time I come to the Pain and Torture chamber is this funny round wedge thing – which I call the “record”… and then people then call me “OLD.”


The idea here is to touch the entire round outside ledge to the floor by moving your ankle in a circle.  Can I just say, “Yeeeooouuuuccch!”?  Amazingly enough, though, all these things are just slightly less uncomfortable each time I visit.

After I abuse my foot (and allow others to abuse my foot) for a full hour, a cool ice pack is zipped around my foot…


…and pumped full of air so my foot is hugged lovingly for a good 10 minutes.


Sometimes – though not today -- I’m even hooked up to electrodes and a bizarre electrical current (scared me the first time!) using this machine:


Other than scaring chicken patients like me, the electrical stimulation is apparently good for reliving pain and reducing swelling.  Still, the idea of electricity and electrodes and current scares me and it took me a while to relax while the therapist increases the power till I “can feel it”! 

Today, though, I got to just relax – once my foot was numb from the cold, anyway.


I almost fell asleep.

But then it was time to head off to work, followed by, and following, these guys:


IMG_3013  And then the “pain and torture” really begins!

(Because I’m melodramatic, of course.)

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Goofball said...

wow that place looks huge! And empty... We get PT in private small practices, never heard of such huge places in Belgium.

It might be torture but at least they give you a good variety of torture machines and exercices :p.

I really hope your anckle improves steadily all the time!!!!

I've written in one of my latest posts a bit of the medical costs here in Belgium due to my 2 surgeries this year. At that moment I had to think of you. Did you see that? Is that a huge different from the US?

vailian said...

Well, the setting looks lovely! I feel sorry for you (that is what you wanted to hear, right?) and it seems like you are recovering normally, will be dancing with the stars by this time next year.

Donna said...

Carol, your pt is different from mine, but the exercises are very similar. I hate the flamingo stance. I got to stand on my tiptoes, try to put my knee into the wall (without the board), use the round thingy (called a baps board at my pt place). As much as pt really was torture, I'm sad that it's over.

Oh, and I still can't get into my regular shows, either, yet. Must be normal...


Anonymous said...

Carol your PT looks great! That little slanted step thingy seems like a great thing for that important ROM that you need for doing stairs etc. The Tens unit (electric gadget)works well. I used one once at PT for back problems. Anklers sometimes rent them because they really do help ease the pain. Do they have a pool? Doing the exercises in a pool is awesome, and easier to do in water. Keep up the good work!

Sharon (fellow ankler from the blog)

Rositta said...

Carol, consider yourself lucky that you even have PT. I'm having my foot operated mid June and I'll be in a cast for six weeks. No physio will be offered afterward, I'll be totally on my own. If I want therapy I'll have to pay for it and it' aint cheap...ciao

Tonya said...

Yow. I've had shoulder/neck PT before and it was NOT a day in the park, so I can (sort of) relate. It did help, though. It took time, but it helped. I've always been really bad about doing the home exercises, though...

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