I insulted physical therapists in yesterday’s blog, which I knew would bring forth a comment from physical therapist (PT) friend Jack. Here’s what he said in an email with the subject line “libel complaint.” What a slam at all the wonderful caring kind PTs who have to put up with whining patients like you. I used to tell complaining knee patients, even those who cried or blocked the door, “My knee works just great. So you better get with the program for your knee. Or do you want to walk like Chester from the TV show Gunsmoke?” So you are lucky with your PT, with her great TLC (tender loving care). You can tell from his last sentence that he wrote this somewhat tongue in cheek: Did reading this give you more motivation to get right up and do your exercises?
Although I didn’t use “sadist” to describe my PT, apparently Jack could read between the lines. It can’t be a surprise that his email didn’t inspire me to do my exercises, since it was lacking any pretense of empathy. However, it did bring back memories of old television westerns and prompted me to investigate Chester’s condition to see if a physical therapist with a cruel streak could have helped him. We’ll never know, because no explanation was given for Chester’s “stiff right leg,” except that a director gave it to him to explain the menial jobs he was assigned on the show. It sounds to me like an interesting job description and pay upgrade would have been a lot more helpful to Chester than physical therapy. I did learn what Chester would have said to Jack upon hearing comments like those above. “In response to grumps, he regularly muttered the phrase, “What’s the matter? Did somebody pull you through a knothole?”
We know how medical treatments were handled in the Wild West, whether they were portrayed in Gunsmoke in the sixties and seventies or in the 2010 Academy Award Best Picture nominee True Grit. Consequently, here’s what my PT should have said to introduce shoulder exercises to me. “Bite down hard on a rolled up washcloth, pour some whiskey down your throat and raise your arm despite the excruciating pain.”
It’s time for my third set of exercises for today. But first I’ll send my husband to the saloon for a fifth of rye.