Therapy Week 1

'Try.'

It's what I've been telling myself. Sitting in a chair in the middle of a therapy center with five other patients beside me. Varying ages. Varying problems. This one has a hurt back. That one is working on her legs. Standing against the wall stretching is a women with a shoulder injury and her husband, sits by her side, watching the other patients as he waits.

The two therapists are at a computer station, typing out something. Maybe paperwork. Before they make another round to check on our progress. 

Breath.

Count.

Try.

Stretching my neck left. Hold five seconds. Stretch it right. I can feel something in my shoulder clicking and the sound radiates through my neck and into my ear. And it is horrible and loud. The pain is quick like getting a shot, and leaves as soon as I bring my head back to center, but the sound stays with me.

Breath.

Count.

Try.

I give it a moment. Before I do another set of 15. The old lady and her husband move to a machine that is kind of like a stationary bike except you pedal with your hands. Churning the handles in circles. Moving out the shoulders. It makes a whirring noise as she goes. The sound of resistance inside the machine. Turning. Turning. Fighting. Turning.

The husband is quiet. His lips shut tight. And his eyes dart back and forth across the room behind his glasses. She laughs, "It's hard to go backwards."

And he snaps awake for a moment, and whispers to her. Reaching his hand out to her. She laughs again. "No Daniel," she laughs to him and takes a moment to breath with her eyes closed.

"Keep at it," he whispers.

Her eyes shut tighter, "I can't. I can't." Her voice is quick and snappy. 

He whispers again but I couldn't hear it.

She takes a breath, and puts her hands back on the machine. And lets out three quick, Agh's.

I move my head left. Then right. Waiting for that cracking noise to pull through my shoulder. 

Breath.

Count.

Try.

'Lucky,' I thought, 'It could be worse.' And start moving out my shoulders in circles. 15 forward. 15 back. 3 times. 'It could be permanent...'

My therapist comes by to check me out. How am I doing? How does it feel?

"The same." I answered. 

And he nods. 

'Is it supposed to feel different? There is no way I could feel better this soon?'

He explains that the grinding, clicking noise is the sound of the muscles loosening up. That my body was in defense mode. And it is calming down. Eventually it will relax again and go back.

And that is comforting... for a bit. Till that crack rips across me again. That sharp pain. That ringing sound. A reminder. This happened. I'll try to heal it. But I can't reverse it. This happened.

The old lady begins at her machine again. And her husband closes his eyes.

Breath.

Count.

Try.

'It is hard to backwards.'



-rene

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