Monday, July 09, 2007

Therapy, Times Two

I went to the physical therapist for the first visit today. As you may remember, I tried this two weeks ago, sans Rx from the Doc, and was turned away at the door. I waited a week to get an appointment with the Doctor, just to have him squeeze my foot a couple of times and ask (quite reduntantly, in my opinion, as a strong wince or its absence was all the answer he really needed) "whether this hurts or not." This was quickly followed with an Rx for physical therapy and a shove out the door, with a $20 co-pay on the way out. Another week to get the first PT appointment, all the while not sure how much or how little I should be trying to use the ankle.

Anyway, I got to the (different location, as I didn't want to return to the scene of the crime) PT office on time, and with all of my paperwork carefully prepared in advance and collected into an envelope left by my cell phone overnight to ensure that I didn't forget to bring it. That worked pretty well, except for the annoying little fact that I forgot to put the Rx in there too. I didn't notice until I got to the front desk to check-in. The receptionist didn't ask, but honor (and her questioning glance as I smacked myself on the forehead in disgust) prompted me to fess up. "No problem," she said. She just called the doctor's office and had a copy faxed over. That was a relief!

The therapist was a younger guy, with a veneer of medical professionalism provided by his somber and all-business demeanor. Always ready to rise to such a challenge, I immediately dialed up '8' on the BanterAmp(tm) and prepared to chip away at him. Not many opportunities arose as he squeezed all the same places on my foot as my doctor had, but every opening, no matter how small, was an excuse to try a quip. He didn't find anything on my foot to make me wince, and I didn't say anything to make him smile. It was a draw. Ironically, though, I think I might have caused him to wince once or twice. Hey, it's not like it was a target rich environment like I'd have had a proctologist, you know. I did the best I could.

After some more twisting and tugging, apparently to determine whether my foot was now detachable, he gave me a list of exercises to do. The first involves stretching out the injured leg and pressing my extended arms against a wall and pushing. Well, that was perfect! It was exactly like pushing something, say an RV-6, up a hill into something kinda-exactly like a hangar. I told him that I was reasonably sure I'd be able to find a way to do that particular exercise this very day! I positively exuded enthusiasm! I'm sure he chalked that up to his professionalism, and I sure wasn't about to correct him.

The second exercise was a bit odd. He told me to imagine that I had a pen sticking out of my foot (which I found hard to do because had that actually been the case, I think I would have stuck with the actual doctor for treatment) and to write through the alphabet.

Me: "Upper or lower case?"

Him (deadpan): "It doesn't matter."

Me: "Oh, so it's not like a spell or anything? Any motion will do?"

Him (deadpan): "Well, not just any motion."

Me: "How about Greek letters? Would that work?"

Him (deadpan): "Yes."

Me (clicking BanterAmp to '9'): "How about hieroglyphics? You know, so easy that a caveman could do it?"

Him (deadpan): "Sure."

Me (clicking BanterAmp to '11' and going for the kill): "Pornographic images?"

Got 'im! Right between the eyes. He never saw it coming. The veneer, while not shattered, was certainly cracked.

I started looking at the temperature on the way home and while it was mildly distressing to see 95F, I decided that I could handle it for at least a quick hop. This too would be therapy because to be perfectly honest, this has been the longest three weeks ever. The weather has been wildly beautiful (that being in the eye of this beholder anyway, as I'm sure grass blades and farmers have been worried) and not having been able to fly because of the ankle has been distinctly worse than not being able to fly due to ice/snow storms/residue like we had over the winter.

The wind was 220 @ 9 knots RDTR, as I call it. Right Down The Runway. The sky was hazy, though, so it wasn't going to be a sightseeing flight. In fact, all I did was putter around for 20 minutes and headed back. The pattern had a couple of touch & go 172s orbiting around burning Hobbs, so I had to figure out a way to slide into the flow. As I was 5 miles out to the west, one of the Skyhawks was reporting final and the other was calling left downwind. Forming a mental picture of where everyone was and where they were about to be, I figured the best plan was to throw some coal on the fire and get into crosswind ahead of the guy on final. I had five miles to go and he only had 2, but I had 150 knots and he had 70. Less, actually, as he would spend some time rolling out on the runway. Worked like a charm, it did. I was on downwind before he was past the departure end of the runway. As I was ready to turn base, the second Skyhawk was on short final. By this point I was slowed down to their speed, so it was easy to get a good spacing and land behind him. It was a '7' of a landing, with a nice flare but a little bouncing, albeit recovered well.

As I was pushing the plane back into the hangar doing my physical therapy exercise, the only thing that was even mildly painful was the tug of 8 gallons per hour at the rate of $4.07 per being removed from my glutimous walletimus, and even that was more like the welcome ache after a good workout than it was any kind of pain.

What did hurt, though, was the burn I got when I tried to hug the big lug. I sure did miss him!

1 comment:

  1. You need another therapeutic flight again soon to Lima for some Skyline Chili.