HOW PHYSICAL THERAPY HELPED TO PUT MY TROUBLES BEHIND ME
It may sound crass, I know
To have pain in one’s derriere;
But after many years of it
My life filled with despair.
It’s embarrassing in nature
Thus it’s difficult to share.
My doctor and I went on a search
To find someone to care.
I knew there was an answer
In the vast medical field
As I longed with all my heart
To have my sitter healed.
“Please, get me some help,” said I
As she searched her books for a pill
Then frustrated, we both decided
On the physical therapy skill.
I knew one of our physical therapists
He had come to my rescue before
For yet another problem
As I have health issues, galore.
On arriving he re-evaluated me
By poking and prodding my back
And with his skills and training said,
“You have an inflamed sacroiliac.”
He hauled out all the tools of his trade;
Heat, cold and machines that tweak the nerves
And I did so many exercises
I was sure I’d lose my curves.
Thanks to all they taught me
Their skills and friendly staff,
I can often go for days
With a friendly rearward aft.
I hope this very personal poem explains to all of you what an important role physical therapy plays in my life. I wrote it for my physical therapist several years ago and he still refers to it when I see him, from time to time.
I know movement is always considered the enemy for many of us who suffer any chronic pain or disease which involves our joints, our nerves or just making it through life on two feet. Sitting down, lying down or being suspended in air sounds very attractive. I get that. If only… But alas the demands of life call out to us as the refrigerator grows empty or moldy, the laundry piles up in a menacing fashion and our financial needs continue to press us on. We realize life goes on and we must keep up if we are also going to “go on.” There are days I don’t believe it is possible to survive this misery, but night falls and the next morning arrives full of responsibilities, possibilities and surprises. The new day shows no respect or concern as to whether you or I have slept or not. The life it represents for many of us is demanding and often appears impossible.
This is when; once again free choice enters our lives. We have decisions to make, goals to set or ignore and attitudes to adjust. Of course, we could sit and “slide” but then our life is leading us around instead of us living it. It feels terribly depressing to do nothing. It embodies a loss of control over all that is important and of value to each of us. It’s easy enough to do nothing…you just sit, lie down or turn on the TV and flop down. Do I have days like that? I certainly do but always try to remind myself not to let one day turn into two or more. I usually get restless, even on the most painful days and must accomplish something, however small it may be. I do it for the reward of accomplishment more than the material result, although it is gratifying to water a thirsty plant, sweep a gritty floor or wash a load of laundry.
Physical therapy has brought a new dimension to my life and its possibilities. Has it cured me? No, but it does often make it possible. I’m often satisfied with just accomplishing the possible because of the hope it has brought to the once, impossible. Endorphins, success through increments of movement, looking better and feeling better are all rewards of physical therapy, daily stretches or mild exercise. Laughter also releases endorphins when you share a very corny joke with a small child, watch a puppy romping or a kitty stalking you from behind a chair.
There is definitely a depressive nature that is exemplified by not trying. We show our love of self, this shell we cart around with us called our body by struggling to make it work for us. We must, at the very least, try.
Another benefit of movement is the strengthening which inadvertently keeps us safer and more ready to handle what life brings. We aren’t out to set any land speed records. We are in contest only with ourselves but it is a contest we must win. Ready, set, go!