Okay so I promised the story of my physical therapy appointment.
Let’s refresh our memories. The last post was about how I failed to shave my legs (duh) before an appointment with my doctor to check out my knee. Yes, that means it was not only I who was being pricked and prodded during that appointment, but my doctor as well.
The conclusion of that piece was that I went to a physical therapist…and I left you all with the promise that I would share about the embarrassingly sweat-filled fun I had there.
Here I am keeping my promise. I’m such a great gal. *patting myself on the back.
I’ve been living in San Francisco for a while now. 7 months. During that time, my tolerance for heat and humidity has gone way down. Don’t get me wrong. I’m a child of the sun and don’t mind 80 degrees of damp sunshine beating down on me. The problem is that I sweat.
I have always been exceptionally sweaty.
I’m talking drenched in yoga class after the first downward dog while everyone else is slightly chilly from the breeze sneaking through the window.
Oh, I think that I should also bring up the fact that the reason I am in need of physical therapy is because whenever I run it feels like my knee is crushing down on itself ‒ bone against bone…
In the appointment:
I am introduced to the young man who will be helping me, Marco. Marco is a nice guy maybe a couple of years older than I am. He shakes my hand and leads me to the room where we will figure out what’s wrong with me.
As he’s walking me to the room, he says, “so this is your one and only appointment. How’d you work that out?”
“Well,” I say, “I’m going back to San Francisco tomorrow.”
“Okay,” he accepts that answer and is ready to get down to business, “how old are you?”
“23. About to be 24. I’m turning 24 in January so, like, THIS next month! So 23 but basically 24,” I answer because I can’t just leave it at 23…
He looks up with eyebrows raised and eyes wide.
I know why.
“You thought I was, like, 12 didn’t you?”
That really puts him on the spot.
“Uh…yeah. Whoa. Sorry. Let me get my foot out of my mouth and we can continue.”
“Eh,” I shrug, “it’s totally fine. I know what I look like. I was once asked if I should be driving…” <– true story by the way…I was 20 years old at the time.
Cue semi-awkward silence where we both re-evaluate the situation and I have to bite my tongue so as not to say “it’s cus i’m chillin’ with no makeup on.”
Not that I ever look much older than 16, but the fact that I’m not wearing any makeup, and I’m hapa (part Asian), and am wearing a big t-shirt and shorts definitely sends my looks back to my middle school days.
Truthfully, the only thing that stops me from throwing out that Drake line to explain my lack of twenty-something looks, is the fact that the line that follows it is: “that’s when you’re the prettiest I hope that you don’t take it wrong.”
Not only am I NOT at my prettiest (I think I’d thrown my hair back into that weird, half-pulled-through ponytail bun that was so popular in, like, the 6th grad) but I just am not trying to bring up looks at a time like this. I mean this tanned, in-shape Marco guy is about to work out my knee (thank god I shaved this time) while I, the 12-year-old twentysomething, have to struggle to keep cool and not think about how white and flabby I’ve gotten since the running stopped and the 6 layer dip-a-thons began.
But enough. Let’s move along with the appointment.
Marco then asks me to explain my knee problems to him to make sure what he has written down is correct.
I relay the facts to him. My knee has had “small kine” problems for a while, but it isn’t anything that has stopped me from running. Then around November, I would run for a bit and then this incredible pain would start to occur.
He asks me how far I usually run and I tell him that my normal day run would be about 6 miles but the recently the pain would start to occur at about 3.
“Oh. Wow,” he says and nods, “6 miles on average? That’s my far run.”
Yes! I think to myself, I’m freakin’ impressive.
That moment doesn’t last long.
He then nonchalantly asks how often I stretch.
You know that moment in Pitch Perfect when Fat Amy is asked why she has Bumper’s number and all she can do is make that high pitched “eehhhhhh” sound?
[Author’s note: if you don’t know what I’m talking about you should probably watch it right now and then get back to this post]
Well, that is the sound I make.
Marco is no longer impressed. Dammit.
“Okay,” he says finally, “well you should be stretching three times a day…at least.”
“Oh,” I respond. Cool.
Then has me lie down.
Here’s a shocker: I’m a super self-conscious person. Me lying down and having to do strange leg lifts while this virtual stranger (albeit a professional trainer) presses on me in different areas is quite possibly one of my biggest fears.
And so the sweating begins.
But it doesn’t end there.
We’re sitting there (okay well he’s standing there pressing my knee and I’m lying on my back wondering when I’m gonna be back in my cave…I mean home) and I can’t seem to shut up. God forbid I don’t tell him about the spontaneous dance parties I’ve been having while working from home OR how super cool my mom is and how she’s my best friend and I just want to stay home and hang out with her rather than go out to bars at night…I mean, these are all things he really needs to know.
At this point Marco is just shaking his head and laughing at me because he’s not quite sure what to say to the flood of personal information i’m offering.
I’m currently doing a strange leg lift because I need to strengthen the left side of my thigh and he asks me,
“Does your phone have a camera?”
At this point in the appointment, I figure he knows me well enough to joke around (since I’ve basically shared with him every detail of my life post college). Oh god, I think, I look so ridiculous right now he wants to take a picture of me in this Olivia NewtonFonda position to make fun of me.
“Nope,” I lie.
“Really?” He asks, and sounds a bit too surprised, “I thought every phone had a camera these days.”
That sly dog. He’s looking at me so seriously I almost believe this isn’t a prank. I won’t be fooled! I never let myself be embarrassed.
“Okay,” he says. Now he sounds really serious and a little disappointed, “I guess I’ll just draw the pictures of the exercises you have to do. I’m sorry I’m not the best at drawing.”
Oh…the apology is what does it. That’s what makes me realize that he’s not kidding around with me and is seriously asking for a camera so that he can document the exercises. That way I’ll have them to look at when I have to recreate them in San Francisco.
He’s getting up to go get a piece of paper and a pen to hand draw each of the exercises. I can’t believe that’s something he’s even willing to do.
“Wait,” I say. Fudgescicles how am I going to word this? “…I lied? My phone does have a camera.”
The last sentence comes out fast and mumbled.
“What?” he asks turning back from his route to find the necessary drawing supplies.
“I have a camera on my phone,” I admit and sit up to grab it out of my purse.
“Are you serious?” He’s staring at me with this confused look, blinking his eyes.
“Yeah,” I say unlocking and tossing the phone to him, “I just didn’t want my picture taken.”
Gah! I am not even looking at him.
He’s shaking his head at my phone in disbelief. I’m not sure he’s ever had a patient who felt the need to lie to him before.
Can you imagine my sweating now?
After showing him the camera on my phone, it is time to learn a new exercise.
While I’m learning this new exercise, I have to lie on my side (which is just an awkward position to be in – I don’t care who you are) and my phone rings.
“Oh!” I exclaim grabbing it from off the end of the table where he’s placed it, “it’s my mom.” – Awesome. He already knows how cool i think my mom is…
Why the higgedy heck is my MOM calling me when she knows I’m in this appointment?
I shout into the phone and there’s no response. Ends up, it’s a butt dial…
“UGH!” I cry because I have no filter at this point, “my mom just butt dialed me. She KEEPS doing that!”
At this point Marco is just staring at me like I’m a crazy person. Who’s mom butt dials them on the reg?!
We then go through a series of exercises to strengthen my knee and keep it responsive. I have to do a squat for a minute. Lunges for a minute each. Something called the Captain Morgan (oh because did I mention he figured out that my hips are even weaker than my knees?), three different types of leg lifts, and a couple of thigh stretches.
*Small side note – When I learn how weak my hips are I think back to my horseback riding days when my hip would occasionally pop and then I can’t listen to anything that Marco’s saying because my sick and twisted mind jumps to childbirth – why the hell would it jump to childbirth when I’m not even thinking about doing the nasty with anyone – but it does and i’m, like, omg does this mean I’m going to break my hips when I try to have one? You know my dad went to a psychic once who told him I was going to have problems with that. LUCKILY I am able to keep these thoughts to myself which is shocking seeing as I told him everything else I was thinking during that appointment. Embarrassing it’s like, HELLO, Kellen this is a physical therapist not one for your mental-ness
Okay back to blog post
Oh, did I forget to mention that when we are doing the squat he asks if I know proper form and I say, “isn’t it something about pushin’ your booty out?”
Dear god why would I EVER use the word booty? He responds with, “well… if you move your knee over your second toe like it’s supposed to be, then, yes, your bottom will go further out.”
“Right.” My bottom. Much better way of putting it.
I haven’t done strength training since I took that bootcamp class in college so I’m really hurting at this point. I’m sweating and have to be very careful not to lift my arms (if you know what I mean). Don’t know what I mean? Two words: pit. stains.
I’m also trying not to think about how similar to Gollem I must look right now with my hair plastered to my forehead.
That’s when Marco hits me with another question. You would think that I’d have learned from the last time but…you can’t teach an old dog new tricks…
So the question he asks me is which of the exercises was my favorite.
And I’m like uhhhhh. I hate them all. So none.
“No, really,” he’s kind of smiling so I’m sure this time we’re actually pals and he’s kidding around with me. That means I can answer honestly.
“None,” I say again.
“Really?” He asks and is shaking his head.
Should I have taken notes on how many times he shook his head?
“Yes,” I say, “really.”
“Okay…” he kinda tilts his head sideways as if to tell me that he thinks I’m unnecessarily difficult but can’t voice it because I suppose that’s not very professional, “what’s your least favorite?”
“Oh, the lunges,” this I can answer quickly.
“Okay,” he grins, “then we start over with the lunges. Stand up.”
“You can’t be serious,” I say staying seated.
He “hmphs” incredulously at my response and still stationary self, “yes. I’m serious. Stand up.”
So I stand up and he quizes me on propper lunge form. Omg I hate it so much. And the sweat is really happening now since this is the second set.
“I’m swweeaaattiinnnngggggg,” I complain and am frowning at him because this is actually torture. Like, I not only do I hate being in a room alone with someone I’ve just met, but I also REALLY hate sweating in front of someone I just met. And boy am I sweating.
“It’s Hawaii,” he sighs and shakes his head again (gah at the beginning of this post I should have created a contest for whoever could guess the number of times my physical therapist had to shake his head at me), “everyone sweats.”
“Yeah,” I counter, putting my hands on my hips and trying to suck in my belly since that’s what I’m supposed to be doing, “but, like, I’m REALLY sweating. I mean, has anyone ever sweat this much before?!”
Marco just laughs.
“Okay,” I know I’m right, “so they haven’t. Like, I’m the sweatiest! Omg I hate it so muuuuuuch.”
“Just do these when you’re at home watching tv,” he suggests. As if that will solve ANY of my problems.
“But then my roommates are going to have to see me sweat! Can you imagine this happening while they’re trying to watch a good show? I’d ruin everything!”
Marco doesn’t have anything to say. I think he finally figures out that there’s no consoling me. I am a mean, not so lean, sweat-complaining machine.
The end of the appointment:
It’s the end of the appointment. I’m finally no longer leg lifting or lunging and can stand normally. Poor Marco can only shrug and hand me my phone and exercise assignments.
“Sorry for making you sweat?” he says because what else is he supposed to say at this point. I’m sure when he entered into the appointment he’d had no idea that his patient would be so nagging or so willing to share each and every thought that sprung to her mind.
I thank him because that’s a good thing to do after making someone almost as uncomfortable as myself for an hour, and he says to me, “um have fun in San Francisco…” then he adds thoughtfully, “try to not to get into trouble.”
At this point he looks, like, actually incredibly concerned. Like, here he is sending this mentally unstable twentytwelve-year-old off to the big bad city.
Welp. Don’t worry, Marco. I’m doing just fine. Maybe not doing my knee exercises as much as I’m meant to, but I’m back in the city and living up my twentysomething life!