Good Therapy

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“Uh, oh,” my therapist said. “Two of my patients with broken ankles just started driving again today.” He was smiling as he worked with someone else across the room from me. “Does this mean I shouldn’t go into the parking lot? I’ll have to really be on the lookout.” He teased, half asking my husband to play along as Mark sat and watched us work out.

I had just told him I had driven Mark’s van to therapy – my first time behind a steering wheel in three months. I guess it’s not any big deal unless you make it one. Mark rode along quietly in the passenger seat, and now, told Jeff, the therapist, that I had done fine.

We pushed extra hard during that day’s workout. I start out alternating my ankle from hot water to cold about three times. At my first session, the cold was from the tap, but, now, Jeff puts ice in it. Although I’m getting used to the extreme temperatures, my foot and ankle look like a red, steamed lobster when I dry off.

Besides pressing weight with my legs, riding a bike, and rolling my ankle on wooden platforms to gain more control, there’s this neat contraption we call the witch’s broomstick. It’s really a rubber platform with a tension pole that I maneuver while putting ‘my leg with the metal’ through the paces. I stand on the platform like it’s a magic carpet. I take off-spelling out the alphabet with the pole as I steer. When Jeff says that two times through the letters is enough, I come in for a landing.

At every session, he changes the order, adds something different, and makes a new challenge. Even though my leg is a little touchy afterward, I seem to move a little easier and better the next day. The therapy is helping and not just my ankle.

Last Friday, we were getting ready to go away for the weekend. I had left a lot to do in too little time. I was getting stressed and was ready to cancel the therapy session that fell right in the middle of what I should have been doing to get packed.

Mark insisted that I should go anyway. I was fuming as he drove me to the medical center. I warned Jeff that I was in a bad mood, told him what was going on, but I already knew things were better because I was away from my checklist, the packing and the stress. That particular session helped my head as much as my ankle.

Isn’t it frustrating when someone else knows what’s best for me in spite of myself?

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