I had my second physical therapy visit today. This a renowned facility I live close to where, unbeknownst to me, doctors perform intricate microsurgeries with robots. One of only two in the world. Within walking distance from my house. So I suppose if anyone is to help me out of this mess I’ve stumbled into, it might be them, who knows. If anything, at least it’s worth a shot, and that’s where I’ve been led to. For today.
Anyone who’s been through the regular rigors of standard physical therapy knows what it’s like—push this, pull that, elastic bands and balance platters for days. Usually you’re sent home with exercises that never really pan out like they do at the facility, and after one or two tries you end up half-way managing some sort of contrived version of the photocopied exercise sheet they gave you to take home. Usually, though, television or family or the dog or cat or laundry or errands or anything other than wins out, and you show up at your next appointment feeling deficient and like a dropout. Unless you own a masters in engineering like my father and spend the next few weeks designing a gym at home to match the facilities to ensure over achievement and marked success.
You think I’m kidding on that last one, don’t you?
But instead, what has intrigued me about this physical therapy is quite the opposite, at least so far. The therapist has done release work that is ever so slight and gentle, using words like fascia, cerebrospinal fluid, and pelvic floor. And there have been remarks about my history being so interesting, what my body has been through, and what it’s doing in response, i.e., how the muscles are holding on so tight. In fact, I think today the exact words were, “holding on for dear life.”
In an effort to protect who knows what or maybe deflect all my fatal flaws to be called out only on the second visit I immediately blurted out, “Maybe I can tell them it’s time to let go.”
Although shocked at my own admission, I meant it.
And so while the back of my skull was in the therapist’s hands I started whispering silently to my muscles, the ones that have been working so hard to keep me in place, keep everything in check, and at the same time inadvertently drowning my head in still waters. I softly told them maybe the answer wasn’t coming in an instantaneous forceful crack like we wanted, maybe it was going to have to be a slow, patient unfolding.
Maybe we were just going to have to wait.
Perhaps one of the most curious things about this omnipotent breakdown of mine over the past month are the memories that have come flooding through when touched in the neck and back of head, which is not at all ironic since this is where the 3 accidents have occurred. They are like muscle memories, previously locked and stored for safekeeping, only after my serious of unfortunate events there is now a hairline crack that has opened up, and leaks are starting to seep through. Nothing earth shattering or telling, just memories—people, places, and things I haven’t seen or heard from in a long, long time.
As I was leaving I tried to schedule an extra visit only to have them say it was not needed, there was no rush.
Yeah, I thought, that’s what I keep trying to tell me too.
“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”
—John Quincy Adams