"So why are you here?"
My demeanor didn't give me away. I was shocked. I figured my expression alone would qualify me as a research subject.
"I'm hurting and I want to fix it." I looked at her and waited for a reaction. It probably takes an awful lot to impress her, she is a professional.
She looked right at me, but avoided anything I would consider staring. I wonder if they teach you that in school: Non Invasive Assessment Observation 101. I assumed she was looking for flaws, without giving away the knowledge she was gathering. I sat like a specimen and waited.
"Today we are only going to do a basic evaluation. It may take a long time to get to the root of the pain. It may take even longer to come up with a strategy to correct these issues, after all it took a long time to get here and it will take a long time to improve. With a little work you can improve and hopefully the pain will be reduced too. What would like to accomplish with this therapy?"
"I want to feel good again, like I did before. I want to be strong. I want to prevent this from happening." I said. It feels worse when the words actually come out of your mouth.
"Well it's important for your recovery that you realize it could happen again and that you may not ever get back to how you felt before." She smiled knowingly. She had seen my type. Unrealistic and angry, in dire need of being broken down and built back up with a different skill set. She knows what the patient needs. I suppose it means more when we get there on our own. It must be hard to watch as we build the little castles, when she knows the tide is rising.
"How did all this happen?" she said in an obvious open ended way.
"Years of abuse, bad habits, and a few accidents. I never really considered being forty six. I was always going from one fiasco to the next. I never took the easy road to anything, and now I am broken. I'll do what you tell me."
"Good. There will be times this is going to hurt, but I promise, it will get easier." She sounded confident. I wondered if there was ever a cool way to be weak in front of a woman. If there was I hadn't found it. I fidgeted like a child, aware of my every mannerism.
"Lets do some exercises and see how you react." She made me do ridicules things. Some hurt, some seemed silly, some were hard to replicate. I did them all, and slumped when it was over. I let out an airy sigh.
"I want you to do these exercises and I will see you next week." She punctuated the sentence, and I knew it was time to leave. Like a robot I stood up, thanked her, and walked towards the receptionist. More appointments. Something else to remember. One more thing I don't want to do. One more reminder, I am not who I once was. Time to make another bargain.
Sooner or later we all find out we can't do the same things forever. Repetition Stress Disorder: doing the same thing over and over until it causes injuries. We either change or continue to fail. Either way it hurts.