Thursday, July 24, 2003

I thought I was doing a pretty good job of sucking it up. A little online whining, but other than that, basically coping. But when I was sitting in the waiting room this morning, waiting to see which physical therapist was going to be stuck with me this time, I discovered all I really wanted to do was cry. So, there I was, trying not to cry, with this old guy sitting across from me trying not to notice. Too pathetic to even describe.

I think that athletes are bad role models. When I look around at my non-athlete friends, I notice that none of them are in pain. Emily sprained her ankle falling down the stairs last year; Carolyn has some pretty intense dental work done. Other than that, they are all essentially pain free, and they don’t think that’s unusual. When you hang out with athletes, the benchmark changes. Since everyone is pain, you’re not allowed to notice your injuries until they become really debilitating. I had teammates who were playing w/arthritis, tendonitis, reconstructed knees, bronchitis, you name it. That’s just the way it is. Everyone hurts, and unless you’re actually bleeding on the ice and slowing up the game, you just need to shut up about it, give 110%, and take one for the team. It just seems to be accepted dogma: if you’re going to play sports, you just have to learn how to deal with pain. Can’t deal? Don’t play.

This can’t be right. I mean, I don’t mind the pain of playing hard, aching muscles, burning lungs. That’s the kind of thing you can recover from, even if it takes a couple of days. But I’ve finally gotten to the point where I have to admit I’ve reached my pain threshold, actually surpassed my tolerance point. I’m starting to cry in public, and that is definitely a bad sign.

So, Kelly gets to be the one to thump on me this time. I was a little worried when I saw it was him, because he got a bit mad at me the last time he worked with me because I wouldn’t let him use the Graston tool on my achilles. (Note to physical therapists: I’m not a fucking idiot. You can use the Graston tool on me once, but I’m not going to hold still for it twice.) Hopefully, he didn’t write that down on my chart. Anyway, our session went okay, and was only moderately painful. He thinks if we can resolve some of the shoulder inflammation, my other joints might respond, too. Also, he thinks my hand diagnosis was wrong, so we may work on that.

As I was lying there wrapped in ice afterward, I thought, “Well, this will be okay, I can do this, and maybe it will help.” But when I checked out, and started making appointments for the rest of my therapy—3X a week for the foreseeable future—it just overwhelmed me again. I’m going to have to miss at least some work 3 times a week for the remainder of my time at the FS. Not a big deal in terms of getting things done, but definitely a big deal in terms of my paycheck. The moment the ice came off, I was back in pain, despite the anti-inflammatory meds, so at this point, I’m not very optimistic. I’ve had a lot of medical professionals assure me they could fix me up, and so far, most of them have been wrong. It’s hard to look forward through the pain and hassle and expense and everything else and see a good resolution. And yeah, I know I’m just tired and whiny, and everything is going to be *just fine*, but it doesn’t feel fine, and really…I pretty much just want to sit here and cry.

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