Taking a Knee: I Need a Plan

I’m a planner. Like, maybe, possibly, pathologically, a planner.

My friends know this. My husband finds this to be equal parts “super (insert expletive) annoying” and “good thing one of us is on top of things.”

If you’ve ever been invited to anything I am hosting, you know I give you a month’s notice (ahem…eyes open for a birthday invite….ahem) and while we’re pulling back the curtain, generally the invite has been ready for weeks before I send it, the menu has been planned and a to-do list created and divvied up.

I put myself in charge of all outreach programs at work because I was losing my mind having to throw events together with a week or less notice. Now we have the year planned out – dates for everything, responsibilities doled out and I can sleep at night.

So when I got to PT on Monday and realized very quickly that PT Greg, who was on vacation all week, had not left specific notes for PT Lindsay and the substitute PT I worked with on Wednesday, I was less than enthused.

Hey, Remember Me?

I walk into the PT clinic and PT Lindsay is with another patient. This is usually the case. The PTs are usually working with 1-3 patients at any given time. She starts to tell me which exercise to begin with when I ask if we can talk for a moment.

She comes over and I tell her about my Arm Jam session on Saturday and that while my knee felt fine Saturday and most of Sunday, I did feel like it was puffy and irritated Sunday night and that morning. She asks what I was doing, “So it’s like step aerobics without the step?” Um….no… I try my best to explain not only BodyJam, but the non-impact version of it that I did. She just stared blankly and told me to take it easy today.

That is basically the last time we talk for the next 45 minutes. I go through my exercises while she tends to her other patient (who did seem to be fairly chatty and a little needy) but every time she calls out the next exercise and says, “Two sets of ten.” I answer with, “I did three sets of 15 last week.”

Finally, she said, “Ok, Greg isn’t the best with writing things down so if you’ve been doing more, than I tell you, let me know and I’ll change it in the system.”

Um. WHAT? I was furious. I finish my exercises in 45 minutes instead of the hour plus it normally takes because half of what I do with PT Greg isn’t in the system. Other then telling me which exercise was next (from her other patient’s side), PT Lindsay didn’t speak to me and certainly didn’t work with me.

Ronnie

By Wednesday I had let it go a little. I chalked it up to the fact that PT Lindsay had a new patient while I was there and I am pretty self sufficient. I told myself, “It’s fine. You know what you’re doing. You didn’t need her and that other patient did.”

A PT I had never seen before walks straight up to me and says, “Hi! I’m Ronnie and I’m going to be working with you today while Greg is out.” She was SO nice and SO enthusiastic that I almost forgot that I was supposed to be seeing PT Lindsay per my schedule appointments.

Ronnie was on it though, following all the notes that Lindsay had updated on Monday. She was present. She was attentive. She challenged me every step of the way and couldn’t have been friendlier for my entire visit. PT Lindsay? Barely acknowledged I was there. Why would she? She barely acknowledged me when I was there as her own patient, right?

Friday, I was back with Lindsay. She was ten minutes late starting with me. She worked with me a little more than Monday but that’s not saying much. She offered me ice (the universal sign for “Your PT session is done now.”) after 35 minutes. I didn’t argue though, I just took note.

Alright Dude, What’s the PLAN?

By the end of my appointment Friday, it occurred to me that just as I had needed to be my own advocate when my knee blew up, I needed to be my own advocate now. Blindly following the directions of PTs wasn’t a smart way to continue with therapy.

There are good PTs, mediocre PTs, and bad PTs just like with most professions. The honest truth is, I don’t know if Greg and Lindsay are actually any good at what they do. Am I stronger? Yes. But am I as strong as I could be? I have no idea and more importantly, I don’t know if they know how to get me where I want to be in the next four to six weeks.

I talked about my background in sports medicine in last week’s post. I do know a little something about how the body works and specifically, injury response and the healing process. I spent the last four weeks following their instructions because I was afraid of rushing and/or being too aggressive.

But now, after three appointments ($20 a pop) of feeling like there wasn’t much direction to my therapy and that with Greg gone, I was kept in a holding pattern rather than expected to make progress, I need to know what the plan is. I need to know that PT Greg has a clue about what I need my body to be able to do and that he knows how to get me there. And if he doesn’t, that’s ok, too. I mean, I don’t know how many PTs who specialize in helping Les Mills instructors get back to teaching dance fitness classes, but if that’s the case, I gotta find me a new PT.

Hit Me with Your Best Shot

By the time you read this, I will most likely have laid it all out for Greg (complete with video clips of BodyJam and my expectations) and have gotten either an acceptable answer or a less-than acceptable answer. If it’s the latter, then I’ll be shopping for a new PT and that’s fine with me. I need to have a plan and I need to feel confident about it.

It isn’t an exact science. I know this. I have already swallowed the “You might not be able to come back” pill and am keeping it in mind. But that being said, no one (except Dr. DB) has told me I can’t yet and so I feel like I need to make sure I’m doing EVERYTHING I can to give myself the best shot possible.

I don’t expect to be teaching next week. I know this will take time. I just HAVE to know there is a plan and I HAVE to know it’s great.

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