I had a physiotherapy appointment this morning. My sprained ankle from the beginning of August continues to be sprained. Everything is still swollen and is somehow both too loose and too tight at the same time.
The major issue is that I continue to injure it on a daily basis. I’ll take a step and my foot lands a little off kilter, or I’ll pivot and my foot stays in place. A couple of weeks ago, the doctor told me to “stay off it”‘ but then we both had a good laugh knowing that wasn’t going to happen.
Considering I have full insurance coverage, and I can see the physio clinic down the street from my front porch, there is no excuse for me not going for treatment before today. I just kept forgetting to make an appointment.
This clinic happens to be owned by someone I met through my work with ALS. Her best friend and business partner was a patient and they always came to the clinic appointments together. Today she was my physiotherapist.
This was the first time we had seen each other since the death of her friend and it was long overdue. Sometimes, during my professional relationship with a patient, a true kinship also develops and that’s what happened in this case. Not long after our research project ended, this patient became housebound and I began to drive out to see her every few weeks.
Because her husband (they were newlyweds) worked long hours and they lived quite a distance outside of the city, she would be alone most days. Sometimes, I would go specifically to help. If she needed blood tests, I’d bring out the tubes, do the draw and drop them into the lab when I got back into the city. I also filled out her insurance and disability forms, knowing what dire details needed to be included in the prognosis sections. Mainly, however, I would visit just to visit.
She loved to hear all about the boys and she loved to tell me about work. Up until a few weeks before her death, she continued to manage the clinic via e-mail and webcam. It’s odd that her presence is still felt at the clinic by the void she’s left behind.
After a slightly teary hug, my physiotherapist got right down to the business at hand… or foot. (She agreed that my ankle wasn’t healing and that I was trying to do too much too fast. Hence the sexy “air cast” she wants me to wear for at least a month.) During the treatment, however, we talked about her partner and how she has been coping with things.
In addition to the serious stuff, we also had a few laughs. She told me that their visits with me in clinic were always fun and how much they looked forward to them. I remembered how they brought me treats, usually fresh fruit, knowing how busy my clinic days were and that I probably would have skipped lunch.
Only time will tell how physio will affect my ankle (right now it’s feeling more sore that before) but I know for sure that something healed inside me today. That was the best therapy I’ve ever had.