Don’t throw the crutches away just yet

So, I had my second physical therapy session yesterday and was given a wide, thin, rubbery band to use for providing a small amount of resistance for stretching.  The therapist made a bit of a loop and put the loop around my foot and, holding the free end, had me dorsiflex.  She then handed me the free end and had me plantarflex.  She showed me how to put the free end around my other foot for lateral work, and then had me cross my legs to pull medially.

This morning as I was going through my exercises, when I came to the rubber band part, I was a bit stumped since I had no one to hold the free end away from me (PT doesn’t do 0530 house calls and the rest of my family doesn’t do 0530 wake-up calls).  Then my crutches caught my eye.  I held the crutch backwards, looping the free end of the band around the upper end of the crutch.  Worked like that was what it was made for.  Hurray for small victories!

6 Responses to “Don’t throw the crutches away just yet”

  1. Ultidad - It’s funny how resourceful we become. Keep up the good work!

  2. Ultidad: I have been following your thoughts on the health care topic. I couldn’t agree with you more. I know our system has some problems but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I try and be sensitive to the fact that my husband provides wonderful insurance for our family that others don’t have but I also know what it is like to live without health insurance and have a busted up face. (Nose and cheek bones)
    My oldest wants to go into medicine. He is in his third year of an athletic training exercise physiology degree. I have several friends who are doctors because of the job I had before my ATR shenanigans. Every single one took him in and told him to go the PA route because of what is happening to our doctors, their liabilty insurance, their school bills, and their pay. Do you have any thoughts? My son has lots of time to decide. He stared college at 15 so we told him to just explore different classes and enjoy his learning time. So far, the more he gets into, the more he wants to learn. (He just told me about the painful condition of when football players get hit over and over again in a muscle and they get an abnormal healing process that causes bone fragments to grow in the muscle. Who knew?) He had to work on a guy all morning yesterday who has that, who is on on the Mines footbal team. Says it is massively painful. Interesting stuff.
    Funny story, I was teasing my anesthesiologist before my second surgery about the possibility of chipping a tooth during surgery. (I saw it on the release form I had to sign.) She said it was rare but it does happen. Welllll…. I apparently fit into the rare category. My dentist wants to fix it but it makes me laugh everytime I look at it and it is not that big. When I looked in the mirror the first time post-op and saw that, I busted out laughing. Figures!

  3. Smish- I think that if I discussed all of my thoughts about medicine/health care, I would set the record for the longest post on this site. For me, the bottom line is that I love what I do; therefore, I would never discourage someone from pursuing a career in medicine if they felt the same way. If your son is interested in going to medical school, then I will buck the trend of your friends and tell him to go ahead, rather than PA school. Most people who go to medical school tend to be independent types and to me, being a PA is like being a resident-for-life. Yes, the costs of medical school are substantial, but there are ways to limit them (the military and the National Health Service Corps being two). Where physician pay is headed is anyone’s guess, although I doubt that it will increase. I am conflicted on this issue, but so is our society. Should my pay be looked at relative to that of corporate CEOs, athletes and entertainers, or relative to that of teachers, police and firefighters? A particularly frustrating day for me occurred several years ago when I went into work and found a letter in my office mailbox from an insurance company announcing that it was reducing their reimbursement to us. Later that day when I went home, there was a letter in my home mailbox from my insurance company announcing that they were increasing my premium. These two letters were from the same company! Later that year, our newspaper announced that that insurance company’s CEO was the highest-paid CEO in our state (this was before we moved to Colorado). On the liability front, we are fortunate here in CO to have one of the better situations. Other states have reported all sorts of horror stories about docs leaving the state, changing their practices, or being unable to afford the premiums. Our litigious society certainly must bear some blame (think McDonald’s-hot-coffee story). I feel that we have become a society that cannot accept that unfortunate things happen and there isn’t always someone to blame. For some people, waking up with a chipped tooth as you describe is like winning the lotto because now they get to sue someone. Finally, I think a question that needs to be tackled by our society is whether we think of health care as a right or a privilege - a hugely controversial question to be sure. If it is a right, then to what level of care do we have a right? Basic primary care or do everything to prolong Grandma’s life even though she’s 95 yrs old and seems to have no quality of life and can’t communicate her wishes? I can’t speak from first-hand knowledge, but it is my understanding that our European colleagues do ration care, such as having arbitrary age cut-offs for organ transplant. Check out Doug’s comment on Graham’s page. During my fellowship, one of my mentors described the anesthetic techniques for dealing with children who are born with a particularly severe heart malformation in an European journal. He was raked over the coals in subsequent letters to the editor - the majority claiming that the reason that surgeons and anesthesiologists were involved in these surgeries was for financial gain! Maybe European attitudes have changed (my fellowship was 13 years ago), but I don’t know how I’d be able to tell the parents of a newborn that we are going to let your child die when there are life-saving options. OK, I think I ought to stop now.

  4. Ultidad: I appreciate your thoughts. It never crossed my mind to sue over my tooth. I thought it was funny. It’s not really that bad and you can hardly tell unless I point it out. Besides, that is what I have a dentist for. I would still consider my anesthesiologist flawless.
    Point well taken about my son and PA vs. Medical school. My son is extremely independent. I have always thought he would have his own business someday. I just had no idea it might have something to do with medicine. We actually did have one friend tell him that he thought med school might be the better option but he suggested that my son take a year off before going in. He said once med school is done there is enormous pressure to get to work and get started on those loans. Thoughts?? I’ll let my son read your posts and whatever he does with it, he does with it. As his mom, for some reason I can’t see him in a clinical type setting but it’s only my job to support and love him through his choices. I am already so proud of him. He is the goofiest kid but when someone gets hurt or there is some A&P talk going on, his personality changes and he gets to work. He is already and EMT as well. My other son’s interests are the polar opposite. It’s really a blast to watch them take flight.
    How is your Achilles doing? Again…I really do appreciate your perspective.

  5. I was one of the rare, lucky ones. My father started saving for college for my siblings and I when I was 4 years old. I managed to graduate medical school debt-free, so I’m not the best one to give advice about repaying loans (other than to suggest that one have parents who start saving when you are 4 years old). I think the real pressure tho, is that there is so much schooling and training that one just wants to get on with things. Personally, I stepped off the conveyor belt twice, with no ill effects: I did a year of research between med school and residency (the first few weeks of residency were nerve-wracking, but I caught up quickly), then, after residency, I got married and we took a 4+ month backpacking trip to Europe. I think a really important thing to keep in mind is that even though the demands of med school and residency are significant, one should also remember that one is a person with a life and with relationships. I used to wonder how my med school classmates who were having children did it, but when I was having my kids in my 30s, I was kinda jealous of those who had had then in their 20s. If your son wants to hear any more of my ramblings, have him email me: RonJr7333@aol.com. Cheers, Ron

  6. enjoyed your rant!

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