This past weekend a friend told me she really enjoyed my PT and Gym stories. YAY! Thanks, bc working out is one of my main concerns presently so it’s natural that I write about it a lot. PS. I couldn’t have made this stuff up – we all really talk like that, plus there’s more – but I don’t write about everything.
I love to write and this post is a prime example. I am super tired but I want to write. I had hoped I was on the upswing and I still contend that I am but I had two medical appointments this morning and I came home and fell asleep by accident for ~4 hours this afternoon. Oops. It’s 7.06 pm and I’m holding on by a shred until it’s 8pm since I consider this to be a “respectable” time to go to bed.
So while I’m waiting I’ll tell you another story:
On the same day that well-mannered child was at the Running Gym I was taking a nap on a table while I waited for Coach R. I listened to another AT (Athletic Trainer) talk to two ladies while he was hooking them up to the electrical stimulation machine. One got her lower back treated while the other sat with her knee getting shocked. After he explained the process and started walking away I called him over. “I’m not comforted at all by anything you just said,” I informed him. And to the girls I said, “You ladies are troopers. Way to go, team.”
They all laughed and when Coach R came over I said, “Hey, R – just to review [waving my hand in the direction of the electrical stimulation that was happening] we’re never doing that.”
He chuckled a little but I wanted to confirm that we were on the same page. “You remember that conversation, right?” I asked.
On one of my first visits I had asked what that machine was and he explained it. I had immediately said, Let’s just agree – we’re never doing that, okay?
He agreed then and last week, too – and I’m holding him to it. CMD uses electricity – she hooks up the wires from this little box that generates a current to the needles, turns the dial and asks, Can you stand for it? [Can you tolerate this?] A few weeks ago she’s like, I know you’re trying hard not to cry. Hahahahhahahaha! I know it’s good for me, but I’m super jumpy. I also have bad associations from that horrifying EMG experience that happened back in 2012. A tech was doing some pre-testing and as the shocks came through the machine my entire body lifted off the table and after the third time she was like, Are you okay?
Training with Coach R is “exciting” enough – I just wanted to make sure we both remembered that I have limits. Trainer D, on the other hand, specializes in testing those limits. If you recall, I went to go find the AlterG (happily Coach R was there, too) precisely bc Trainer D made me nervous and I wanted to diversify my trust portfolio.
On “leg day” a couple weeks ago Trainer D ended by walking over to a stairmaster and indicating that I was supposed to climb on. I protested loudly bc, unlike other pieces of equipment like the TRX, I clearly remember telling him point blank, that thing is my worst nightmare and I’m never doing that. I’ve vowed in my head to never do some other things, but don’t remember ever verbalizing those resolutions to Trainer D so I’ve been more persuadable in those scenarios. I protested for a while regarding the stairmaster (this one is like a very short escalator you’re supposed to climb) but he was insistent.
Once I climbed on I realized that I was right – this thing was a bad idea bc the ataxia prevents me from putting my feet where I want them to go. I can’t gauge where my foot should be on the step so I always feel it with my toes or heel (depending on if I’m going up or down). This is another reason I prefer sturdy shoes at all times. It felt like my toes were going to get eaten by the machine, but I was appropriately shod and Trainer D was watching closely especially since my heart rate was super high from fear.
The he told me to let go with one hand.
NO. That was not part of the plan. He had told me not to hold on with a death grip – he had said nothing about making me let go. (Side note: my knuckles were white anyway.) But then a lady on the machine next door piped up encouragingly, C’mon, it’s easy!
I might have made some disparaging comments regarding Trainer D at that moment in response. Not sure, though – I’ve blocked a lot of it out. I’ll leave it to your imagination.
I eventually let go with one hand and thankfully we were done soon. A few days later as I told Coach R about this incident I noted how other random Gym-goers think it’s immensely entertaining when Trainer D gets me to do things I don’t want to do. E.g. a lady once congratulated him on getting me to use a hands-free strength and balance thing. She didn’t address me – she just told him, That was awesome!
Anyone else in the Peanut Gallery got any comments? Just kidding. You guys really aren’t the Peanut Gallery, and I have to admit – we are kind of entertaining. If Trainer D and I were a TV show it would be called Bossy Smurf Works Out With Animal Muppet. Except this Animal Muppet quotes the Philosophers in an annoying way. I’m actually used to being observed from my days in teaching hospitals and rehab in general. And a lot of the time people don’t just observe – they actively encourage.
The first time I experienced this phenomenon (as an inpatient) is something I’ll never forget. The intensity and foreign-ness of that situation was diffused by people who were kind to me. Now that I’m getting better I know that encouraging words are still amazingly powerful. Thanks for taking the time to share them :).