The rack is commonly considered the most painful form of medieval torture. It was used to stretch human appendages far beyond their normal capacities. Of course, it’s common knowledge that medieval torture evolved into the procedure that modern-day man now calls….. Physical Therapy.
Having undergone a partial-knee replacement last Thursday, I was now required to attend Physical Therapy. My first visit was quite serene and educational. Various stretching exercises took place. A printout of at-home exercises for me to do on my own was given and I was treated with respect and dignity. I returned home feeling quite competent and ready to practice my new exercises and thusly impress my therapist when I returned for the next session.
Session #2 began in the same manner. I stretched and pulled and created a mild amount of discomfort for myself but again was treated with respect and dignity. The technicians chatted and conversed and told me what a great job I was doing. Keep up the good work, they said with a sweet smile.
Then, they took me to the room with “The Rack”. Ok maybe it wasn’t the rack… it looked more like just a flat therapy table with a sheet and pillow and institutional green upholstery. I positioned myself on the table as requested and did a few more stretches. Then my PT said these three words… “Are you ready?”
Well, of course I was ready. Physical Therapy was sweet and wonderful and would lead me on the path to full recovery and doing the things I wanted to do again with my knee. I gave him a nod and returned the sweet smile he had just sent to me. “Bend your knee as much as you possibly can, “ he said. “ Good job! Now can you go a little bit further?” (I could, but it was beginning to hurt).
Then he did the unspeakable. (Unspeakable because from that moment on, there were no words coming out of my mouth… just garbled sounds and screams) He grabbed my lower leg and pushed with all his might and started counting backwards from 10. My eyes closed, I grabbed the sides of the table and tried to escape.
“Ok … again!” he said. He pushed even further, I grabbed even harder and saw little floatie things above my head. The countdown again. Then he said, “Third time’s a charm!” and he did it again… even further this time. My eyes darted around the room for a means of escape. The window was sealed, the door was shut… probably locked. There was no way out.
As my PT continued to hold my knee in the furthest position and measure the angle of bend, he said, “Would you like to go one more?”
“Are you freakin’ kidding me!” No thank you, ” I feebly responded although I am not sure he could hear me…. I quickly shook my head NO!
My knee was then wrapped in a heavenly ice bag of gargantuan proportions and I sat back and relaxed. The torture was over for now.
The good news….. the angle of bend in my knee was better than most
victims patients experience. I have thrown away my walker and use just the cane!
The bad news…... I now know what to expect when I return on Friday…