Another early morning session and Angie was tired. She got to the office before any administrative people were there. As she began her exercises, Lily walked up to her and asked how she was doing. Angie told her that her back was hurting this morning…probably a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Lily was a little concerned to hear that. She asked if Angie had done anything differently in the last few days. Angie could only say that she’d been under a lot of stress the last few days and that was the only thing that was different. She informed Lily that she was continuing to do her exercises and stretches but had woken up in pain.
Lily hmmmed. She was astounded to hear this as Angie was making good progress. Sadly, Lily also informed Angie that her doctor would only approve an additional 5 sessions. The disappointment from hearing this news, coupled with her current pain, upset Angie. Lily told her to just continue with her exercises and to try to really control the stress. Angie said she knew this already but it is easier said than done.
Lily massaged Angie’s back and found the section that was creating all the trouble. A few of the muscle in between Angie’s ribs were still tight. Angie laughed as Lily worked her magic. Lily asked why Angie was laughing and Angie said it felt like Lily was trying to take her ribs off. Lily comforted Angie by saying her ribs were better than the first time she came to PT. She could actually touch them and move them now – like putty instead of like a rock. Although this was comforting to some degree, Angie still didn’t feel emotionally better, especially since she was in pain. Angie didn’t understand how she was going to get to complete relief with only a few more sessions available. Angie has been so good about doing the exercises and stretches at home as well as in PT. Aside from stress, she didn’t know how she was going to get better. Everyone has stress at some point in their life, right? Could that be the only thing that needs to change?
With heat pack applied and ten minutes of stillness, Angie began to view this back injury as a metaphor for her life – long periods of extreme pain and difficulty, very short spots of calmness and in between spans with a little friction and soreness. The only difference with her back and life is that Angie could see a moment in the future where her back would not be bothering her; whereas she couldn’t see that with life. This gave Angie more comfort about her physical therapy situation as she walked out of the office.
Tune in next time as the sage begins to wind down.