It is the end of a Beautiful Friendship.
My truly delightful young physiotherapist is moving on to Pastures New. I will not
be seeing him anymore. We have shaken hands and wished each other the best of luck in the future, he with his career, I with my once Problem, now Recovering Shoulder. What shall I do without him?
It seems, however, that he has already thought of this. He is referring me for a course of hydrotherapy - how splendid is that? I am already trying to remember where I last saw my swimming costume and wondering whether it
will still fit me. I am also recalling previous hydrotherapy courses I have enjoyed in my lifetime.
After the first operation on my Problem Shoulder in 1979
I was fortunate enough to have twice fortnightly sessions in the hydrotherapy pool at the Middlesex Hospital in London. This necessitated a 50 minute journey by train there and back twice a week which was quite a commitment. It was worth it, I must tell you,
for the way after each session the physiotherapist would wrap me up in a cocoon of soft towels and leave me to d
ry out naturally; I almost always fell fast asleep on the bed and dreamed beautiful dreams. It was
sheer luxury and being pulled about in the pool for forty minutes was a small price to pay for it.
Fast forward to my second course of physiotherapy at the local
hospital after surgery number two on the same Problem Shoulder which didn’t give me the same feeling of being in a luxury spa but was nevertheless very effective in getting my arm moving. Now I’m onto Version Three - what should I expect this time,
In the meantime, while waiting for my first hydro appointment, I have nine new fiendishly difficult exercises to carry out every day. Being, as you know,
the Obedient Type, I will not flinch (or at least not too much) but I am struggling a bit on the Apparatus Front.
When the Middle of the Darling Daughters started
school, she would come home full of the news that Class One had had “Operations” that day. It was her elder sister who put me right - for “Operations”, read “Apparatus” - it was P.E. , always my middle daughter’s favourite
subject at school. Apparatus may be grand, like wall bars or vaulting horses - or something very simple, like a mat or a hula hoop.
The challenge in terms
of physio exercises is finding a piece of equipment at home which can take the place of the equipment in the hospital’s gym. Take the pulleys, for example. Well, no, that’s the problem, the pulleys can’t be taken out of the gym and the average
household doesn’t generally come equipped with pulleys. I am sent home with a stretchy band which I am to drape over the top of a door, which I must then close on it to hold it fast so that I can, well, pull on it. It doesn’t work; I try it in
every door in the house but the stretchy band just comes loose in my hands without so much as a gentle tug. I think about tying it to the curtain rail but I can’t reach it without standing on a step ladder and even then I am not sure I can balance and
tie the stretchy band in a secure knot with only one arm.
After wandering around the house for a while I hit upon the door knob on the hall cupboard which
I can just about reach with my good arm. Job done! I have also purloined Mr B’s now discarded walking stick for two of the exercises and have found that a couple of sheets of kitchen roll are ideal for sliding my arm up and down the living room door.
Next I have to find something I can loop over my left shoulder and use to pull my right arm up behind my back. Yes, I know, it’s like being a contortionist. My lovely
physiotherapist thought a towel would do the trick but it simply didn’t work. A belt! I thought - and raided Mr B’s wardrobe, only to remember that the Youngest of the Darling Daughters and I had disposed of all her father’s old belts on
our recent Clearing Out The Wardrobes Mission. Why is it that as soon as you dispose of an item you haven’t used for ages, you immediately find a use for it? Without much hope I turned to my own wardrobe, on the floor of which I came across a narrow
navy blue belt which I never knew I had. It was, you will be pleased to know, Just The Ticket.
You know what
they say - Necessity is the Mother of Invention.
Who needs “Operations” anyway?