I think my physiotherapist must have been a builder or a car mechanic in a past life. Conversations go something like this:-
“Well, how’s it coming along?” spoken in a very jolly voice.
So I tell her (she doesn’t look). “Well you know it’s never going to be the same again. You’ll probably never get be able to stretch it fully again.”
“What about the swelling? How long will that take to go? Is there anything I can do about it?”
“Well you know it’s never going to be the same again. It’ll take a long time. It’ll probably never go down completely. Nothing you can do about it, you have just to be patient.”
I adopt a suitably sombre expression and carry on doing my stuff on the wobble cushion and then think I’ll try this next one:
“So when can I start running again?” aiming for an optimistic tone of voice.
“Tchaw…” (How do you spell that sucking in of teeth combined with a sad, sideways tilt of the head that tradesmen do when they’re trying to figure out just how much bad news and how big a bill they can get away with?) “Well you know it’s never going to be…”
I’m sure you get the idea. I’ve put down a deposit on a zimmer frame and started saving for an electric wheelchair. I think of telling her about my knee, which I fractured when I was a student, and has been arthritic for some time now. The GP told me maybe 10 years ago, after an xray, that I might as well take up running as I probably wouldn’t be able to walk on it in a few years and running wasn’t going to make it any worse. That was the best cure for arthritis ever. Perhaps he tells that to all his patients. Anyhow, I decide not to tell the physio this little story and try not to feel like a little old lady.
I’ve started going to another physiotherapist as well, one I pay money to and has fixed me up once or twice before. His attitude is “It’s got a fair way to go but I’d like to see it a lot better than this. There’s plenty we can do to improve it.” I know when I’ve been to see him because I always feel very positive afterwards and my foot hurts like – fill in your own preferred expression – for the next 24 hours or so. You can get this kind of help at Therapia.
This weekend I’ve had to hand back my Scottish Aquathlon trophy and am very sad that I can’t go and defend it this year. I’ve been Scottish champion in my age group for the last two years – the children will tell you exactly how many people I had to race against, but we won’t go there today! I’m planning to be there next year though, whatever the physiotherapist thinks. And I’m intending to finish the Great Edinburgh Run in under an hour next summer. I have no intention of becoming a memory or a name on a trophy just yet.