A Foreseeable Sequel
I am certain that Michael is going to get better and that his pain will reduce further, it is his pattern. In two months he will be discharged with a good documented outcome. His pain will have reduced from a near-constant 8/10 pain to an intermittent 3/10 with activity only.
He is now a believer: his core will be his savior. It will give him stability and improve his function. He will be more confident and live a fuller, richer life. Tom will have helped him, and Michael will sing his praises whenever he gets the chance.
My interaction with Michael will remain a footnote. I will be the stubborn therapist that kept talking about the brain. I am the therapist that told him that he did not need to continue to see the same chiropractor for another 10 years, and that no person has ever “put his disc back in”, regardless of what he had been told or how he had felt after. I am the therapist that told him everything he did, in and out of the clinic, was “brain food”. I am the therapist that ignored the “expert”, and his boss. I am the therapist who was arrogant and thought he knew better. I am therapist that he called to complain about and refused to schedule any additional appointments with.
Tom is the therapist, on the other hand, who Michael will schedule with again in 6 months, when he has another episode of pain, and has only a weakened core to blame.