When I walked into the home, she had been in severe pain for days. Her blood pressure was elevated (170/110). She was lying on her left side on her couch, crying from the pain.
Sorry Robin, she could not rise to stand without being in agony; an assessment of repeated ROM was not justifiable under the circumstances (nor could she lie on he stomach). Sorry Ron, she wouldn’t let me do an abduction drop test (but you said everyone is positive anyway, right?) Sorry Tim, Julie et al, she has had chronic pain in her low back for years and it will travel down the leg (although that is not her complaint today). Sorry John, she has tin foil over the windows, it keeps all the negative energy out (okay, not all the windows, just one; I do not know why, I was scared to ask). Sorry Shirley, I stopped reading your book at page 73.
Betty would feel better soon. She practiced deep breathing and was encouraged to communicate calmly with her therapist how she felt throughout the encounter. Her nervous system appreciated gentle treatment along the path of the sural and fibular nerves, then the posterior cutaneous nerve of the thigh, the cluneals and dorsal rami. Once she was able to sit comfortably, her own instinctive movements were elicited with the lightest of touch over each clavicle, her movements were subtle, but palpable and effective(if not corrective).
After one hour, she was walking comfortably with a reduced blood pressure and smiling, she thanked me.
“No need…I did almost nothing.”
. . . .
Betty tried thanking me for doing almost nothing; she should be thanking others, but she will never know their names.
You see, if not for them, she would have been seen by another therapist who would have called her physician to obtain a prescription narcotic. Meanwhile, I would still be working in an outpatient clinic trying to figure out how the theories of Greenman and Sahrmann fit together, juggling 3-4 patients per hour. Another therapist would have pushed her through the pain, having never contemplated a deep model of the “care” they provided. I would still be blaming my patients for all of their failures without having heard of chasms, mesoderm, ideomotion, fractals, dissonance theory, emergent phenomena, Occam’s Razor, or mirror neurons; or authors such as Shacklock, Ramachadran, Damasio or Moseley; or concepts ranging from virtual bodies to Motivational Interviewing. I would have never heard of the Neuromatrix and I certainly would not have found the motivation to happily contribute to an unsuccessful, sparsely read blog amongst the 36+ million hosted here on wordpress.com.
I do not know if I am a better therapist for all of my patients because of these people, but I know that I was a better therapist for Betty that one day; for her, they have made all the difference in the world. If she knew their names, she would thank (in no specific order):
- Bernard, for creating the community
- Diane, Barrett, Dave and Ian for consistently peaking at my blog
- Diane, for her HumanAntiGravitySuit (and other materials she offers to readers for no charge)
- Barrett, for his essays, his daily musings, and a glimpse into my future
- Jason, for crossing the chasm and sending a PM of support during a difficult time
- John, for sharing his knowledge and generosity of time
- Carol, for her clarity
- Fred, for his kindness and hospitality
- Ian, Bas and Nari, for their insightfulness, wisdom and experiences
- Kori, for helping bring the emergent to light
- Patrick, for his fearless inquisitiveness
- Corey, for his videos and understanding of context
- Will, for sharing with us more than a few “diamonds”
- ANdy, for echoing my own sentiments (even when I cannot find the words)
- Ken and Byron, for always bringing a different perspective to a conversation
- Mark and Geoff for stirring the sometimes settled pot
And there have been countless others who have brought something to the conversation in the last year as well. Sometimes an echo-chamber, but never a tea-party, SomaSimple is a place with a wealth of knowledge that is truly amazing, shared by a group of people who have generously shared their ideas, time and energy with a stranger from the heart of Central NY.
If she knew any of your names or how you helped me serve her better, Betty would embrace each of you in appreciation. Instead, I will simply say, “Thank you…from both of us.”