Thursday, July 23, 2009

Back Breaker Break-Up

This is a follow up to "My Frickin' Knee" story. As part of my intensive and dedicated rehabilitation therapy, I have been pursuing help from a variety of medical disciplines - my internist, an orthopedic doctor, an acupuncturist, and a really hot, curvaceous chiropractor who may or may not know what she is doing.

Now while the acupuncturist is just poking some needles in my knee to stimulate some nerve activity to maybe, possibly offer some healing, there really does not seem to be any bodily harm occurring.

The chiropractor, though, is actually hurting me. And I knew I had to end this.

First, it was these torture techniques that involved metal bars being rubbed rapidly across my muscle tissue. The result - black and blue marks that took weeks to heal.

Then, there was the Extracorporeal Activation Pulse Therapy (EPAT). I'll quote the actual description, because I couldn't even think of such an inhumane thing:

EPAT is a shock wave that is generated through a powerful compressor that causes a projectile to be propelled down the barrel of the applicator. It then strikes an end plate producing a shock wave similar to an earthquake or a sonic boom from a jet. This wave then passes into the body and helps to: reduce pain, increase circulation, breakup calcium deposits and encourage new blood vessel growth.

Bullshit! Earthquakes and sonic booms don't make people feel better. And, to date, that application has done nothing to help my knee pain. In fact, the applicator (which is highly phallic-looking) acts like a million tiny hammers against my kneecap, and I know if I ever decide to get an X-Ray, I'm sure I'll find a couple hundred fissures across the bone.

But I stuck with it over the weeks because I didn't have the heart (balls) to tell the chesty chiropractor it wasn't working. Was it the way she deftly held the applicator in her hands as she worked it around my knee while leaning over in her tank top? Was it her seductive stories she told me about her short skirts on the mechanical bull or how she likes to rub the metal bar along her body when she's sore?

Of course, not. I'm a mature male. And that's why I started to lie.

"You know, my knee IS starting to feel better," I told her.

"Really, that's so cool," she responded in a manner that conveyed her surprise that any of this actually worked, too.

"Yeah, I'm feeling like it's loosening up a lot. And the extra stretching exercises you gave me to follow are helping, too." (I never did them.)

"Oh, goody. Now, on a scale from 1-10, 1 being not at all, how much have you improved since you first started sessions with me?"

"Oh, well, I'd say I'm a solid 9. Probably a 9.5." I had to let her down easily.

"Ooooh! That's great."

"Yeah so, do you think I still need to come here?"

"If you're good, I'm good."

"Great. I'm good, then, too."

I should've just stopped there, but my guilt was getting the best of me and I just wanted to make sure I was being as polite as possible. "So, I guess we could just do one more session since I'm here."

She agreed and I got on the table. She applied some gel to my knee and started massaging it in. She's great at this. Big, slow circles around my knee and then she finishes with a giggle as she towels off the excess gel dripping off her two fingers.

Then the phallic applicator comes out. She grabs the shaft with one hand and then screws on the metal-tipped head with the other - again turning slowly and giggling.

The machine fires up and she points the pulsating stick at my knee. As she maneuvers back and forth, she doesn't watch my knee but looks at my face. What she sees is a middle-aged man wincing in pain.

"Does that hurt?," she asks.

"Uh, a little. I'm okay." I had to remember that I was healing so the pain wasn't supposed to be there. "Not too much."

That's when she amps the machine to a higher rate. "Wow, you're at 4.0. Most of my patients can only take 2.8 or 2.9."

"Really? Yeah, I guess I'm better." Now, those million hammers on my kneecap felt like the entire Mandarin-speaking country of China tapping dancing with spiked shoes. I had to hold tight and change the conversation.

"So, whaddya do this weekend?," I said smiling - and sweating.

"Oh, this weekend was great. I hung out with a bunch of my girlfriends. One of them had this crazy idea of making an adult-sized slip n' slide. Since it was really hot out, we did it. We just put on our bathing suits and slid across these wet plastic mats. I think I got some bruises on my hip, though." She lifted her blouse slightly, bent the waistband of her pants and exposed a tiny mark on her skin.

That did it. I was convinced this was all a set up for some British reality show that was being secretly filmed. How long will it take for the stupid American to maul this beautiful young woman?

I'm sitting there with a penis-like instrument being jackhammered into my knee while she's prompting visions of bikini-clad women frolicking wet in a backyard. If I had any strength left in my knee that would've allowed me to jump up and onto her, I could've been fodder for YouTube watchers around the world.

But, of course, I sat there smiling politely. "That's nice. I read a book this weekend."

Well, the session ended and I happily bid her goodbye. The break up was complete.

"Thanks for everything. I'm sure if my knee acts up again, I'll be calling you."

"Okay, good luck," she said and giggled. "I hope I never have to see you again." I suppose that was some type of well-meaning send off?

"Ok, me, too." And I hobbled out of that relationship as fast as I could.

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