Winning Stump the Physical Therapist Is Not Great

Dear Kid and Cousin of Kid,

Guess who played Stump the Physical Therapist yesterday–and won?

If you guessed your mother/aunt (moi) you are correct.

Allow me to back up and explain.

At some point in the past (around the time the spring college semester ended if I recall correctly), my ankle began to hurt.

This is what a happy ankle looks like. Obviously it doesn't belong to me. DearKidLoveMom.comBeing an astute type person, I said, “My ankle hurts.”

Everyone ignored me, except the puppy who asked for a treat.

I iced. I elevated. I whined. Still it hurt.

So I did the only reasonable thing I could think of. I ignored it. This is an old tradition dating back to the mid-5th grade period of my life (think prehistoric), when I complained about my wrist hurting and was told to take two aspirin (we took aspirin in those days) and help carry coats for Grandma and Grandpa’s cocktail party.

Of course, I ended up in a cast then, so maybe it’s not the best tradition we have.

This time the ignoring worked fine. If by “fine” you mean “not at all.”

So I made an appointment with the ankle doctor and paid a visit last week.

Do you know how much fun it is to have someone push and prod a part of you that hurts? I’m pretty sure it involves a level of sadism on the part of the prodder. A high level.

After poking and prodding and x-raying and squeezing and poking some more we established a diagnosis. Nothing broken, Achilles tendon too tight caused by tight calf muscles. Go to physical therapy.

Now, this didn’t exactly make sense to me because while I’m not the most flexible person on the planet, I am certainly not in the bottom 10%. But the ankle doctor seemed convinced that all the evils in the world (including global warming) are caused by my too tight calves.

I made an appointment to see the physical therapists because the pain was making it hard to stand and life requires that I stand every now and then.

Yesterday I went to see the PT.

“Hi, I’m Sarah the Student,” said Sarah the Student. “That’s Kyle the Supervisor.” Here’s the thing about students. They are very earnest. They Care Deeply. They are thorough. And they are slow.

They also repeat a lot of their work to be sure they are getting it right.

Translation: OWWW!

After half an hour of poking and prodding and measuring and pushing and whatnot, StS said, “Kyle, I’m stumped.”

They launched into a conversation about hypo- and hyper- and pronation and supanation and meditation and orientation and inspiration and for all I know the League of Nations. Kyle did his own pushing and prodding and whatnot and at the end declared, “Well, you’ve stumped us. I’m going to get a consult.”

Three points to me. Negative one billion points for my ankle.

I explained that the ankle doctor was pretty sure that fixing my too-tight calves would cure all problems on the planet include the Greek debt crisis. The physical therapists were all pretty convinced that my calves are normal and my Achilles tendon had nothing to do with the issue.

Fast forward to the consult with PhilTheOwner (all one word–I asked).

There was a lot of conversation about my ankle (I know that because people kept staring at my ankle while they talked). The conversation included a few words I understood like “calluses” and “did you check” and then my personal favorites: We’ll have to recreate the pain.

Do What? I’m good. I brought the pain with me. No need to go looking for more. Are you people insane???

“You will notice,” said Kyle, “that I’m standing far enough away so that you can’t punch me.”

This is not a comforting thing for your PT to say.

This is the bone that seems to want to travel to other parts of the world rather than remaining happily in place in my foot. DearKidLoveMom.comIt turns out that there are a boatload of bones in the foot. One of the bones in my foot is rebellious and was trying to escape. Instead of being in line, it was “up and out.” Kyle the physical therapist thought it would be a fun idea to put the bone “down and in”–back where it belonged.

I suppose it was fun. If you have an unusual definition of the word “fun.”

Now we wait and see whether the bone stays put or whether it regains its wandering tendencies. And we wait to see if the repositioning takes care of the pain or if the pain decides to stick around because it loves me.

And we hope never to play Stump the PT again.

Love, Mom


  1. Cute post! I feel you. Still dealing with Morton’s Neuroma, and think the dreaded plantar fasciitis is rearing its ugly head!

    • Get them to take out the neuroma. Had them for years and was terrified of “cutting nerves.” Having them finally taken out was the best decision I ever made. Can’t believe I resisted for so long.


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