Monday, May 18, 2009

they should really teach manners in med school

Yesterday I got our physical therapist fired.

Maybe fired is too harsh, but well, he was definitely told not to come back. And this was directly after I told my stage manager of my experience with him.

It's not hard to see the connection.

See, since I've been having this hip issue (which is feeling wonderfully better today, thank you), I've been going to physical therapy much more than normal. Normal being never, and much more being twice this week.

The first time I went, the woman told me that both my hamstring and hip flexor were firing (don't ask me what, exactly, that means), but that the hamstring seems to be firing the most. Her expert opinion was that I had pulled it and all the other surrounding muscles were reacting to that.

Sounded right.

She got all up in there and massaged me and it was great.

Then I went back the next day, and to my dismay the woman was not there. She was replaced by an older gentleman and his sidekick. The older gentleman was a full-blown doctor, and had the art of pontificating down pat. He had never worked with dancers before which is exactly what every dancer wants to hear from a doctor right before he closes the door behind you.

So, if you want to make a dancer feel uncomfortable and on the brink of death due to her body being unable to function at all, here are some tips I learned from my session yesterday that will help you accomplish just that:

  • State the obvious right away. Tell her she is quite small and act like this is an anomaly. Apparently most dancers are huge, and her slim body is quite suspicious.
  • Jump to the next possible conclusion and ask her if she eats.
  • When she assures you that she does in fact eat, proceed to ask her, Are you...and then make a gagging gesture while sticking your tongue out.
  • When she finally gathers that you are not actually choking and rather, are asking her if she is bulimic and she replies no, ask her if she gets her period.
  • When she says yes, assume that she might mean she has only gotten it once in her entire life and ask her if she gets it every month.
  • Make her lay down on the table and proceed to tsk, tsk, tsk over every little thing that she is asked to do, implying that her body is about to fall apart at the seams and is no better than a rotting piece of meat.
  • Throw around the words stress fracture as often as you possibly can. Scare her real good. They're so much more docile when scared.
  • When she asks you if there is even a slight possibility that it might indeed be a pulled hamstring, answer in such a way that you use many words but make no clear sense. And go back to stress fracture; when in doubt, always go back to that. Make sure it comes through loud and clear.
  • When she informs you that she is a right dominate dancer, meaning that she prefers to turn and kick on the right side, tell her that this is due to her poor training. When she further explains that it is standard for dancers to have a stronger side, much like most people are right-handed or left-handed, quickly shake your head and say, Nooooooo--it's because of your poor training. And that's that.
  • And finally, instead of rubbing out her tight and sore muscles, which is really what she was hoping for anyway, proceed to try and "revolutionize her life" by demonstrating three stretches that she has been doing since she was taking kinderdance. And don't rub one muscle, it's beneath you anyway.
And that's physical therapy at it's finest, folks!


jason said...

Ha, that's hilarious!

beingawesome said...

wow.. just.. wow.

This person obviously is either A) completely clueless...B)bitter because maybe earlier in his life he was, or at least wanted to be, a dancer and you're in one of the greatest shows of all time C) taking complete joy in "knowing" more than other people or D) all of the above.

i vote D

Nina said...

Wow. You must be pretty pleased that you got him fired!

I'm trying to decide which part of that encounter was the absolute worst. I think it's a toss-up between the bulimia dramatization and the repeated references to "poor training."

Mom said...

This dr was ridiculous! He needed to leave! I hope he was told why, though. Hopefully he can learn not to jump to such quick judgments. Did he have a nurse in the room with him? If not, I'm glad he didn't touch you!

christine said...

That story is almost unbelievable! What was that doctor thinking? You were accused of anorexia, bulimia, and having poor dance training...what a visit!

Emily said...

que idiota. I don't like to be so mean, but like my mom, it comes out ok in spanish. You aren't really all that small... I mean have they ever seen a person who is really dangerously thin because of an eating disorder? you are thin, but you look quite healthy and beautiful! I'm glad you got him thrown out! ick!

peaj said...

That's terrible! Poor you. That "poor training" thing really was amazing. Glad you saved your compatriots from experiencing his "help."

Poor guy. Maybe he's been in research for the past two decades and hasn't actually interacted with any patients. I hope that this has been a little learning experience for him, and not something that he brushes off out of arrogance.

Natalie said...

I'm pretty sure that this was all a result of HIS 'poor training,' not yours. I'd like to see him even attempt the opening combo. No, really, I would.

This brings me back to my physical therapy days post-'snapping hip syndrome.' That's not an experience I need to repeat!

Jessica Latshaw said...

Natalie--"snapping hip syndrome?!"

I had that too at one point--I always thought that was term some doctor made up cause he didn't know what the heck was wrong with me.

Interesting that you have it--I hope it isn't too bad!

kathiek said...

Absolutely ridiculous!

Jessica Latshaw said...

thanks for all the support, friends;-)

Natalie said...

'Snapping hip syndrome' is very much a real condition! I thought my doctor was making it up, too, but then he pulled out a huge medical textbook and there were diagrams and everything. it was crazy.

For me, it was my iliotibial band AND my iliopsoas tendon snapping, which made for double the fun.

I’m actually not surprised you once had it; it generally impacts serious athletes like dancers, figure skaters, and tennis players. I am none of those, so we’re not sure how I ended up with it. Ah, well.

I’m sort-of-kind-of over it; my hip only ‘snaps’ very occasionally now, usually when I’m wearing flats.

Jessica said...

Well I could have certainly used some charts and diagrams as well--that's fascinating.

Is there anything you do for it?

I wonder if I still have it actually; my hips do snap, so to speak, but thankfully without pain.

I'm sorry you still deal with it and thanks for the info, Natalie!

Natalie said...

Like I said, for me, the snapping still happens, but, like for you, it's not painful. It's just kind of an "oh, wow, did anyone else hear that?"

What my physical therapist had me do was work extensively on my hamstrings (apparently mine were/are very tight) and quads (not quite as tight, but still not in the best shape) since those were the major muscle groups involved. Lots of awkward stretches, time on the stationary bike, five very long minutes on a balance board, and then more stretches, four times a week. I'm willing to bet you stretch more on a daily basis than I do in a month, though.

It's definitely something to bring up with a physical therapist if you go again.


sherri said...

Hilarious. Good for you that you no longer must deal with him.

merry said...

Wow, all of the stuff that you mentioned was WAY out of his scope of practice. Was he even a doctor? You can be a PT without being a doctor, in fact, it would only be a doctorate of PT as opposed to a medical doctor.The majority of PTs are NOT doctors. This guy was asking really personal questions when he had no reason to know the answer. It would be like me, the massage therapist, asking about your sex life and acting like it was pertinent information. I'm glad he got fired. He should have. That is totally unethical behavior.

Jessica Latshaw said...

yeah, he was totally out of line, but he was in fact a doctor. he wasn't a physical therapist at all, in fact.

Jessica Latshaw said...

Natalie--thanks again for the info. I do stretch a lot, but tend to have tighter hamstrings and quads.

I will bring it up to a pt at some point--thanks again!

merry said...

Hmm, I wonder where I got that he was a physical therapist? Anyway, still glad he was fired.

merry said...

Wait, I am so confused. You said that you got your physical therapist fired? Was this not the same person?

Jessica Latshaw said...

you probably got that because it was during a physical therapy session. The company pays for physical therapy sessions for whoever needs it before the show at the theater. They always change depending on what city we play. And they are usually actual physical therapists, but for some reason, the one I went to last time involved this doctor AND a physical therapist...

kathiek said...

Jess, I hope you are feeling better...are you eating your hamburgers?! ;-]

By the way, you did say, "Yesterday I got our physical therapist fired." Either way, the guy was very insensitive and way out of line.

Bless you!

Jessica Latshaw said...

I am feeling better, Kathie--thank you!

And to finally clear this up--He IS a doctor, but was overseeing our physical therapy sessions along with the physical therapist.

Forgive me saying that I got the PHYSICAL THERAPIST fired. I should have said doctor, but he's not MY doctor, and he was doing my PT session, so you can understand my choice of wording.

Hopefully this makes sense to you guys;-)