Greetings from Seattle

Thursday, May 28, 2020

I'm Too Broken

It wasn't good news when I arranged and then went to an actual, in person appointment with the physical therapist on Wednesday afternoon. 

I had seen Kathy, the PT, in years past. She is not my favorite. She took a look at the way I was walking and made a comment/sound that seems to say, "Oh brother". I told her what exercises I had been doing and she told me they weren't working. I told her about some more intense yard work that had set me back, and she scolded me. She checked out my knee and said, "No wonder your leg hurts. Your knee is shot." Then she checked my hip flexibility and said, "Oh, your hip is worse than your knee, and that can give you back trouble".
 Well, I assured her that I knew about my hip and knee, had had them x-rayed before, and had been doing exercises for years to keep them working. I didn't argue with her that they were the cause of my back problems, because I learned long ago that there is no point in debating her. She has certitude. Of course that doesn't make her right.

 Since she decided that the exercises she had prescribed for me in a phone visit weren't working, the only thing left to try was traction. I was strapped up in two harnesses which I guess pulled in different directions, sort of a modern version of the rack, I guess. It was weird, but there was no pain. I also never really felt my back stretching. Well, OK.
After 20 minutes of that I was set free, and immediately got the familiar twinge in my back and the burning in my shin. Well, that didn't work either. 
 Kathy said she couldn't fix me, that I needed a hip replacement. Well, fine, I'm done here. 
I will email my primary care doctor, refer to the PT experience, which she will see the record of, and ask for a complete orthopedic evaluation: hips, knees, and spine. I don't know what that will involve, but I certainly need to know more before surgery is involved.
If anything, the "rack"  just made things worse. I have been struggling today. Needless to say I am discouraged. 

We took a little ride today (Thursday) since we needed to recharge the dead battery in our little used van, and that felt good, like a little escape. Then I spent some time in my garden, sitting in several special spots. Buddha and I had a little contemplation time. 

Until I know what's next, I'll just keep on keeping on. 


  1. I'm so sorry you haven't been able o find resolution for your health issues. The impact of the pandemic on our health care is beginning to sink in. All my appointments have been postponed over and over last week I wound up in the emergency room. We had to call 911 to get permission to go to the hospital! I'm so over seeing paraprofessionals rather than MD's. The doctor I saw in the ER was a chiropractor and I didn't need anything manipulated! But, apparently chiropractors can administer morphine and write you a prescription. I hope your health journey leads to resolution. Hang in there!

  2. Be patient with your body. The diagnosis from that PT gave you news you did not want to hear. Just be patient. Even if it results in surgery down the road, you are strong and smart and can get through this.

  3. The strength of your spirit comes through so clearly, Linda.

  4. How disheartening to have to endure a negative health worker - sounds like more hurt than help. Drop her doom and gloom attitude. The right person will be able to help you.

  5. I feel for you, Linda. I am also experiencing back pain that keeps me from doing all that I want. My knees are pretty much shot, too, but thankfully knee braces work for now. I hope you find a doctor who can help you. That PT person doesn't sound like one I'd like to meet. I will be heading to my acupuncturist for my back and hope for the best. I'm sending you my love and concern through this comment. Also sending virtual hugs.

  6. Amazing, I'm going through very similar - right down to the burning pain shooting down the shin bone. This is how I wound up after lifting something about 2x heavier than I should. Have not been to the doctor but when I run out of old leftover pain pills, I'll have to join you in a search for help. I hope you find someone very soon who fits that bill!

  7. You have reason to feel discouraged. I'm so sorry. Glad you want to go for a complete orthopedic evaluation. I haven't heard yet from my doctor about the MRI, done on Friday. It is amazing how many people are suffering with back problems. Had no idea. The steroid injections in my spine really helps me. Linda, I hope you get some answers and relief from your pain real soon.

  8. Hopefully your primary doctor will be able to find the help you need, without surgery if possible. Take care and stay well.

  9. It's not fun to our church has said anyone over 67 is elderly and shouldn't return to meetings till late summer if then. Oh well! I'm soon 80 but don't feel ELDERLY yet...hope you get some help with your ailments/challenges as you mature!

  10. Oh, you poor thing. I feel bad that things are getting worse for you. David wrenched his hip yesterday while watering the ferns and is now using a walker. I hope it heals by itself.

  11. I am terribly sorry to hear this, poor girl! I can tell you that when a hip goes out it can do awful things to your knees and back. A friend of mine had his hips replaced and it helped tremendously for years. Be good to yourself.

  12. Am a regular follower of your blog and even tho I have not responded before, I am a neighbor of your Rockaway house.
    Anyway, writing to tell you that I am in about the same awful shape as you describe and we have to "hang in there."

  13. I don't like your physical therapist, and I haven't even met her. Those know-it-alls are dangerous because nobody knows your body better than you. I wish you were here in Honolulu. I go to a tiny Japanese woman who uses energy (something like Reiki but better) as well as something like rolfing and chiropractic adjustments. She has put my body back in place and tells me that I don't have to come back, but I do because of how good I feel seeing her.

    Please do not give up. I am not sure where you would find an alternative healer in Seattle, but they exist if you seek them. Acupuncture, dietary changes (I am currently listening to Dr. Stephan Gundry's Plant Paradox book), chiropractor (the key is finding a good one), The Fascianator (rolling on a hard sock covered pvc pipe), or finding a healer might help. I love seeing pictures of your garden, and enjoy your outings and gatherings that you share with us.

  14. Negative PT like the one you had the misfortune of seeing can be so unsympathetic and blunt. I'm sorry your body is giving you such difficulty and can commiserate as I limp around.

  15. Don't wait too long to get the evaluation, my parents have both waited too long and are now surgical risks so they really suffer Dad with knees and Mom with her hips and back. Find a good orthpedic surgeon and get stuff fixed one at a time so you can enjoy life and walking again:) Your PT person sounds like a real gem:(

    1. I just clicked "send" on an email to to primary care doctor to get the ball rolling. We are with Kaiser Permanente, and we have good medical specialists. I've already had one back surgery, six years ago, and it worked very well.


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