With nothing evil or sticky on the bottom of my shoes that would indicate the reason for my new loopy walking stride, the doctor followed the standard protocol that every California HMO has on the first page of their play book — he ordered up a course of physical therapy. No tests. No X-Rays. No MRIs or even simple blood work drawn. Just a six-week course of Physical Therapy! Certainly, I’m an advocate for physical therapy; it’s helpfulness is more-than beneficial for most. But this is usually for people who’ve been diagnosed with something to therapy on.
Nevertheless, I went to PT hopeful that, with a few helpful exercises, I’d resume the ability to walk and chew gum again. After completing twice-weekly visits for those six weeks, the physical therapist sent me back to the doctor with a note saying, “This patient has deteriorated. I don’t recommend further physical therapy.”
By then, I walked like a person buffeting the winds inside their own personal tornado. As hard as I tried to walk normally, after a step or two, those darned legs would wind themselves up in a tizzy and simply refuse to work like a coordinated set of bi-peds. About that time, my right arm decided to drop out of the group and hung at my side like a limp string. I’d purposely get it swinging, but I couldn’t keep up a normal leg-arm routine for more than a few strides. It was clear that the right arm no longer wanted to play with the rest of the gang. And the rest of the gang seemed to be having a break-up of its own.
The doctor was clearly annoyed.
After one more look at those shoes … Those Shoes … he pinched his lips into a tight circle and grudgingly wrote a referral to a neurologist.
The neurologist — a lovely woman with dark curls brushing her shoulders and eyes that could smile you right into a feeling of being endlessly hugged — had no interest in my shoes. Instead, she pondered over my right arm. “Let’s address the issue of your arm not swinging in a natural gait,” she said, all the while watching with those soothing eyes. “We’ll do an MRI of your head and neck.”
At last! A Test!
I was scheduled for two days hence and sent on my lurching, loopy way. I spent the rest of my day busy at work, happy that I was to have a real, honest-to-goodness test. No more shoe examinations or weeks of unproductive physical therapy. I didn’t even care if needles were involved (as long as they had lollipops at the end). I was to have a test.
Hooray! A Test!
Four days later, I wished I could have taken back that test and … lollipops or not … never have had it.
Please note: Tomorrow’s post may not occur tomorrow. I’ll be traveling and at the mercy of the hotel internet access gods, It’s more than possible that we may need to wait for Diagnosis Day. Just think of it as a form of annoying this-isn’t-working Physical Therapy.
Again, please enjoy the music while your party is reached.