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CURRENT STORIES


Absence makes the heart grow fonder

by John G. Miller

MANAGING EDITOR

Since this is the first column I've written in nearly two months, let me first explain my absence.

Actually, I've been here working. I just haven't been able to write any columns.

No, it wasn't writer's block. My typing ability had been severely curtailed. A car wreck left my left shoulder, arm and wrist damaged, and the medical folks thought some rest would do the injury some good.

They were right. I'm (or at least my left arm, shoulder and wrist are) feeling much better. Still not 100 percent, but at least I'm able to type for longer periods of time without much pain.

Ouch! ... OK, I was just kidding about that one.

The last couple of months have opened my eyes up to the wonderful world of pain and physical therapy. Those words just seem to fit, and anybody who's had PT before knows what I mean.

Actually, my physical therapists and their assistants are nice people. All the rumors I had heard about them being former CIA interrogators probably aren't true, although some of their techniques might be similar.

First, there's electroshock therapy. At least that's what I call it. They hook you up to a glorified car battery and run electricity through the injured area until you can hear buzzing in your head.

Seriously, when the PT assistant walks into the room with black and red cables that you could use to jump-start your car, you'll see what I mean.

After electroshock therapy, there's "touch" therapy. Some people say that sounds like something that's illegal in most states (except Nevada). It's not. Actually, the therapist stimulates the nerves in the damaged area with strategic positioning of her hands. Honest.

Next, there's aquatic therapy. That's where you do exercises in the water. The water helps to cushion the pressure on the damaged area. Once I got in the pool and started working out, my range of motion improved dramatically. In fact, I probably could have started typing my columns sooner if I could have figured out how to type under water.

Finally, there's ultrasound. That's where a PT assistant smears some type of medicated gel (that smells eerily of Ben-Gay) on the damaged area and uses ultrasound to send it penetrating deep into the body. It makes the injured area feel better and does an amazing job of clearing my sinuses, as well.

Well, there you have it. My first column back and hardly any pain. Now if I could only say the same of my next visit to the physical therapist.

John G. Miller is managing editor of The Exponent Telegram. He can be reached at 626-1473 or by e-mail at jmiller@exponent-telegram.com