I’m in rehab.

Not from my not-completely-done-but-trending-nicely bout with Covid-19. Not from the rehab Johnny Depp apparently needs. No, I’m in physio rehab, roughly 40 minutes/day, for tennis elbow and runner’s knee.

It doesn’t seem fair. After all, it’s been several decades since I played tennis or even played at running. But it turns out you — well, I — can achieve results indistinguishable from those nominally athletic injuries in other ways. To wit . . .

My tennis elbow comes from using the wrong form on the you’d-think-it-would-be-hard-to-do-wrong single-arm farmer’s carry. It doesn’t seem fair, since my usual wrongness comes from my particular skill at finding easier ways to do an exercise. (Cheating is such an ugly and unnecessary word, don’t you think?) But in this case, I was genuinely trying to make the exercise hard enough by changing how I held the weight.

Don’t do that!

Thus my usually unflappable physiotherapist when I had only just started to demonstrate my improved technique.

OK, OK,  I got it. Settle down.

My runner’s knee comes from sustaining a vicious and unprovoked bone-bruising attack on my ankle by a deeply sneaky patio-style loveseat, one whose cast-iron rockers stick out well beyond all reasonable expectation. The resulting swelling reduced the range of motion in said ankle, throwing the hip into dire confusion and the iliotibial band, which runs along the outside of the knee, into persistent crankiness.


And so I trudge through two series of exercises designed to improve flexibility and to strengthen the numerous weak links in both chains: shoulder-elbow-wrist and hip-knee-ankle. The exercises are gentle (so as not to re-injure my delicate self) but high in number (so as to do some dagnabbed good, for goodness sake), said high number exacerbated by their bilateral nature (so as to keep my left and right sides in some sort of balance). They are, in sum, booooring. They’re so boring that the high point (which I save for last) is the ankle lift, because one lift requires both ankles to work together, cutting the repetitions in half. Thank heaven for small mercies.

And somehow, I came away with some exercises for my glutes as well. Indeed, when I think about it, every time a physiotherapist assesses any part of my body they assign some exercises for my glutes.

What’s with that? If using a muscle strengthens it, and it does, then my glutes should be great. After all, I sit on them all day.

It doesn’t seem fair.


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18 Responses to Unfair

  1. Tom Watson says:

    Damn those deeply sneaky patio-style loveseats anyway!
    Not so long ago, a table leg jumped out and tripped me.
    You’re absolutely right; it doesn’t seem fair.

    A thought…you know how when people are carting something in the trunk of their car and it protrudes out they hang “Danger” signs on the end of it…or when they paint yellow lines on the floor to warn us there’s a step there…I wonder if hanging red danger signs on the ends of that loveseat would help.


    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Tom – I sometimes think that designers must all be young people. Nothing else can account for legs/feet that protrude outside the obvious vertical of the body of the table/chair/loveseat rocker. After that one attack one handy guest outfitted the rockers with slitted tennis balls (you know, the bright yellow ones) and that did help.

    • barbara carlson says:

      I put white socks on a rocking chair’s front rockers. And I put a white sticker on a protruding door stop. Also — a white pipe bowl (broken off) of the Voyager type on the corner of a 9-foot table which I swing by 50 times a day. Such tricks work
      White catches the eye (or body parts) before the protruding bits do — theoretically.

      • Isabel Gibson says:

        Barbara – All good ideas. Somehow, my ankles (and, even more sadly, my hips) extend further out than my brain realizes. Apparently it needs all the help it can get these days. And for the foreseeable.

        • barbara carlson says:

          For me it’s my feet — size 11 — your spine shrinks but never your feet. I think they keep growing as you age, along with your ears.

          • Isabel Gibson says:

            Barbara – Our feet do grow — or, maybe, relax as the tendons stretch. I’m a half-size larger/longer now than my entire adult life. So far . . .

  2. HOW could a LOVE seat do such a thing to its rollicking rocking owner? I would suggest you drop something heavy on the offending traitor but this might not be the most suitable time for that sort of revenge. My sympathies. I tripped over my own door sill while wool-gathering and cringe whenever I need to kneel. I agree entirely that it’s not fair when the ordinary furnishings of life rise up to attack. Here’s to a speedy recovery!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – Just more reminders that bodies in motion need to also be attentive. Maybe this is one of the advantages of “walkers” as aids to mobility – as well as making us more stable they bang into things on our behalf.

  3. Jim Taylor says:

    Aside from my ankylosing spondylitis (discovered during a routine X-ray a few years back, which now gives me an excuse for NEVER trying to touch my toes!) I have no joint or muscle aches and pains. I count myself incredibly lucky. But my co-ordination is not as precise as it used to be. So I have to force myself to do simple things slowly. And gently. Like putting the lids back on flour and sugar canisters. Putting drinking glasses back in the cupboard. And typing. It’s frustrating being unable to proceed through life with the kind of slap-dash enthusiasm I once took for granted.

    Jim T

  4. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – here are two thoughts.
    If Johnny Depp and Amber Heard are both actors, how can anyone tell who is telling the truth and who is acting. I can’t tell, but I know lots of people who are convinced one way or the other.
    Have you considered suing the company that manufactured that sneaky love seat? Oh wait, that means you’d probably have to move to the States.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – Re #1 – You make a good point. It beats me. Maybe judges learn this stuff, or maybe they just think they do. Re #2 – The attack was on American soil, which might give me “standing” in a lawsuit, but I think I’d be better served by just paying more attention.

  5. barbara carlson says:

    Things rule. We attend, if we know what’s good for us. 😀

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – 🙂 Indeed. There’s a saying that I saw applied to labour relations but it applies to other relations: If you can’t go through, over, or around it, you’d better negotiate with it.

      • barbara carlson says:

        And, we need to find them a home in our house (if you can’t manage to pitch them) — homeless objects are the worst!

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          Barbara – A place for everything and everything in its place, eh? Nice trick!

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