(My apologies - my Old English posts have been running on Wednesdays but I find myself a bit behind in research. Rather than publish something I am not happy with, I am substituting a different post. To return next week!)
Yesterday I had my last physical therapy appointment.
The fact that this was supposed to be my last appointment was discussed two weeks ago with my PT doctor. This is something that he had mentioned at my last appointment prior to my going to The Ranch; a combination of me gaining back full functionality after 3 months of PT and the fact that my allocated amount of visits is almost at an end.
When I arrived, I did not have my regular doctor but another one I have seen - no big deal, I had seen them switching patients when one of them was out. He introduced himself and we went started going through the exercise regime.
Physical Therapy, if you have done it for a while, becomes a semi-individual activity: the exercise is suggested and quickly covered, then you are left on your own to do the exercise. If new, they will observe and correct, then leave you to it.
And so we rolled through this week's exercises: most the same, one or two new, for about an hour or so as the appointments tend to run. At the end, the PT assistant looked at my chart, ran her eyes down the list, and said "Okay, you are finished today".
And that was it.
I am not sure what I expected. Some kind of transition process, commentary, things to be aware of. Instead it was up to the front for my copay and then off without any mention of scheduling another appointment or checking in if anything occurred.
I am probably reading too much into this - this is a business of course, and they do this all the time - but I honestly felt sad as I left. Not sad because I was leaving, but sad because, well, I just felt like an after thought.
I had no complaints of my time there - everyone was nice and engaging and frankly, the end result was achieved - my shoulder is back to full mobility and lack of pain (if not completely strengthened yet).
So perhaps there is something else going on here.
I have the tendency - correct or not - to pour meaning into all kinds of relationships that simply is not there. This is a tendency from youth, where I would see relationships and imagine connections that were real in my mind but were not present anywhere else (when as a teenager and young adult you have the tendency to fall in love five times a week, this happens). Most went away without any sort of impact but occasionally there would be that moment where the other party looked genuinely confused when you suddenly made a big deal about a moment or a parting which was for them just a two minute event.
I, of course, was crushed.
So likely that is what this is yet again: a view of the world that I had formed anything other than the briefest of business relationships with a group of individuals who regularly process a fair number of people every week. They likely meant no more by it than they would for any other patient; in spite of my own imagined good nature, I suspect I make no more impression than other.
But even as I admit this, I cannot help but acknowledge the sense of sadness as I drove away. I can intellectually understand all of this; the parts of me from long ago still treat such a thing as a dismissal, even if I have evidence to the contrary.