Jerry’s Journal – That Hurts!

The pain was intense. I don’t remember how it happened but it hurt like crazy. I’d like to tell you it was from lifting heavy furniture for the auction, or playing tackle football with college kids, or from lifting fat pumpkins.

Nope, the doctor said the injury came from “wear and tear!” At least he said the injury was from wear and tear over the years and not from old age!

I woke up one day and felt like a knife was in my shoulder. When I began to move my arm away from my side, the pain was bad. The pain was like a frowning, red, face with tears on its cheeks. It hurt!

You’re probably one of the people who is saying, “Then don’t move your arm!” That would be a great solution, except that life and its duties continue and two working arms are useful.

I assumed that in time my shoulder would begin to heal and soon would be back to normal. It did begin to heal, slowly. In a few days the stabbing pain was decreasing. After about a month I stopped whining to Karen. Ok, I never really have stopped whining to her, but slowly it seemed my shoulder was getting better. However, after about another month living with discomfort, I thought maybe I should see a doctor. It took me a while to decide to call for an appointment because before I had to shell out my money for the co-pay, I wanted to be sure that a doctor visit was necessary. I didn’t want to pay a doctor just to hear them say, “Rest it and put ice on it.” I’m not stupid…

After the examination and x-rays, the orthopedic doctor said, “Looks like inflammation from wear and tear. Nothing too serious but you should get some PT- physical therapy.” I promptly took his advice and started PT… a month later. I wasn’t convinced I needed to pay someone to twist my sore arm around in unnatural positions!

My range of motion was hindered by stiffness and pain, so I caved in and signed up for some needed PT.  At first I didn’t know what the TC on the office door stood for. After my first visit, I knew. “Torture Chamber!”

During the initial visit with my Physical Therapist she had me move my arm in various positions. She was creating a base line so she could track my improvement. At one point she said, “That’s the worst movement I’ve ever seen.” I was assuming I was the first patient she’d ever had. Later, she said, “Your overall flexibility is terrible. You’re as stiff as a board!” She went on to ask, “Have you ever tried Yoga?” When I said no, she said, “You probably should try it.”

Even in high school and college I could never bend over and touch my toes. Clearly, I could reach past my knees but not to my toes. I may have been a little tight but I didn’t think that made me a physical wreck!

After 3 weeks of PT I got kicked out. I like to think that I graduated from the program. My PT friends gave me elastic bands and stretchy tubes along with 2 pages of exercises to do at home. I was told that if I don’t continue doing the exercises on my own, I’ll be right back to the stabbing pain in my shoulder. Seems like that should be enough motivation to keep me exercising and stretching my shoulder, doesn’t it? What’s your guess, will I or won’t I? After all it’s for my benefit.

Life is like that, isn’t it? We’re faced with choices. Some things are good for us and other things are better. These things may include exercise, food, entertainment, relationships, and even important conversations, etc. Seems like the things that are best for us are the hardest to do. They take commitment and grit. The things that are the easiest to do often aren’t the best for us.

The physical therapy exercises that I’ve been instructed to do will be valuable to me. However, they take time to complete. They will take time away from doing other activities that are more enjoyable.

I Timothy 4:8 says, “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” Paul is talking about priorities.

Today, let’s make time for the things that are most beneficial. Time for my PT. What valuable things are you making time for today?


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