(Brenda enters pushing Lindsay in chair)
Brenda: (speaks while pushing chair to table) Well, Ms. Peterson, you've had 5 sessions with me. Are you ready for another one? (smiling)
Lindsay: (tries to look back at B, smiling) Sure...I really look forward to being tortured at at least once a week!
(They arrive at the table. the wheelchair is locked and Brenda helps Lindsay onto the table, sitting with her legs dangling off the side...L does not use her left leg)
Brenda: (begins to take L's left shoe off for therapy) Ms. Peterson, have you been able to use your leg any more since last week? Have you done the stretching exercises I recommended? (finishes taking off shoe and begins moving her knee through range of motion slowly)
Lindsay: (sheepishly) Well, I did some of them...I had a hard time explaining to my dog how to move my foot the right way. (smiling and laughing to herself, Brenda looks up and smiles at Lindsay) Actually, my mother has been a big help to me since the accident.
Brenda: (Stops momentarily to speak) I know that is a great relief to you...(resumes therapy)I was really sorry to hear the doctor's report about your injury...
Lindsay: (very matter-of-factly) I was very upset when he told me that I would never gain full use of my leg again...(leans back and cocks head, looking thoughtful) but now I realize that I'll still be able to do everything I want to do, except running , maybe...I have heard that the field is wide open for female wheelchair athletes! (laughs)
Brenda: (stops working her knee) Turn to the side, Ms. Peterson, so I can do your ankle range of motion...(Lindsay turns so her left leg is on the table and her foot is hanging off the end; Brenda moves to the end and begins ankle therapy.)
Brenda: (begins to talk while looking at and working Lindsay's foot) You know, Ms. Peterson, I don't believe I have ever met anyone quite like you...(stops therapy and looks at Lindsay)...You have the greatest attitude about this injury...I mean, you'll never run again! I look at myself, and I don't know what I would do if I was in your place. I've got a degree in PT and PE, and I play tennis and run almost every day....if I lost the full use of my leg, I'd be a wreck!
Lindsay: Well, I never said it was easy!
Brenda: (absent-mindedly resumes therapy on Lindsay's ankle) Yeah, but you act like this is some kind of adventure! Every session I've had with you, you tell me how good people are to you, how you have gained a new understanding of people with disabilities, how you've made new friends with other people who are in wheelchairs, and it goes on!
(Brenda stops and gets up from chair and turns away, then speaks slowly) My fiancee....or should I say 'ex-fiancee'....is leaving for graduate school in Massachusetts next weekend, and I feel that my life is coming apart...we were supposed to get married next summer...(pause, then return to chair while talking) I'm sorry, I shouldn't be loading you up with my problems....you're the patient! (resumes therapy)
Lindsay: Brenda, I'm really sorry...that's a very hard thing you're going through...(pause) my injury has been hard on me, too.
Brenda: (looks at Lindsayt) How? You seems so 'in control'
Lindsay: (Looks away) Right after the accident, I went into a deep depression...I was sure my life was over....then, I remember seeing a little boy in the hospital that had been born without legs, and he was laughing and playing in the nursery. (looks at Bredna) It hit me then that my problems were so much less that his, and if he could find joy in life in spite of his handicap, so could I. I realized that even though my body is important (reaches out and squeezes her knee), having a weakness in one area does not mean that my life is over. My body is only a part of who I am, and the rest of me is still intact and ready for life. (smiles) So, here I am, getting therapy to make the best out of what God has given me.
Brenda: (stops therapy and sits back in chair) You know, you are right! I have so many wonderful things in my life...I'll probably feel much better if I concentrate on them and not the bad....Ms. Peterson, has anyone ever told you that you would make a great therapist?!
© Fred Lane, Crosswind Community Church, All rights reserved
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