2020 Life Logs, Day 138: PT and the GYWC
Date: Monday, May 18, 2020
Weather: Mostly Cloudy with Glimpses of Sunshine; High 56, Low 48 degrees F
Location: At Home in Cottage, East Falmouth, MA
Here’s your daily puzzle. What does PT stand for? Yes, physical therapy. And this morning I had my first ever PT assessment on Zoom. It worked great, but now I just have to hope that the new recommendations work. My physical therapist is a young man named Joe. He asked all the normal questions and he was able to watch me as I executed his directions for physical movement and record the responses. After an hour of assessment, he gave me his ‘prescription’ for activity for the next two days . . . until we meet again on Zoom. I have been using stretches and exercises for sciatic pain, but he wants to try a different approach. He believes the problem is either a herniated disc or simply a damaged disc or discs pressing on nerves in the lower spine–not just a pitiformis muscle issue. Basically, instead of pulling my knees in toward my body as a stretch as I have been doing, he wants me to arch my back in an extension. Laying on my stomach and keeping my pelvis on the floor, I am to raise my torso by pushing on my hands and straightening my arms. Ouch. It does not feel good and seems counter-intuitive, but he wants me to do these extensions every two hours during the day for two days. He thinks this will relieve the pressure I feel in my hips and the pain that goes down into my thighs. He left in place one sitting stretch I have been doing so that when the pain gets too bad, I can do that to relieve the pressure. Another thing he prescribed was never sitting with having a rolled up towel in the small of my back. This is like magic. When I lean back into the rolled-up towel, it throws my shoulders back and my posture is no longer leaning forward when working on the computer. It helps me sit straight up and it feels so good.
So that is the PT part of the puzzle. Now for the GYWC—the Goldpebble Yard Work Crew. My neighbor and landlady, Shirley, put out the call yesterday to have her lawn mowed. The man who owns the house next door to her is a landscaper up near Boston and only comes to the house next door on weekends during the summer. But he sends a landscaping crew to do the lawn anytime needed. When Shirley’s husband died in 2015, he started doing her yard as well. And when I moved here, they also did my yard. But the house was put on the market last fall and the landscapers have not returned this spring. Shirley’s grass was getting very tall. Her niece and my friend Karen Baranowski suggested to her yesterday that maybe my grandsons would like to take on this job. And indeed, they did. Heather delivered the crew, the lawn mower, and the weed whacker at 1:45 this afternoon and they worked at break neck speed for the next hour and 45 minutes. Sam was in charge of mowing the grass, but all three boys were given a chance to do some mowing. Jonah was in charge of trim work with the weed whacker and Ollie was in charge of dragging a tarp laden down with grass clippings from Shirley’s yard to the hillside going down to the water in my side yard. That is where the clippings have always been dumped, so we just continued the tradition. Ollie also used the hand clippers to trim back briars and bushes in various parts of Shirley’s property. The Goldpebbles were a lean, mean crew! They worked together to get the job done and the result looked great. They are interested in doing this for Shirley all summer if the landscapers don’t return. After talking to Shirley, I let them set their own fee. They thought it through and came up with a very reasonable rate. I am calling them the Goldpebble Yard Work Crew, but they might come up with a different name. This evening I asked Jed to help them learn how to do a computer invoice to make the whole affair official. That way I can pay them when they do the job and then we will invoice Shirley and she will pay me. I hope this works out for the boys as it is a great way to nurture the work ethic. And maybe we can further the experience by having them keep track of their earnings and how they spend the money. Then it will also be an economic lesson as well.