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The PT Who Saved Christmas

The PT Who Saved Christmas – Ryan G. PT

 There once was a lonely physical therapist that worked in a small clinic in Northern Canada.  He did not have much in his clinic, just an old treadmill, some re-used thera-band, some weights, and a single treatment table with one chair next to it.  This therapist enjoyed his job, but felt he was meant for something greater, he saw an average of 8 patients a day all of whom had various complaints.  The PT was well known in the area, as he was the closest thing the small town had to a primary care physician.  Therefore, every ache, pain, and all other sorts of issues were laid at his doorstep in need of fixing.

The PT’s career drastically changed one night when a loud knock arrived at his door. It was the day after Thanksgiving, so he assumed someone in town had eaten too much pumpkin pie and needed some remedy. Unsure of what to really expect, the PT opened the door and saw an older gentleman standing there.  He seemed kind enough, slightly balding up top, white hair with a set of muttonchops and the looks of white stubble that could easily grow into something larger.  However, the PT did not recognize the man from town, nor did he understand why he had shown at 8 PM on a Friday night. Seeing this apprehension, the gentleman stated he was in need of discretion, a good deal of assistance, and that his name was Nick.

Apparently, he was dealing with a new injury to his lower back and was in so much pain that he was unable to lift, push, pull or squeeze into anything or anywhere. The man explained that he was on a time crunch, as his reindeer required regular feeding and he was the only man for the job; he owned a reindeer farm not too far to the north.  The PT thought nothing of his story, as reindeer were common in Canada.  A little vexed at being finagled into helping this gentleman late on a Friday night, he ushered him into his clinic/home.

After a thorough examination using the Paris 18 steps to an orthopedic evaluation, the PT decided the gentleman had an acute muscle strain of his quadratus lumborum muscle on the left side, which he thought was likely due to an over use and overstretching injury lifting and carrying heavy bags of feed.  Over the next 4 weeks, the older gentleman and the PT worked on a plan of care while the man’s stubble grew into a beard, and the PT’s late Friday nights grew more exciting.  Apparently, he was a portly fellow and had a waddling gait that further exacerbated his pain, so this required fixing as well.  By the time December the 23rd arrived the older man was much improved with no c/o pain and an improved gait.  Preparing to leave upon discharge, the portly gentleman thanked the PT and said he had no money to give in payment. Thankful for the time spent with the gentleman, the PT stated none was necessary just that he come back whenever able to talk some more on any night.  Taking his leave, the portly gentleman saddled up into his sleigh pulled by 2 reindeer (roads were caked in 2 feet of snow here so cars were deemed useless) and took off. Waving goodbye the PT went back inside his clinic to prepare for Christmas and the week after where the local village would have all sorts of ailments from the merrymaking that would commence in 2 nights and 3 days.

Christmas morning the PT went out into his clinic to find a tree with a smattering of presents as well as a small Victorian Bulldog puppy named Pudge with a note.  The note read: “Thanks for all the help with my back the last few weeks. I had some of my “elves” help with any heavy loading last night and thought you could use some company and some Christmas cheer. Merry Christmas! – Nick.”  Smiling the PT sat back and wondered how the old portly gentleman had kept his true identity from him, but he was pleased none-the-less. Happy New Year to all!