Some of you may know and some of you may not know, while some of you may not care, and at the same time, some of you may not be available to do either because you’re vacationing in the mountains outside of Parkersburg, West Virginia. But I was involved in a traffic accident last November. Yes, I was injured and there is a large insurance claim. However, that’s not really relevant to any of this. What is important is that my doctor does not believe in medicine. She believes in the great spiritual wheel, he mind’s secret abilities to heal, and physical therapy. She also believes Grasshoppers are from another planet, sent here to protect us from being dominated by the plant kingdom. This is also not relevant, but the woman is fun to talk to at parties.
Because of the accident, I spent exactly five- and-three-quarter months in physical therapy. This amount of time has nothing to do with healing. It has to do with what an insurance company decides is the correct amount for any given injury. I was supposedly lucky. The fact I had three injuries allowed me extra time. Hooray for me! I’m so glad a business run by sales agents determines my healthcare not those silly doctors who only go to college for twelve years. But I digress.
I had two therapists, Sam and Janice. I want to say right now that I liked both of them a lot. They smiled, laughed at my jokes and were just good people. In fact, I have to believe they were the two nicest sadists in the whole world. Don’t get me wrong. I think it takes a real special person to become a physical therapist. It takes a real specific mix of caring, kindness, joy, and the desire to cause real pain, to excel in this profession.
Look at it my way. I went in there saying I couldn’t raise my arm. Janice pulled out a little gizmo, put it next to me and told me to raise my arm up as much as I could. It hurt like Hell, but I moved it about forty-five degrees. She showed the thing to Sam who came over and asked me to do it again. Same results, same pain. They smiled and told me this was my starting point. Next, they wanted me to exercise. What?? Excuse me, but I went there because I was in pain, not because I wanted to train for a marathon. A half hour later I was sorer than I was when I came in and they gave me three exercises to do at home. They weren’t satisfied with making me feel terrible while they watched. Oh No. They wanted me to feel bad even when I wasn’t with them. I’ve heard about all kinds of whip and leather fantasies, but I’ve never come across that one.
Well I did the workouts and actually got a little better. Then I went back to Sam. He said great, and gave me some even more painful exercises to do. The two of them tag-teamed me like this for five and three-quarter months until my insurance wouldn’t pay them anymore. Then I was back out on the street with strict instructions to cause myself pain on a regular schedule. If that’s not sadistic I don’t know what is.
Actually, I have to admit, therapy did help a lot. As long as I was with Sam and Janice, I improved every day. Sadly, I am a world class underachiever. For the first two weeks I did my work out on time every time. After that it slipped a little here and there, until laziness kicked in, and I wasn’t doing anything at all. Hey, don’t look down your nose at me. All those motivational blogs tell you to play to your strengths, and laziness is one of mine.
Fast forward several months and I went to see my doctor. She asked all these silly questions like; Are you eating well? Are you exercising? Are you avoiding alcohol? Are you observing the stars to see when money will come your way? Stuff like that.
Of course, I answered, “No,” to all of it, and she frowned a major frown. She asked if I was at least walking around the block a little. I didn’t want to disappoint her so instead of just saying no, I said that was boring. She smiled a very strange smile and I knew I was in trouble.
Apparently, there is a video game that requires walking. The game goes like this; You walk around and catch invisible monsters, that are hiding in your back yard, in little electronic balls. You get points for catching and training them so that you can fight other people’s monsters. There are over six-hundred types of monsters and the more you catch gives you extra points. She told me it was a very popular game. I thought the woman was certifiably nuts. Well, I already knew the world was crazy, so the description stopped surprising me.
When I got home, I told my family about this game and found out my sons were already playing it. They immediately set me up an account on my wife’s smart phone. I agreed to walk around the block once to humor them. I was flabbergasted. The game was actually fun. That one time around the block turned into a two-hour hike through the neighborhood. I was catching everything I came across, and even found a way to attract more monsters to me. When it comes to the desire to continue, cocaine and cigarettes have nothing on this game.
You can probably guess what happened next. Like a video fool I started driving all over the city so I could walk around and catch monsters. If someone asked why I was looking at my phone so much I told them I was working out. This got me a whole bunch of strange looks. I didn’t care. I was saving the world from cartoon monsters. I was neglecting my work, family, friends, and obligations. Netflix even called me on the phone to see if something was wrong because I hadn’t watched television in a month. I must be a celebrity binger. Who knew?
Then tragedy struck. My wife needed her device back. I could no longer hunt the creatures. I started to shake. Questions came into my mind like: What was going on in the virtual world? Were the Cragnots taking over? I just had to get back in there and start catching something before my thumbs fell off.
My lovely wife recognized the problem and got me some professional help. Now I’ve cut back to one forty-minute walk every day and I’m allowed to catch everything I see. In the evening, I take twenty minutes to evolve my creatures and battle. One hour a day. That’s all I get. As far as she knows.
I have found out that there are underground places where filthy folks, smelling of urine, using assumed names can collect monsters for a price.
Help me please, It’s a disease.
Thank you for laughing and Please read a little longer
Thank you all for laughing with me, but I need to be serious. Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency is a genetic disease which rots the liver and lungs. There is no cure. The only help for people is to have a weekly infusion of proteins to stop the spread. For the next few months I will be taking all my proceeds and donating them to the Alpha-1 Foundation who are searching for a cure to this horrible malady. You can give here or for more information go to Alpha-1.org Thanks for supporting world laughter, and finding a cure. Laugh On