Sunday, April 28, 2019

Computer Cleanse, Knee Pain Victory, Therapy Fail

My computer hard drive crashed and burned this week, leaving me out of commission for a few days while Mr. Typist busily applied his expertise to get everything rebuilt and re-installed. It was like going on a computer cleanse. I was totally emptied out and had to start over with a clean slate. I lost my years-in-the-making collection of “Favorites,” and in trying to reconstruct them, I was completely flummoxed. I can’t for the life of me remember why I had over thirty sites saved under “Conspiracy,” I can only recall a handful of the multiple “News” sites I had saved, and I don’t recall any of the numerous sites I had saved in the folder “World of Weird.” I am left with the uncomfortable feeling that I may be an internet hoarder, and also that perhaps I spend an unhealthy amount of time online. At any rate, I now have a clean desktop and just a few select favorited sites, and my head feels a lot more clear. I hereby vow to practice good computer hygiene in the future and keep things tidy and streamlined. And also maybe get out more, although no promises on that one. 

In physical news, it dawned on me recently that the nagging, low level knee pain that is ever present has been…not present. I attribute this directly to the personal trainer. Or, more exactly, to me actually listening to the trainer and consistently doing the exercises he shows me. My health insurance has paid out for multiple X-rays, MRI’s, and visits to expert orthopedic doctors and physical therapists, none of which have had any effect whatsoever. Six visits with a personal trainer at under twenty bucks a pop, and bam—fixed. It’s pretty astonishing. I am left to ponder difficult questions, such as why medical insurance doesn’t cover personal training, why there isn’t far more emphasis on preventative care, and who ultimately benefited from all of those imaging and doc’s visits. It’s probably best not to think too deeply on these things. At any rate, I feel a little bad now that I didn’t believe Personal Trainer when he said I could get strong. And now that I am getting strong, the kid gloves are off and he keeps adding more stuff. During the last session, he had a slightly manic glint in his eye and told me we would soon be doing full lunges. I disagreed wholeheartedly. We will be doing nothing of the sort as far as I’m concerned. But I have a feeling I’m going to lose that battle as swiftly as I lost the “no squats” battle. 

I don’t normally enjoy memoirs, but I started reading Lori Gottlieb’s book, “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone,” a memoir about her life as a therapist and her own experience on the other side of the couch. It’s savagely honest and hilariously written, especially the parts about her own therapy sessions. I’ve seen therapists at various times throughout my life, but as I’ve gotten older, I find them all somewhat lacking. I’m not sure why. Over the last seven or eight years, the handful of therapists I've seen all seemed a little vague and fluffy to me. The most recent one was a lovely person and very pro-me, but the whole affair felt somewhat empty. I would sit and talk and she would make empathetic sounds and suggest I take more vacation, but ultimately I didn’t feel that I was connecting with her or with myself in any deeper way. It could be that I was just psychologically defended, but I don’t think so. Maybe I just need someone with more psychological girth, like a scary old guy from Vienna with a leather couch and an overstuffed cherry wood bookshelf. Perhaps I’ll find some insight into this when I get a little further in Lori’s book. I’ll keep you posted.

--Kristen McHenry

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