I don’t do well with change and yesterday was a big change for me. I had a seating appointment to make adjustments to my chairs, but it was also my last official appointment with the physiotherapist that has worked with me as long as I can remember. I didn’t show it when we were saying goodbye, but by the time I got to the parking lot I was a bawling mess. It’s hard to think that our time together has come to an end. This post is going to be the thank you to him that I couldn’t put in to words yesterday.

I don’t remember how old I was when he started working with me (I’m sure he does), but I do know that we immediately clicked, so much so that I gave him one of my stuffed bears (Ojo) that as far as I know still sits on his desk. He made therapy fun, and I liked working with him. I did more for him than I ever did for my parents. At first my parents thought he should’ve been pushing me harder and that caused some friction, but they did start seeing eye-to-eye with him after a while.

He was always willing to fight for me, and sometimes even with me. When I was about nine I hit a point where I didn’t want to do any physio at all at home, but would come in and work really hard during physio sessions. He sat me down one day and told me straight up that if I wasn’t doing exercise at home, there was no point in doing it here. He felt it was a waste of both of our time. I wish I could say his talk had an effect, but I’d be lying. I felt bad disappointing him, but could not work up the motivation to start working at home again. Our actual physio sessions ended after that day.

That should’ve been the point that he washed his hands of me, but it wasn’t. He still showed up to all my seating appointments and offered advice where he could.

That brings me to the parts of our relationship that I remember most clearly…the period from surgery on. I remember being upset when I realized he wouldn’t be the one doing my post-surgery rehab. I didn’t want someone else doing it. I still felt more comfortable with him despite not actually doing physio with him for quite a few years. He told me he would love to do it, but driving an hour to and from sessions three times a week would be a lot of work, and he would be off recovering from a surgery of his own during that time.

My first seating appointment (not counting adjustments made for the non-weight bearing phase) with him back was amazing. I was so happy to see him again. We literally compared scars and decided mine beat his. He actually acted like what he went through was nothing. He hardly even talked about it other than to assure me he wasn’t in a lot of pain. He moved on quite quickly to worrying about me and telling me how strong I was for handling everything so well. I’ve realized we’re similar that way. We don’t like attention to ourselves and see stuff we go through as no big deal compared to what others go through.

When graduation rolled around I had to invite him. He said he would try his best to make it. That night, I didn’t see him in the audience. I was sure something had come up and he wasn’t there. To my surprise and delight I was wrong. As I came out of the gym after walking across the stage to get my diploma I saw him. I was speechless. I couldn’t believe he actually drove in to see me graduate. Our interaction was brief because I had to get back for the rest of the ceremony, but I was very happy to see him.

At the appointment yesterday no one mentioned what we all knew. It was the last one. None of us wanted to think about it. He and I had been together for a good chunk of my life and now that time was over. I wanted to say so much more than I did, but couldn’t put what I felt into words. I’m going to try and do it now.

I want to say thank you. Thank you for always being there for me. Thank you for always knowing what I needed to hear and saying it. Thank you for supporting and encouraging and supporting me, for kicking me in the butt when I needed it, and for caring about me. You went above and beyond for me and I can’t thank you enough for it. I’m going to miss you, but I know I’ll see you around and you’ll still be there for me if I need you.

Cover photo by wwworks


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