, , , , , ,

My physical therapist wears a shirt that reads, “Suck it up, buttercup.”

I’ve been seeing a lot of her since I had surgery to repair a torn rotator cuff.  She appears sympathetic during each hour-long torture session (most serial killers do – it’s the secret of their success.)

However, the camaraderie among other victims – er, patients – surprises me. When our eyes meet, there’s a smile, a nod, or murmur of encouragement. During brief moments of rest, I’ve had people lean over and ask, “How did it happen?” or “Did you have surgery?”

Simple gestures, yet when you’re in pain and feeling frustrated, encouragement from strangers in the same boat is comforting. Our injuries may be diverse, but our goals are clear and compelling: to be pain-free and able to move with a full range of motion.

The prospect of meeting these folks again one day in Starbucks or the grocery store (anywhere but physical therapy) appeals to me. Our shared experience creates a kind of fraternity, though our initiations were vastly different.

Our motto: It really will get better every day.