THE WORLD COMES TO US IN AN ENDLESS STREAM OF PUZZLE PIECES THAT WE WOULD LIKE TO THINK ALL FIT TOGETHER SOMEHOW, BUT IN FACT ALMOST NEVER DO. ------Robert M Pirsig
Spring has sprung here in Mass; all the signs are there. The flowers arrived a couple weeks ago in full force --poof--, the leaves are that delicious light green color that only exists in April and May, and every commercial building in New England has the amazingly annoying habit of turning the air conditioning on full-blast whenever the temperature deigns to rise above 70 degrees and then turn the heat on full-blast in the evening if the temperature drops below 65. (Ever hear of hooded sweatshirts people? You can put them on and then take them off again in a matter of seconds!)
But the biggest sign that spring has arrived is when the patients start trying to fix you up with their grandsons, sons, step-sons, nephews, or any other male relative who happens to be single. I guess I should take it as a compliment. But sometimes its just so inappropriately funny.
Take, for instance, a converation I had with a patient last week:
Patient (let's call her Shirley): "Oh, you would just love my step-son. He has been living at home for a while after grad school, but he just got a big promotion and now he's going to move up to Boston and the company is going to pay for him to get his PhD!"
Me: "That is wonderful! You must be very proud of him. Now why don't we review those hamstring stretches we went over last time?"
Shirley: "Yeah, he is getting an apartment in that fancy section of Boston."
Me: "Back Bay? Make sure your toes are pointing straight ahead."
Shirley: "No. It's South Boston. But not the South Boston from that Good Will Hunting movie."
Me: "The South End?"
Shirley: "Yeah! That's it."
Me: "Ok, Shirley, that looked good, but I think there's a little piece of the puzzle that we are missing. I want to check out your gluts and low back for tighness."
Shirley: "One of my son's friends from college is also moving up to Boston for a new job. They've really kept in touch over the years and they're such good friends. They are going to share an apartment to cut down living expenses. "
Me: "Oh, that's good. You definitely have some tightness here. I'm gonna work on that."
Shirley: "Two good-looking young men going out on the town in Boston together. I'd better talk to him about you. I don't want him to miss out on meeting you, when I think you'd hit it off so well together."
Me: "Umm, thanks. Now I'm going to show you some stretches for your gluts and low back to add to those hamstring stretches you've been doing."
Shirley: "Oh, my son just loves going out to bars and clubs. And he's such a snappy dresser! He has very expensive tastes in clothes. I don't know where he gets it from. My husband won't even buy a T-shirt from Old Navy unless it's on clearance."
Me: "Well, with his big promotion in everything, maybe he needs to dress in a certain way at work. I guess if you spend a lot on some nice quality clothing, you can wear it for years and not have to update your wardrobe every year."
Shirley: "Oh, not my step-son! He gets a whole new wardrobe every 6 months! When my husband gets on his case about it, he just says 'I can't wear that. Its so last season!"
Me: "Good job with those stretches, Shirley. Next time we are going to review them and then re-assess the tightness in your low back. I think we'll see a big difference after finding that puzzle piece we were missing."
As for the other big piece of the puzzle that we are missing, I think I'm going to let Shirley discover that one on her own.