Little Dude has been going to physical therapy because one of his medications has a side effect of neuropathy. Yeah, I didn’t know what that was either, but basically it affects his nerves and can make it more difficult to walk, write, catch a ball, etc. The good news is it’s reversible and the even better news is that with physical therapy, his agility can improve even more quickly.
So, the doctors recommended he get a jump on it, rather than waiting until treatment ends. Twice a week, we head to my gym, where there is a physical therapy group that occupies the back half of the health club. It’s actually a win-win for both of us. While he does his exercises under the supervision of a trained physical therapist, I am in the next room working out on the Stairmaster and watching “Breaking Bad” on my iPad.
I always make sure to finish my workout first, and sit in the waiting area of the PT room until Little Dude is done with his workout. What I realized pretty quickly is that Little Dude stands out when he is there because he is surrounded by older people. The teenagers and younger kids come in the afternoons after school, but since Little Dude is being home schooled, we have plenty of time to fit this in before the regular school day ends. Most of these “older” people focus on themselves and try not to notice why a 10-year old is there in the middle of the day. However, a few of them like to chat. And by chat, I mean ask questions. And by ask questions, I mean get into someone else’s business.
After one workout session, Little Dude told me that one man point-blank asked him what his injury was. He didn’t know what to say and just replied, “I don’t have an injury.” Another person outright asked the physical therapist working with my son what he was doing there, and the therapist rightly replied along the lines of, “I cannot discuss why my clients are here.”
Then one day while I was waiting for my son, a man sat across from me and asked if that was my son nearby. He too had asked one of the therapists why he was there and after receiving no information, he decided the next best course of action was to question me, the mom.
Well, on the one hand the guy thoroughly annoyed me that he felt it was his right to know, but on the other hand, this man was 90-years-old – for real. I figured a 90-year-old guy didn’t have too many people in town to gossip with, so I did not see the harm in telling him. Of course he felt like a total jerk for asking after I gave him the reason for my son’s neuropathy and why he needed to be there.
He kept talking to me and I soon realized this guy just wanted someone to talk to, period. When it was time for us to leave, he asked for our names and wanted to know what days my son was there, so he could talk to me again. If he wasn’t 90, I’d say I had a stalker on my hands.
As for the other nosy people who didn’t have the excuse of being 90, I say, I know you’re curious, but sometimes it’s just better to not ask why a 10-year old is having physical therapy in the middle of the day.
Note: I think this post just came across as angry. I didn’t mean it to sound that way. I am merely observing human nature throughout our long days together and I am learning a lot — both good and not as good, but always interesting.