Chapter 3: First Session
It had been two weeks since Mr. Scholtz and I had our face to face blowout meeting with each other. I was certain I had sold him with my bad attitude and hopelessness of his injury until Julie told me a week ago he made his next appointment with me. I was dreading this day reluctant to come into work.
“Hey Julie, sorry I’m late. Luna got into a jar of hot cocoa last night!”
“Oh God!” she said making a face. “Well, your appointment is already here, he’s in Room three.”
“Scholtz?” I said with a grunt.
“Yes! And you better be nice!” she ordered.
I threw my coat and bag in my office before dragging my feet to his exam room. Clearly we got off on the wrong foot and I can only imagine the tension that was waiting for me through that door. Time to put your big girl pants on Brooke! I said to myself before opening the door.
“Mr. Scholtz, you’re back.”
“Look,” I interrupted. “Before you say anything, clearly we got off on the wrong foot and I should apologize for how I acted.”
“I owe you an apology too,” he said sincerely.
“Honestly, I don’t know why you came back,” I admitted truthfully. I avoided eye contact with him until my last comment got me curious. I looked up and he had a sweet grin on his face that surprisingly warmed my insides.
“Like I said before, I heard you were the best around. A buddy of mine referred me.” Ashton, I thought to myself as a grin snuck onto my face.
“So, truce?” he said holding out his hand.
“Truce.” Our palms met with the handshake and tingles ran through my fingertips up to my spine.
“Umm, ok so let’s get started!” Breaking my hand from his and creating a distance between us. I sat in my rolling chair at the desk. “How have you been feeling these last two weeks?”
“Alright, a little sore.”
“Have you been staying off of it?” I give him a questionable look. “Be honest!” adding my pointing finger.
“Yes. Pur your demands,” he answered with his hands surrendered in the air.
“Good,” I chuckled under my breath. “So I reviewed your MRI-”
“You do that?” he interrupted in surprise.
“Of course.” I turned off the lights and flipped the switch over the counter, illuminating the MRI of his achilles.
“I thought only doctors read MRI’s?”
“Well I did earn a doctoral degree in physical therapy,” I said sounding smug but only jokingly. “So technically I am a Doctor!” Looking over my shoulder I smirked at his surprise.
“So, here is your Achilles,” focusing back on his scan illuminated on the light board. “The tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel bone in the foot. This connection allows the calf muscles to move the foot in a dorsiflexion, or not in doctors terms, upwards and also in a plantar flexion, downwards.” I look back at Scholtz who looks mesmerized yet confused about the science and anatomy of his foot. With a smirk, I turn back to face the MRI and continue pointing to the x-ray. “The tendon is made up of strands of collagen fibers. When the tendon ruptures, these strands detach from the calf muscle and require surgery to reattach the tendon.”
I turn off the light to the board and turn on the room lights again, rolling my chair around to face him on the exam bed. “The average age for professional players with achilles tendinopathy is twenty seven. You’re considerably lucky not having any pre-existing signs being thirty years old and having played football for your entire life.”
“How do you know I’ve been playing my entire life?” he questioned.
I felt myself freeze up embarrassed that I basically spilled to him I had known who he was, very well. Maybe too well considering I did research him when he took over for John and it just so happened I’ve always been updated on his personal life and football stats. It was like there was a Scholtz ghost who was sabotaging me through Google. Following me, haunting me with his presence. And I couldn’t dare tell him about John! It was public news to say the least that John had it in for Scholtz!
“I-well, I’ve known football players like you all my life so I assumed you’ve been playing your whole life...” I did my best at covering up my tracks but everyone who’s ever known me has told me I’m a horrible liar! I saw his lip twitch into a smile and I prayed he didn’t see through my lies.
“Umm, anyways,” I clear my throat and refocus my brain. “No direct mobilization at the surgical point, at least until four weeks after surgery. How has the pain been for you? On a scale of one to ten, ten being the worst? I asked, “And be honest!” adding with my pointing finger again, smirking.
“Maybe four or five, sometimes six if I’m on it for too long,” he replied.
“Ok, that’s not too bad. For pain and edema control we can do soft tissue treatments, cryotherapy, or even electric stimulation here if the pain increases.” I typed his responses into his file on my laptop before closing it and looking up at him again. “Ok Mr. Scholtz-”
“You can call me Colin you know,” he interrupts with a smile and I can’t help but blush smiling back.
His smile feels contagious or maybe it’s like a disease, but when he smiles at me I get all flustered inside.
“Are you ready to be a ballerina?” I said, smirking as his smile fades from his face and looks confused.
I can’t help laughing as I opened the door and he followed me out to the open exercise room in the center of all the exam rooms.
“This place is like a first class gym,” Colin admires looking around at all the high end fancy equipment. I smile but I feel bad knowing it’s going to be a long time before he can get his hands on most of the stuff in this room.
“Ok, come sit on the bench and take your boot off,” I prompt. “And...don’t get discouraged now because of all the equipment you see in here,” I say it like I’m walking on eggshells. “You’re mostly going to be sitting here for the next three weeks.”
I scrunch my face expecting him to argue wanting to do more, but he simply nodded, abiding my words.
“We’ll start with simple exercises like toe curls and spreads, ankle circles, straight leg raises and knee flexion and extension.” I sit down on the ground where I can have a better grasp of his foot showing him exercises while I speak.
He nods again ceding. “I will show you some light weight training and some gentle foot movements in your boot that you can do at home.” Looking up at him briefly while I continue. “It’s important to try to keep the foot elevated above your heart as much as possible to reduce swelling.” I gave my wide-eye serious look and pointed my finger at him! “And NO weight bearing! Just because you THINK you can do more and push yourself, DON’T! This could cause re-injury and you’ll have to go in for surgery again to repair it!”
“Ok! Ok Doctor!” He said like a sad little boy getting disciplined.
“Sorry,” I bit my bottom lip catching myself lecturing him and now feeling pompous with him calling me doctor. “And you can call me Brooke.”
We shared in light conversation for the next half-hour. Working on his exercises, I found myself surprised that I was actually enjoying talking to him. “Ok, that’s it for your first session!” I say and Colin extends his hand out to me as he stands from the bench helping me get up off the floor.. I grab it and he pulls me up helping me to my feet. “Thanks. How do you feel?”
“Great. Can’t wait for next week!” he said with a lip twitch.
“Just please promise me, you’ll take it easy with the exercises I showed you to work on at home!”
“Yes, Doctor! Relax, I promise to follow your strict rules!” he said sarcastically and I smacked his chest for calling me doctor again and couldn’t help but noticeably feel his rock hard abs. I walked him out to the front desk where Julie was ready to schedule his next session.
“Here,” I grabbed my business card from the reception desk and wrote down my cell phone number on the back. Handing it to him feeling nervous butterflies arise in my stomach, “in case you have any questions, I’m always around.”
“Great, thanks,” he said, sliding it in his pocket.
“Let’s schedule your session for next week, shall we Mr. Scholtz?” Julie said, pulling his eyes away from mine. “Sure,” he replied to Julie.
“See you next week Colin.” I said as I started to turn and walk back to my office. “Looking forward to it Brooke.” I couldn’t help but turn and look back. I watched him hobble out of the center on one crutch and I felt my heart pulsate. I couldn’t believe it. I was looking forward to seeing him next week too!