My physical therapy appointment is at noon, but I am always early. I walk through the door at Rehab South, 1820 Highway 20, Suite 146, at exactly 11:40 a.m. Physical therapist Malynda Carruth, a native of Jefferson with over 20 years of experience in this business, is in the back and looks up from her computer. She is constantly trying to update her patient data. She looks up seeing me coming in the door and yells, "Mr. Jack, come on down."
I knew when she called me to come on in early that there was no chance for me to sit in the reception area to thumb through a few magazines before beginning my therapy session.
Malynda is a lady on a mission to help her patients get well in a hurry, and she is a tough task master serious about her job and her golf game.
In fun, I have nicknamed her "the wicked witch of Rehab South." She runs a strict, disciplined program. Actually, she is anything but a witch. She has a personal interest in each patient she sees daily, and each and every one of us has benefitted from her guidance and her program.
Anyway, it is fun to joke with her and accuse her of cracking a whip over us to ensure we do all of her prescribed exercises. She smiles as she tells us if we miscount our number of steps, we have to start over. She also has a sign posted that it costs $5 if you whine about doing what she assigns. I have yet to see anyone pay!
So, I go through my routine, starting 20 minutes earlier than scheduled. Yes, my shattered knee, acquired during a fall in January at the Newton County Firing Range, gets a workout on a stationary bike, a treadmill, weight machines, steps, lifts, as well as stretches and bends. The resulting pain is eased at the end of the session when an ice pack is applied to the injured knee. When asked why I have to begin my exercises before my scheduled time, Malynda gives one of her big smiles telling me she wants me to be an "overachiever."
Malynda works with many patients at one time, keeping a close watch on each one. She is assisted by coworkers Jennifer Junkin ("J.J.") and a friendly lady named Carolyn Tingle. They make a good team.
Our choice of Rehab South for therapy was purely by chance. It was listed by the insurance carrier as an approved facility. We checked it out, liked its location and distance from home; and, we were impressed with its staff. It has proved to be an enthusiastic, friendly environment with professionals dedicated to improving patient welfare.
In going through the prescribed exercises, staff reminds you "30 is the magic number." Go ahead and complain, but not until you complete 30 lifts, stretches, or work on the machines.
Call the ladies witches if you want to, but they just smile and keep pressing you on. You go along with the program and you will get well in spite of yourself. Rehab South is a "good news" kind of place where staff and patients believe perseverance prevails when all else fails.
Jack Simpson is a former educator, veteran, author and a law enforcement officer. His column appears each Friday.