By Harvey Tobkes

I learned that Memorial Hospital in Hollywood opened a huge Physical Therapy Center about 2 miles from the hospital. I have been stumbling a bit (O.K.) more than a bit lately. Hell, who doesn’t stumble when they’re in their 90’s and I decided I needed to improve my balance to prevent a fall, broken bones or worse; as it is, my hearing is terrible and I have to depend on 2 hearing aids, but anything that’s not life threatening, I just shake it off…to me it’s like swatting a mosquito.

So at this morning’s session, Phil, my trainer and I started with some guy type chit chat & then some preliminary questions as to how I was progressing with the exercises he gave me to do at home. Not easy stuff, but I am determined to improve my situation so I did at least 2 times more than what I was asked to try at home. I proudly told Phil I improvised on the recommended “sit in a chair with side arms and stand up and sit down 10 times.” At home, I made it more strenuous. I put the lid down on the commode, (of course, no side arms on a commode). Up and down 10 times with my arms extended not grasping anything for support.

Phil said that was good, but then, out of the blue, Phil hit me with a question I felt was a bit personal but on second thought I felt it dealt with the overall health of the rehabilitant…me. What did he ask?… “How many times did you move your bowels this morning.” I proudly said, “I had one goodie.In an incredulous tone He asked, “How many?” I told him I had 1, whereupon his shocked face told me he was surprised by my answer and I wondered why, as my Tobkes Temper started to rise, so I sarcastically asked Phil…”How many times did you have a bowel movement, 10?”

That remark startled him a bit, but then it struck a nerve and Phil said…”I asked you, how many times did you lose your balance this morning?” Well, I wear hearing aids but they are far from perfect and when I heard what I didn’t hear properly the first time, we both laughed so hard we almost fell to the floor, and with all the other rehab people watching and wondering what could be so funny in a workout session….we didn’t care. We just kept laughing.

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