Weekly musings, 4/9/17: words and images

Weekly musings, 4/9/17
I have a client who had a hip replaced 9 years ago. She was in her early 50s at the time and quite active. While she was doing physical therapy, the therapist said to her, “you know, in the scans, the hip they didn’t operate on looks far worse than the hip they are operating on.”

My client never forgot this, and mentioned it to me somewhat regularly, despite the fact she had no pain in that hip.

Earlier this year, a series of events led to discomfort in her back and hip. The hip pain was consistent with what she experienced right before she had the original hip operated on. 

At some point, I noticed she wasn’t using her non-operated leg. She hovered off of it, like it couldn’t quite stand to bear her weight.

I brought this to her attention and encouraged her to get scans. I wanted to make sure things in that hip hadn’t gotten worse.

She began bearing weight on her “bad” hip. Her back and hip pain went away.

She got her MRI results back. Her “bad” hip was perfect. There were no signs of degeneration. Her operated hip looked extremely stable.

When she came in to share this with me, she was floating. She was carrying herself differently, and I could tell she felt much more secure with the strength of her lower extremity.
Words and images have power. Whether it’s a scan that shows damage even when there is no pain present, or it’s the implication that a muscle is dysfunctional, people remember. So if you are a teacher in any capacity, choose your words wisely.