Another round of assumption-making and the problems it creates.
context: long term, chronic, injury? finally getting aggressive about treating it, specialists involved this time and maybe -dare I hope? a measure of success.
Primary specialist says, let's do some PT in the meantime but not the strength building normal PT - you don't need that. I want you to get xyz - and would prefer you use our people because they'll do what I want. Translation: they work with our patients primarily and know me as a doc so they won't run off on a rail.
Now. I have my own guys. Close to home, close to our gym. As a Krav instructor over 50, I'm a frequent flyer. But here's me thinking...well, you're already going one step further with this whole thing, go all the way and use her people instead.
Problem 1: PT is deciding the doc's orders aren't correct for the problem. Hmm.
Problem 2: Oh you definitely need the strength work - of course you do
Problem 3: and this is the big one. Making an assumption about who I am because of my age instead of who I actually am.
Addressing Problem 1. ME: okay - you have to make the decisions that you feel medically, ethically are correct. I get it. Before I come back for the second appointment, talk to the doc and explain to her why you're not following her script. Because I'm going to an unhappy camper if when I do my follow up with her in January - she says "no, no, no - you were supposed to do xyz, I need you to go for another round and do what was prescribed". So you talk to her before I come back, cool?
PT: silence (eventually she capitulated to the orders of she was going to NOT follow).
Addressing Problem 2: now this was interesting. We did the strength work. And I am definitely not anywhere I should be having paused all strength work over 6 months ago due to said chronic condition just getting aggravated by everything. Immediately maxed everything out and when I asked "how far" I was supposed to compress a round resistance circle thingy and she says "just as far as you can" and I collapse the thing on all 40 reps and she says..."oh". And then, "well, next time we'll had some weights, I guess -if you want you can add weights at home"
Addressing Problem 3: on a stretch she asked for, I commented -"no stretching really but it's wanting to cramp and tighten the hip flexors and that's a problem...I've been working diligently to get that flexibility back and I can't afford to start over again" PT says..."well that's okay, sometimes you have to compromise for what needs to be done"
ME: not going to happen - this is not a viable option - I need all the flexibility I can get (at this point I have already explained what I do for living most days)
PT finally says after Problem 2 elements walk themselves out...tell me again what you do? ME: again brief explanation PT: what does that mean? ME: more explanation PT: oh, so it's a little intense sometimes? ME: sigh.
Yes. I am over 50.
Yes. I am female over 50.
Your job is to see the patient in front of you regardless of the automatic assumptions and preconceived notions about what age and gender prescribe your reality to be. Maybe this autoscripted response is why so many woman remain physically weaker than necessary, more easily injured than necessary and more dynamically a workable viable target to a predatory Threat.
See each woman for who she is - where she is. That's a good start.