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Where everybody knows your name…

Posted Apr 09 2009 7:16pm

For some people, it’s a bar.  For me, apparently it’s the Department of Physical Therapy.

As you may recall, I had a somewhat large-ish billing disaster with physical therapy which resulted in a $4500 bill sent to me.  I finally received word that the problem was in the final stage of resolution (I’ll believe it when I see it), and, in the meantime, my insurance company had cleared me to continue with more physical therapy.  So, I went ahead and scheduled my appointment, and today was my first day back.

I was barely the full way through the door to the PT department when the office staff literally stopped what they were doing – ignored the people they were helping, paused mid-conversation on the phone – and from all sides of the reception desks, all I heard were greetings in surround-sound.  “Julie! You’re back!”  “I couldn’t wait to see you when I saw your name on the appointment list!”  “Heeey girlfriend, it is so good to see you!” “Oh, Julie, you come right over here and I’ll take care of all your paperwork to get everything in order again” (much to the dismay of people already waiting in line).  It’s like I’m a minor celebrity in the world of University Hospital physical therapy.

I mean, it makes sense.  Most people who are sent for PT go for 8 weeks or so pre- or post-surgery.  They’re in and out, and it’s a constant turnover of patients.  The type of therapy I go for is different – much more long term – but most of my therapist’s patients even still seem to be in and out in 5-6 months.  I started up last March, and have no signs of being anywhere near finished.  I’m here to stay.  So for someone to show up, week after week, for over a year – that’s a rarity. 

Look, don’t get me wrong.  It’s nice to be known and missed.  It gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.  But when the place where everybody knows your name is the physical therapy department… well… perhaps it’s a sign that you need to get out more.

Or maybe that you’re just a bit too broken beyond repair.

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