Saturday, April 18, 2020

Boundaries in the age of COVID: Part 4

Comfy teeshirt mask

Financial boundaries

I wanted to pay some bills and deposit a cheque. I phoned ahead to inquire about hours - the internet has not been updated recently and you know what a mess everything is out there with COVID and what not, new social boundaries upsetting everybody's apple cart all at once: wise move. I learned that yes, hours had been reduced. I could pay the credit card bill and the phone bill over the phone. If I had to attend in person, only the doors by the parking lot were opened and I would be screened upon entry. Okydokey then. 

I paid what I could by phone, and the next day ventured out wearing my new comfy teeshirt mask.
I opened the door, and saw a plexiglass kiosk in the foyer, attended by a banker guy who was already attending someone, who asked me to wait outside. No prob. Lovely day out.

The person he was dealing with came out, and I went in. I'm not here to rob you, I remarked. He smiled. What can I help you with? he asked. I want to deposit a cheque, I said.

He said, If you don't need to cash your cheque, you can deposit it at the front door into the night depository. Put it into an envelope, write your name, your phone number on it, and what account you want it to go into. 

Oh, OK. And out I went, walked around, went into the front foyer of the credit union. I had never used any of the stuff in there before. A table had been placed in there with envelopes, a pen, and instructions. I got everything ready and opened the night depository handle. A large bin folded out, but no slot to put an envelope into. WTF, I wondered.  Closed it. looked all around, couldn't find a slot, tried again, nothing. Then I saw a notice that had been scotchtaped juuuuust a little outside my tunnel vision, a completely psychosocial phenomenon, not ophthalmologic. OK, it sticks. Got it. I applied a bit more determination and violence to the effort and shazam, it opened wide enough to stick an envelope in the top.

Inner boundaries

I have spent my entire life doing more with less effort. It has informed my professional existence the most; once I decided I wanted to become a manual therapist and leave hospital work behind in the early 80's, I found myself leaning hard away from all heavy high-velocity mobilipulation out there and toward slower lighter kinds of handling. In part, this was because of my own lack of decent leverage, in part because I am by nature a ponderer and experimenter, not a recipe follower. I always felt inadequate in almost everything but persevered anyway, figuring out early on that "pain" was usually more about how somebody was feeling, not precisely what, so it made sense to go slow and include the patient in their own recovery from it. There is nothing that can make a late-to-the-manual-therapy-party, short, wide-ish physio with no natural athletic capacity less confident about her future than expecting her to assume that all pain comes from joints or ligaments and that banging around on them will magically "fix" pain that supposedly is coming from them. I realized quite early in the process that I loathed orthopaedic manual therapy with a vengeance. It brought up all my inner porcupine quills no matter what I did to try to grok the nonsense that was being conveyed as part of a set of physical skills.

But I digress.

Anyway, I ended up slowing down and lightening up instead with physio practice and indeed most other things in life.
These days I realize how that is a detriment to me, now that I have retired from actual practice. Now  I see that sometimes an instinct toward higher velocity and more force is a good thing, especially when it comes to opening a sticky night depository bin. I am much more inclined to practice increasingly more ballistic maneuvers at home with my set of colourful barbells that weigh everything from 1 pound to 15 pounds.

Previously: Part 3

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