I went back to the HMO physical therapy clinic on Wednesday afternoon, having been told that the HMO would not pay for a second visit to the University Hospital's PT clinic to complete an evaluation. The HMO's PT clinic is, of course, all the way on the other side of town from where we live, so it takes 30-45 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. It's at the edge of the sprawltastic land of shopping malls and big, big box retail, and it's a part of town that I just don't have any reason to go to.
I'd asked to see the therapist who had the most expertise with neurological rehab, but one of the first things out of J. the therapist's mouth was that next time, I'd be seeing a different PT, one who has more neuro experience, and, in fact, used to work at the University Hospital's PT clinic. Right off the bat, J. seemed to be aware that I'd seen someone at the University Hospital PT clinic, and that I'd wanted to go back. J. had read the notes from my visit to the other clinic, and said a few times that they hoped I'd give the HMO clinic a shot, but that if I thought after a few visits that I wasn't getting what I needed, they'd support my request to go back to the University Hopital's PT clinic. That seemed reasonable to me.
So we did some basic strength and balance testing. As at the U's clinic, J. decided I had some definite weaknesses in my legs: dorsiflexion of the feet, esp. on the left; hip abduction on both sides; and whatever you call it when, from a seated position, you rotate your leg and bring your left foot up towards your right knee. We also did some balance stuff, which was okay with my eyes open, but went to crap once I had to close my eyes.
I left the office after 45 minutes with three more appointments set up with V., the other therapist; a printout with some exercises to work on strength and balance; and a realization that things had gotten decidedly worse for me, strength and balance-wise, since my last visit to PT. I also got a free pass to the huge gym complex at the building where the HMO PT clinic is located. It's on the wrong side of town, but it has this neat donut-shaped pool with a strong current in it, and when I last went to PT, I really enjoyed bobbing up and down and walking around and around against the current. I'm thinking about dashing out there this afternoon.