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Saturday, June 14, 2014

He's Got the Touch!

A guest post by my truckbuddy Tim from England, now resident in Spain - he works hard on these, so leave a word of appreciation in the comments sometimes, will ya fellas?

Bikes are Bad, Physio is Fun
Part 2 – He’s Got the Touch!

I’m glad you’ve joined us for this conclusion to my tale, as I undergo treatment for the cycling injury described last week in Part 1.   I shall be under the hands of my handsome young physiotherapist José, and believe me, that is fun!

The Physiotherapy Clinic is located in a quiet plaza, just off the high street in a nearby town. My doctor had prescribed ten sessions of treatment, so I took the paperwork to the clinic, where the receptionist booked the sessions covering a period of three weeks. Fortunately, she seemed to understand the hieroglyphics the doc had written on my prescription – all I could make out were the words electro and rodilla, Spanish for knee, - doctor’s writing, it appears, is the same the world over! See you next Monday, she said, and that was it, booked.

I walked to a small café across from the entrance to the clinic, not least because the waiter there had wonderful biceps and a cute bubble butt (hola Miguel!) Sitting outside, I could watch the comings and goings at the clinic. Every so often men in black two-piece uniforms, something like a Judo Gi, would come out to phone or have a smoke, then go back inside. I assumed these young men were some of the physiotherapists. They were all rather attractive.

The following Monday, I turned up, and having checked in, waited to be called in for my first session. A little nervously perhaps, I didn’t know what form the treatment would take, presumably some exercises and some electro. I had joked earlier with Russ about getting a handsome Physiotherapist, but with my luck I would get some old duffer with calloused hands! Enter young José, in a crisp, starched white uniform. Oh my! Those eyes, that smile! Was he old enough to be a Physiotherapist? Did I care? Let the treatment begin. Now!

José led me into the main treatment room, rather like a gym, and soon had me on the bed, er, couch, bench, pumped me up so I was at hand height, and made first contact. Just as well I had gone wearing shorts. Of all my physical characteristics, I’m most proud of my legs. At school, aged 5, my teacher had said I had a footballer’s legs. She didn’t say whose. Unfortunately they turned out to have two left feet attached, but at 62, they don’t look half as bad as the rest of me does, but I digress. I explained to José the history of the injury and showed him the paperwork from the Doctor, we both laughed about the hieroglyphics, but he said they made some sense. All the while his hands made an exploration of my knee and its environs. Given that his upper arms were impressively muscular, and his forearms nicely furred, his fingers were remarkably fine and delicate, as they felt around my kneecap. I was so relaxed; he had to ask me twice if I was feeling any pain as he pushed his forefinger under my patella. What? Oh yes, a little here, and around there, I said indicating. He told me it was important to exercise below the pain threshold at all times, and that if I felt any severe pain I should say so immediately. But he didn’t mention the treatment, nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. I should have noticed that twinkle in those luminous green- blue eyes as he said it, but it was too late, I
was already infatuated!

Taking me by surprise he swung his right leg up onto the bench and placed it under mine, thus supported, he probed a little deeper and found where it really hurt, I think my grunt gave it away. But oh, the heat from his leg, I had forgotten how much heat another body generates when right next to your own. He swung his leg back down, and taking my left foot, placed it under his crutch, holding it in place with the pressure from his thighs, leaving both hands free to continue to pull and twist my knee. Really! All this on our first meeting, and with barely an introduction! I may have grunted again at this point, but not through pain – the next three weeks promised to be fun!

Having had a good feel, José gave me a simple leg exercise to perform for ten minutes whilst he attended another patient. I now had a chance to look around the gym, and discovered what wonderful company I was in. Immediately next to me was ‘Hairy Legs’ – imagine Matt Damon with a beard. He always seemed to be laughing. He had the legs of a proper footballer, beautifully muscled and covered with dense brown hair, the sort you could comb. At present his left leg was up in the air, his foot resting on Ignacio’s shoulder, his blue shorts rolled up revealing a tan line and a firm white butt. Ignacio was like a taller version of José, older and with a fuller beard, big brown eyes that were somehow gentle yet sad. He seemed to specialise in tall patients, and the elderly. In fact it struck me over the weeks, how the physiotherapists were always matched physically to their respective patients. Of course it makes sense when you think about it. Thank goodness I’m a short-arse and got the small, but perfectly formed, José!

Over on the far-side of the gym sat a muscle-bosun; even his muscles had muscles, stretching his wifebeater! An infra-red lamp was positioned between his shoulders. He sat, unsmiling, throughout the whole session, staring fixedly ahead. A beautiful, menacing ’Hulk’, with a close cut beard and equally short hair. He reminded me of someone, but I couldn’t think who exactly. He was attended to by Pablo, another physiotherapist, stocky and muscular; he too seemed rather mean and moody, handsome in a fierce way, his face framed by a salt and pepper beard. He had a wonderful stubby turned-up nose, which I thought looked rather cute.

Both Ignacio and Pablo wore black ’judo’ suits, and they looked more like martial arts specialists than anything else – did that denote a higher level to José’s white gear? And what was it with the beards, I wondered? Was it a requirement for entry? Russ would sure like it here I mused, then José returned and I snapped back to reality.

I finished that first session with 15 minutes inside the ‘magnetic-field’ machine, and so had another opportunity to take note of my surroundings before I said my goodbyes. All the patients, male and female, said hello as they arrived, and goodbye as they left, which is accepted Spanish behaviour. Only the ‘Hulk’ left as he had been throughout, in a brooding silence – perhaps he hadn’t developed his lip muscles yet!

In the second session, José commences with a comprehensive massage of my knee and the muscles around it. He puts a blob of white cream on the knee and gently rubs it in, why is everything in this clinic so suggestive? Then he uses his forearm to compress and stimulate the muscle tissue. He guides my fingers so I can feel the knotted muscles below my skin, the pain is exquisite. This sort of pain, he explains, is necessary. I lie back and grasp the sides of the couch with both hands, teeth clenched. “That’s good”, he laughs, eyes twinkling, which somehow makes the pain bearable.

The ‘Hulk’ arrives silently and begins his session with Pablo. He asks if he should take his vest off and Pablo nods. “Oh good”, I say to myself, and as he draws the vest over his head, he reveals a deep chest and sculpted abs, covered in close, dark hair; and I then I remember who he reminds me of – French super stud François Sagat – Woof! (This one’s for you Russ.)

Pablo goes to work on his shoulders, first in a sitting position, then with ‘Hulk’ face down on a couch. ‘Hairy Legs’ arrives and says hello. We’re all getting comfortable when a sudden scream makes everyone jump! Pablo has located the problem in the muscles between the Hulk’s shoulder blades. The ‘Hulk’ buries his face in the mattress, he is sobbing, and we look away out of respect for his manhood. But undeniably there is now a sense of brotherly solidarity in the gym, of male bonding, a realisation that underneath the exterior, we are all equal.

When he leaves, ‘Hulk’ says goodbye and grins shamefacedly, he’s joined our team. When he arrives the next day, he smiles and greets everyone. The power of brotherly love! His real name turns out to be Marcus, Marcus the muscleman.

My final session with José that first week was in a single cubicle, the gym was in use for Pablo’s Pilates class. In the middle of my regular knee massage, José’s hand seems to get further and further up my thigh and under my shorts. Naturally I have no objection, but for the sake of propriety, I think it best to ask José how this is meant to make my knee better. He explains that physiotherapy cannot repair or replace the damaged cartilage, what it can do is increase the strength of the muscle mass holding and supporting the knee, to compensate for the damage. His hands continue their work, and an old man is very happy!

I must say that at all times young José acted in a friendly yet most professional manner. In fact he was quite a studious young man, and was just finishing his fourth year of a five-year training scheme. I was one of his first ‘cases’ where he was allowed to work without supervision, so he was particularly conscientious. And yet, whenever he finished a massage, he would draw his delicate fingers away tenderly and slowly, like a pianist whose fingers were reluctant to leave the keys. So subtle, yet so erotic. And just as I was lying back, relaxed and thinking of England, out came the electrodes – would this real-life fantasy never end?

One electrode was placed high up on my thigh, still warm from its massage. The other was placed about half-way down. José twiddled with his knobs and a pulsating current began to flow through my thigh. This is exactly the same principle as those electro-toning machines you see advertised on TV – you know the ones where unbelievably handsome young Californian couples, already fully-toned and muscular, exhort you to buy the machine and buy the dream. They then place a dozen terminals over their pert nipples and rippling six-packs, tune in and turn on, vibrating softly. It’s like a soft BDSM video from San Diego. I have to say, I rather enjoyed it!

My sessions that first week had all been in the afternoon, but for the second and third weeks, they were all morning ones; so it was adios to ‘Hairy Legs’ and Marcus, and hola to ‘Scooter Boy’

He had that permanently ‘surprised’ look, which I do find so endearing in a young lad. Stockily built, with short black hair and that wonderful Spanish 5 o’clock shadow, he was probably about the same age as José. He sported an intricate Celtic design tattoo around his right leg, just below the knee. They seem very popular with young lads here at the moment. I’m not sure why, something for me to investigate later on. He bore two sets of scars around the same knee. One looked old, possibly from ligament surgery. The second was much more recent, still livid, with the staple marks still showing. I suspected this was from a scooter or motorbike accident, hence his nickname. And as I found out later talking to him it, indeed it was. The heady mix of machine and machismo exacts a high toll on youthful Spanish limbs unfortunately. He was another of José’s cases, so we progressed side by side for my remaining sessions. José worked him hard during exercises, and he would wipe the sweat from his forehead with a raised arm, revealing wonderfully hairy pits, very Spanish. At other times, he might raise his t-shirt to wipe his face, and whilst his abs may have needed some electro-toning, his treasure trail certainly knew where it was headed!

But do not think I had forsaken José. Sometimes he would close his eyes as he felt around my kneecap with those delicate fingers of his, as if he were trying to sense below the skin, and ‘see’ the bone and tissue below. This is what he was looking at, my knee, naked, in glorious MRIVision™.

And whilst José worked, I would watch him in turn, and try and see through that starched white uniform of his, and beyond the black compression shorts I had glimpsed fleetingly. One day, as I lay on the couch, he pulled my leg into his stomach whilst he worked the knee joint. Well, now or never Tim, so I wriggled my toes and foot just a little, not too obtrusively, just getting comfy. I could feel the ridges of his abs under my toes, and my heel rested on something firm and substantial. With a little imagination you can feel something even if you can’t see it! I had managed to control any circus big-tops appearing in my shorts on previous occasions, but I must admit I was concerned about a major shorts malfunction that day!

I had also noticed some scratches on his neck, just above his chest, not a hickey, something else. So I asked him about them (I am a shameless flirt!) It turned out he practiced Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts, where strangle holds are commonly used in obtaining a submission, hence the marks. I almost choked my self when he told me in his passable English how much he enjoyed getting his opponents on their backs and mounting them to apply a choke hold – out of the mouths of babes!

Those last two weeks passed by so quickly, the way things do when you’re enjoying yourself. And then suddenly it was over, our last session, our chats about this and that, you know the sort of thing, cars and sport, men’s stuff. A joke and a laugh with ‘Scooter Boy’, all finished. José had wrought a great improvement in my knee in such a short time. But you can never fix cartilage damage unless you actually replace the joint, which is too drastic to contemplate at present. However, I have more confidence exercising on it now, and the pain has definitely reduced, although I think I’ll leave off cycling for the present.

And what of the future? Well, surprisingly Partner obtained a second-hand mountain bike when we got back from that holiday in Zuheros. He hasn’t used it yet, for it needs a new tyre. I told him to use one of the two spares he’s been carrying around the last few years!

Ha, ha – yes, I wish!

And as for me, even if my original dream of cycling into my old age has ended, I might get to enjoy the odd aquatic dream…

. . . or two!

So thank you very, very much José, for everything. And good luck in your final exams next year. I know you’ll do well, you’ve got the touch! By the way, I’ve got this pain, down here, in my coccyx, do you think you could possibly . . . ?


Muskox said...

Really enjoyed you post, Tim! It's enough to make me wish for socialized medicine.

By the way, I think you have a typo in your first session with Jose. It appears he put your foot under his crotch, not under his crutch.

Tim said...

Glad you liked it Muskox. Crutch or Crotch, it was a fun place to be!

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