The sign on the physiotherapist’s door said: “Knock ONCE and wait PATIENTLY”. The physio ushered us into her office, while still treating a pregnant woman for problems she probably didn’t want to share with J-man and me. The physio was nudging 60, wearing a white zip-up coat and sneakers, and had a Carmela Soprano hairstyle. The open-plan surgery was very old school, with 1980s-style posters on the wall, baring slogans like “PELVIC FLOOR: USE IT OR LOSE IT”. Her writing was scrawled and heavily underlined on a couple of whiteboards: “TURN OFF YOUR MOBILE PHONE DURING CONSULTATIONS!”. We winced when J-man’s phone buzzed.
Over the next 30 minutes, these are some of the things she said while diagnosing me with something called Pelvic Girdle Pain (it sounds so benign and Victorian) and showing J-man how to massage me:
– “This is probably labour. You’ve been in labour since Friday.”
– “You want the pain to go away? Get that kid out.”
– “Take off all your clothes. But not there – anyone could just walk in and see you naked.”
– “I’m going to use a permanent marker on your buttocks.”
– “Joel, put your finger there. Ask if it hurts. Wait until she says yes and then press down hard.”
– “That’s good, Joel. See how she’s crying? Sometimes you’ve got to make them cry.”
– “Is that your pubis? Good! I’m pleased with your pubis.”
– “Now. Go home and have sex. I’m not joking – that’s the best way to get this kid out.”
Monday came and went, and Snorky did not arrive. At this rate she’ll be celebrating her 18th birthday in utero.