My alarm went off at 7:30am and I groaned.
30 minutes later, I swung my legs off the side of my bed and sat there for a second.
What the heck. This is weird.
Physical Therapy. When I think of those two words, I think of you.
I think of our car rides after school to Arnold Palmer. I think of us laughing at the most random things in the waiting room. I think of how that waiting room is where your addiction to Candy Crush was born.
I think of you, Mom. My best friend and my PT buddy for years.
I’d been to PT 2 weeks before at UF but a friend took me.
This past week? I was headed to PT on my own. For the first time ever.
It was 9am when I walked up to UF’s disability bus service. They know me pretty well, so I did my best to smile.
“Good morning Jordan. Headed to UF Ortho?”
“Morning. Yep, that’s me.”
I took my seat and felt like I was in a twilight zone. I pulled out my phone to text Mom.
I’m so nervous. I’ve never been to any PT alone.
She responded right away.
You’ll be fine Pea. You’re a PT pro.
I smiled. Because no matter how much I act like I hate it, I actually love when my family calls me by my childhood nickname, Pea.
And I smiled because Mom was right. I’ve done this since I was a kid. I’ve got this… I think?
I walked up to the check in window and hesitated because Mom always checked me in. I felt super weird when the word copay rolled off my tongue.
Like Mom always taught me, I got there early. So, I took a seat in the waiting room. I looked at the empty seat next to me and missed her ranting about Candy Crush.
When my name was called, I picked up my backpack (and missed the fact that Mom wasn’t there to keep my stuff with her), walked into the back and gulped, remembering that I’m an “adult” in an adult clinic now.
Man. I hate being an adult. Pediatric PT gyms are definitely more fun.
The little old lady standing in her walker to my right smiled at me. It looked like a sympathy smile. I think I looked like a deer in headlights.
I felt like I was in a movie scene where the character has a mini version of him or her on each shoulder, each telling him or her to do a different thing.
Version 1: Snap out of it Jordan. You’ve done this PT thing for years.
Version 2: I just really want Mom.
Version 1: You’re 20. Come on. One crutch in front of the other.
Version 2: Wait. I want Katie and Desiree! Ugh, new people. Interns everywhere. Turn back Jordan, it’s not too late.
Version 1: Oh, shut up Jordan. You’d look like an idiot if you just walked out. What are you going to do? Crutch home?
Version 2: Okay. You’re right. Ummm where do I go? So many people. I want to puke. Mom? Mental telepathy kick in now. Tell her I need her!!
I snapped out of it and realized my PT had been calling my name. I smiled nervously and made my way over.
The time flew by pretty quickly, surprisingly. I walked out still feeling like I was in a fog.
I sat on a bench and waited for the bus again and texted my cousin/best friend that I’ve reached the “adulting max” because I went to PT by myself.
The Athletic Training Major in her was very proud of me.
I guess this is just one of those moments that made me realize that growing up is really weird.
And I don’t always like it.
Mom, thank you for going through this with me for all those years.
It’s weird being in a new clinic, with new people, without you.
But I’ll get used to it.
Just know that I think of you every time I sit in that waiting room.
I love you a whole lot.
Your support means the world.
Miss you, PT buddy. I don’t really know how to do this without you.
Related post: You’re my superhero.