“I want my Mommy!!!”

Okay, I’m 64 years old. Okay, my mom passed away over 21 years ago. And okay, my mom was not the nurturing type. But nonetheless, I still have these moments now and again.

I started physical therapy for my shoulder, after 4 months of still having harboring pain from dislocating it in May. My chiropractor has been working the shoulder bones every two weeks when I see him, but this pain was not in my shoulder but down my arm. I’d thought briefly about PT and when I asked Dr. Craig, that was his suggestion as well. Luckily, I found a place just 3 doors up from my doctor’s office, very convenient for traveling to and from. And my insurance covers the cost with no copay there, so that’s a bonus.

I went into this expecting it to be painful. It is at times, but not critically so. My problem lies in the fact that all of the exercises I need to do except one require use of my arms, and I have zero arm strength! I mean, sometimes I have to use both hands/arms to carry a heavy garbage bag out zero. I bag my own groceries heavily because I don’t want to make a bunch of trips to the car for retrieval, but I’m almost stopping twice on the steps (a total of 6) to put the bags down and shake my arms.

The first week – the second appointment of the week – had some major repercussions. I got put on a rowing machine (to me, it’s more like bicycling with your hands) for 4 minutes forwards and then 4 minutes backwards. It didn’t take long for my arms to tire. With just over 2 minutes left, I was ready to give up. I was drenched in sweat and breathing heavily and hurting far more than I wanted to. But I just reminded myself of “The Biggest Loser” on TV when I watched it and how the trainers demanded people keep going when they were sure they couldn’t do it anymore. So I pushed through the pain and finished. I immediately dropped my arms and they were like Jell-O and shaking, but I’d made it through!

That was my last exercise. I had one errand to run on the way home, picking up a prescription at the drive-thru of my pharmacy, and I was exhausted and plopped into my recliner. I wasn’t sitting there long until I started to ache from one shoulder to the other and up my neck. It was intense enough that I quickly grabbed the freeze cream and applied it liberally, washed my hands and then popped three ibuprofen. Back to the recliner.

Of course, the ibuprofen needed time to kick in. But the freeze cream did nothing! I hurt so badly that I could have cried, only I didn’t want to waste the energy to do it. And one thought traveled through my mind: I want my mommy! My logical brain knew that, not only was that impossible, but if it were possible, it wouldn’t do any good. But I still wanted her!

As I thought about it, trying to take my mind off the pain, I realized I wanted a June Cleaver or Carol Brady mom, one who would coddle me and promise me it would get better.

My curiosity peaked further… As children, we somehow instinctively know that our moms’ job is to take care of us, just like our dads’ job is to protect us. This is not a lesson we’re taught; it’s somehow innate in our minds. That fascinates me! We talk about how much our environment shapes us, including our mindset, and I agree that’s true – but only to an extent. I use the example of my mom’s siblings to explain – one was a (recovered) alcoholic and another was a preacher, yet they both lived in the same household and grew up with the same parents. They were also the oldest and the second oldest, so there wasn’t a big span of time in which their environments would have changed drastically, one to the next.

Anyhow, back to the subject… It fascinates me that we have these mental intuitions and that we are, perhaps, born with them? Anyone have any insight on that?

And, am I the only one who still has “I want my Mommy!!” moments?