25 years ago I tore all the muscles from my scapula when I was helping a professional bodybuilder train, and there was over 400 pounds on the weight bar and some fool left the collar off the end of the bar. As I took it off the supports to hand it to him, over 200lbs slid off the unsecured end and as I tried to keep it from flipping up and killing someone I screamed in pain as I felt the muscles tear.
I had over a year of surgeries and therapies and was told in 1988 that the treatment was state of the art and I believed them, but in hindsight the cell phone I bought that year was state of the art it weighed 4 pounds and the battery was a 6 pound brief case go figure.
Fast forward 23 years and I was sitting on the Maroochydore bus from Nambour on Australia’s sunshine coast, when the driver slammed the brakes on and not being strapped to the floor in my wheelchair (they don’t in Australia) I was just left to hang on to the same kind of strap people standing up use.
I held on as my wheelchair flew 10 feet back, and I eventually felt something tear and I was thrown forward at 80kmh(55mph) falling only inches from my face going through the windscreen.
Well it was 24 years later and the state of the art surgical work came undone, like cheap Christmas wrapping from Wall-Mart in the hands of a toddler. The Queensland Australia doctors had the opinion “well you’re already in a wheelchair whats one more disability?” So I went home to New York. The moronic Dr Pei, one of new yorks pre-eminent orthopedic surgeons said “yes you have bi lateral osteo arthritis and torn rotator cuffs in both shoulders but I’m not wasting operating room privileges on someone who is already in a chair.
Two years later Dr Cuomo basically said the same thing, Then Dr lubliner promised the emperors new clothes and just like that fairy Tale didn’t deliver. So again I searched
Three months ago I found Dr Perrera, and he made things happen, first a special type of MRI done under a full anesthesia, then he said he would operate but again after three months of screwing around he told me he wanted me to have physical therapy first to try and avoid surgery. I was confused but he was the doctor so after a long search with the following criteria
1/ wheelchair accessible
2/ female therapists
3 takes aetna insurance
We found one that seemed over the phone at least to fulfill my needs, they were ATHALON physical therapy at 115 east 57th st Manhattan
The first day I rolled there I found their front door, it was beautiful but not accessible it was built in such a manner because the foyer was in the basement down over 50 stairs of a sweeping stair case with a cascading chandelier falling three floors from a mirrored ceiling.
I asked the door man where the disabled entrance was? He replied “the next block over on 58th st”. Now this part of 57th st on the corner of park is one of the steepest hills in Manhattan, so with a torn rotator cuff and service dog in tow I pushed around the block to find no signage no numbers no doors only truck bays, the steep kind that high rises fill with stinking dumpsters and delivery trucks. After searching for ten minutes a model with a rack of clothes pointed to a disgusting stinking smelling cement truck bay as steep as a Olympic ski jump, and at the bottom was a huge and I mean fit three commercial dumpsters side by side kind of huge cherry picker at the bottom and above that to the rear reminding me of my oil rig days was a wall of checker plate steel with a small window.
As I rolled, towards the cherrypicker I started to realise just how filthy the truck bay was, now remember wheelchairs don’t have mudflaps so what you roll through ends up on your hands. I made it through diesel auto oil and sludge from garbage to the one story high platform, and after 5 minutes of yelling up to a closed window someone came out and said yes this was the disabled entrance for 110 and 115 57th st and he would send it down. When it came down it still had overflowing dumpsters on it and as they were moved liquid that smelled like rotten chicken and looked like bile spilled to the floor, and I was forced to roll through it onto the yellow checker plate steel platform and hold on as it rose 20 feet to the floor with the polished checker plate wall.
When I got there noone had heard of Athalon, until after 15 minutes the model with the clothes said “that’s 605” I thanked her and I was ushered into a minute elevator, maybe 36 inches square, my wheelchair is 28 inches Zeus my service dog is 24 inches high and long and the operator a Hispanic man was at least 80 pounds over weight.
We all squeezed in the lilliputian elevator. When we got to the floor and I was given Monty pythonesque instructions to follow “two lefts ,two rights ,two lefts over a sky bridge collecting the two buildings and then two more doors”.
I was there and wished I wasn’t,The waiting room that was supposedly accessible is 7 foot long by 36 inches wide and you’re 28 inches wide in your chair. The pictures on their website obviously potoshopped to look bigger.
You’re called into the so called clinic.
The beds were all pushed back for the photo to make it looked bigger, the end of the bed you can see was pulled forward making movement inpossible in a wheelchaiir, if you realize those beds are only 18 inches wide that end of the room is only 6-9 feet deep
If you look at this pic it’s the other end of the room, the tv is 36 inches so using that as a scale work out with the 6 -9 feet where to be compliant there has to be space for my wheelchair between each bed, I was made to crawl dangerously up over the end of the bed and crawl up the bed leaving my service dog and chair where he can be of no help at the other end. The whole clinic is less than 20 ft long from front door to back. the next picture shows exercise equipment like thats a seperate room ?no it was pushed back it’s norally where the tv is
Where a morbidly obese woman at least 100lbs over weight tells me there was a screw up come back in two days.
In two days I was back, the same garbage, the same cherry picker, the same lilliputian clinic where one woman has 6 clients going while she watches the morning show and talks about the TV show person of interest and cute the star.
All the while she is doing this balancing act and is she is being paid hundreds by each client for one on one treatment, yet were all there at the same time and what is she doing ? The therapist was on a pc computer On eBay and amazon, where she likes to buy things ? I and five others are paying for it?
The toilet had cockroaches , The shower which I was told by Joseph the office manager from Ghana was ADA compliant was a fiber glass slide in not 30 inches wide with no handles and no bench or seats.
I suffered through the third rate therapy by second rate so called professionals while paying first rate prices while the therapist bid on eBay so you you decide?
Athalon or Athanon?