Fizz Your Therapy

Roshan Dsouza
11 min readMar 30


There Was Something About Mary

The Statue that started it all! (Pic by author)

It was October, a couple of days before my birthday. It is around this time every year that a statue of Our Lady goes from home to home, in our parish, to people who want to have her with them for a day or so. I don’t usually bring the statue home because welI, I am deeply spiritual without being too devout. Having said that, please note I have a beautiful relationship with Mother Mary which I will write about someday. Anyway, with both boys being away at campus, my wife decided that this year we should bring the statue home. Alright then. It was scheduled such that the statue would first go to a neighbours place on the 3rd of October and then come home on the 4th so that the family could assemble together and pray the rosary on my birthday- the 5th.

So far so good. So what. On the 3rd evening around the time the designated neighbour was supposed to bring the statue to her place, she called to ask if I could please bring the statue to her home since her husband was out of town and she was delayed at work? Heck, being a husband means never disagreeing with the wife. One’s own or some else’s. So I went like a champ to the house, some blocks away, which was hosting the statue of Our Lady.

Elsewhere, I have spoken about my lack of bulk and efforts to get beefier. It was time to test the neo-muscles. The house was situated on the 1st floor. The lady of the house took one look at me and asked, “ Have you come all by yourself to take the statue?” She did not think this rather slim bloke in front of her was capable of carrying the statue safely. I rolled up my sleeves and asked her to lead me to the statue. I don’t think my forearms did anything to calm her concerns but she showed me the statue. It was around 18 inches in height and not over 4 inches in thickness. Don’t judge a book by it’s cover but do look closely at the case of a statue is what my takeaway here is. Made of thick glass walls and mounted on an aluminum frame, the complete statue package was a cool 8–10 kgs in weight.

A man cannot afford to look weak in front of the wife, never mind who’s wife. So I coolly stepped up and lifted said statue. And made my way down the narrow stairway. The lady followed me, every now and then pointing out the twists and turns ahead in the staircase. I wanted to tell her that my knees are wobbly, not eyesight but I concentrated on coming down without dropping the revered icon.

My wife was waiting at the bottom of the stairs and seeing her the other lady turned away to go back home. She seemed relieved to see my wife. I guess, women know that a man performs best under the supervision of his wife. We walked the around 500m distance that it takes to reach our apartment block. Along the way, people of all religions stood still or bowed or joined their hands together as we passed them. Wife kept telling me that they are bowing in deference to Mother Mary. Of course I knew that. I think she was just making sure I didn’t let it go to my head that they’re genuflecting before me! It would then need any additional effort on her part to make me unlearn this and go back to meek husband mode.

Anyway, the first obstacle was crossed and we now reached the building. The 2nd obstacle was even more daunting. Our destination was the apartment on the 3rd floor and the building did not have elevators. My arms were quite numbish and I should have taken a break by resting for a bit but no. Husbands are not the cleverest creatures on the planet and so I climbed up gamely. By the time I reached the 3rd floor and safely installed the statue in its new home I couldn’t feel my arms. But the job was done. I don’t know if the wife was happy it passed off without incident or disappointed that I didn’t allow her a chance to admonish me. The next few days, both elbows hurt and I tried not to exert too much pressure on them. The pain got better and soon it was time to go off to Goa for our family vacation. The younger son was home and we left. But I did some heavy lifting of luggage and stuff and soon the pain returned. Whenever I extended my arm, twisted a bottle cap, picked up my phone or depressed the deodorant can nozzle a sharp pain would shoot up my left elbow. I was unable to type on the laptop either.

Visited the ortho and he diagnosed it as lateral epicondylitis aka tennis elbow. I was advised to undergo a week’s physiotherapy. I met my old friend Dr. S, Head of the Physiotheraphy department at the local hospital. The 8 day sessions of IR light and TENS passed off wonderfully. We chatted away to glory, discussing everything from the current political climate in the nation to parenting. After 8 days everything was good except my elbows. A few sessions of laser treatment for the left elbow were also done but no improvement.

Not to worry, said Dr.S breezily, we will do some taping and you should be good to go. And in no time my elbow had a very funky blue kinesiotape wrapped around it. I quite liked how it looked. The colour was very eye catching and I could strike up conversations with absolute strangers in Malls or on the metro who would enquire why I was wearing that tape. I would coolly tell people it is the kinesio tape as if they should know about it because it is as famous as the face of our Prime Minister whose face smiles down at us from every other newspaper or hoarding.

Taped elbow. My arm is not elephant sized, the pic is shot from a difficult angle. Pic by author.

After four days of wearing the KT as some sort of battle scar, my cool quotient increased but my tennis elbow discomfort did not decrease.

And just like that I was back to Dr. S in the first week of December. The hospital was getting decorated for Christmas and I thought the funky blue KT would also look cool as an ornament on the Christmas tree. Dr.S laughed and I laughed and the other support staff laughed. The last named were beginning to look at me rather suspiciously. Fella had the laser, TENS and KT treatment. Still says he is not healed and is back to spend some more money?

Dr.S seemed genuinely concerned as she poked, prodded and twisted my elbow.

“Heck Rosh”, she said in a grim voice, “we may have to do needling.”

I told her the looks the other staff here are giving me has needled me alright and she needn’t add to my misery.

“Arre, no”, she said, still poking the area which she knew I felt the most pain in. Why did they do that? Was she also checking if I really had pain or was just spending money to come and chat with her?? “ We will do some dry needling today.”

I like my wines and Martini dry but was unsure about my needling. So I asked her if they offered a wet option also. She ignored my attempt at humour and wrote down a prescription of 12 needles and asked me to get them from the pharmacy.

“A dozen?” I asked her, a little fearful now.

“ I have around nine more with me in stock, if needed I will use them.”

I protested, I had pain left only in one elbow, why was she preparing to needle my whole family?

Another physiotherapist came walking in our direction and I hurried off to get the needles. I did not want to know how many needles she had in her stock. She gave me a funny look but I guess that was her way of needling me.

I always thought of Dr.S as a friend. Looking at the needles, doubts were creeping into my head. I would describe them as very fine and long but the word that describes them best was evil. About 2 inches long with a very fine tip. They looked like little instruments of torture. I don’t mind pain. And I’m not just saying this because I’m married but I quite like standing up to physical pain. It gets me out of my comfort zone.

So I lay down on the hospital bed as Dr.S marked the points on my arm with a pen. She counted upto 11. In my mind I wondered if I would get a refund for the balance 1 needle or it would add to Dr.S’s stockpile?

You counted the needles, didn’t ya? Don’t lie! Author’s pic clicked by the PT Dr.S

I must say she was very professional in her style. She told me to keep my arm relaxed and loose. Tension in the muscles could lead to increased pain during insertion. A reverse gender joke came into my head but I left it there lest she find it funny and laugh out loud and the other support staff find that funny and not laugh out loud.

She started from higher up on my arm and I quite enjoyed the pain. Ten needles were inserted and I was feeling really good about myself. The last point was the one closest to the bone. This was where it hurt most. She had explained that the tendon was at it’s thinnest here. In one swift motion she inserted the needle and undid the good work she had done with all the other needles. This hurt very badly and it took all my self control not to scream out.

“What the hell S! Are you trying to kill me?” I exclaimed

“ I’m sorry that hurt Roshan, that’s why I saved it for the end.”

When I opened my eyes, the other support staff were at hand. I could not tell if they were enjoying my torture or hoping that she would puncture me with some more needles.

Dr.S then proceeded to wire up the pierced hand. Dry needling with electrical stimulation would offer maximum relief for your condition she explained.

The vibrations from the electrical current will stimulate? I asked innocently.

She grinned and said you’ll see.

The staff member scowled and I shut my eyes as she turned up the knob till I could just about manage the tingling/stinging current flow.

Needless needling with electrical stimulation. Author pic.

The session took around 4–5 minutes and for the 1st time I felt the pain actually subsided. She even helped me get an ice pack on my elbow for a bit.

I went home, took care of my elbow, did not type or lift anything heavy with my left hand. I did the rehab exercises the physio had shown me. I even managed to decorate the house well before Christmas. Then the pain came back with a vengeance. On 23rd of December I decided that I couldn’t let the pain ruin Christmas so I went back to the hospital.

As I entered the PT department, I imagined that the staff all looked at each other with the “he’s back” look.

“ Dr. S has gone off to the ward you would have to wait for her,” one of the other PTs said.

“ One of you you could have a look at it, I don’t mind,” I said

“ It’s better you wait for her since she knows your case.”

“Cool. A Merry Christmas in advance to all of you.”

I tried sounding as cheerful as I could but I’m not sure if I could inject the yuletide spirit into them.

Eventually Dr.S walked in talking loudly in her signature cheerful voice. They all pointed to me and she stopped in her tracks. She looked confused.

I grinned. “You are happy to see me but not happy to see me I presume?”

“ It’s always good to see you Rosh but not now. It’s Christmas time and inspite of our long treatment you are here which means your elbow still hurts.”

“Heck, no”, I winked. “I’m only here to wish you all a very happy Christmas.”

She examined my arm and said, I can still see the swelling but you did feel good after the dry needling couple of weeks ago, right?”

“ Yeah it did give me temporary relief but not for long.”

She massaged my arm with pressure on some of the pain points as she thought of the way ahead.

“Ok”, she said with a tone of finality in her voice. “ We will repeat the dry needling. The second session will give you relief.”

“ Whatever you say S, you are the Boss, I can’t elbow you out or keep you at arm’s length!”

We both laughed and I thought I saw a hint of a smile on the support doctor’s face too.

Second session of dry-needling (why don’t they call it acupuncture? Because dear Roshan DN is based on the human anatomy and neuro physiological sciences while acupuncture is traditional chinese treatment which is used to release endorphins ) went well. We discussed our respective household and parish preparations for Christmas. After an ice pack I rose to go.

I wished everyone a Merry Christmas and they wished me back enthusiastically.

“ See you soon,” said Dr. S, “but not for treating your elbow!”

“ Insha-allah” I said.

It’s been 3 months since. The pain didn’t go away, I have managed to live with it. Regular exercise keeps it in control. Did I need physiotherapy at all? The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

My thoughts were interrupted by a call from my sister.

“ Roshan, we have brought Mother Mary’s statue home for this weekend. Please come on Saturday evening.”

“ Do I have to carry it anywhere?”

“ No silly, I’m inviting you to join in the prayers and we can say the rosary together as a family.”

Sweet Mother of God! Me and my elbow heaved a collective sigh of relief.

Thank you for reading, clapping and commenting :-) Maybe you would like to read some of my pre- tennis elbow stuff!

Brand art by David Todd McCarty



Roshan Dsouza

Father, Husband, Story teller at heart. I write about my people experiences. Mostly Funny, Sometimes serious but Always positive.