YOU NEVER KNOWWHERE YOU’LL FIND THE ONE PATIENT-LY WAITING FOR LOVE
When I first started my career, I never expected a physical therapy clinic to mean anything more to me than a place of work. But two decades ago, a physical therapy clinic is where I met my wife, Tiffany. She came into the clinic one day to see about a problem she had with her neck. She had been in the front row at a Tim McGraw concert, and one of the fiddlers actually fell off the stage and landed on top of her and two of her friends. She had been having neck problems ever since, which led her to my clinic. At the time, I was a relatively new PT in my mid-20s just trying to find my feet in the profession. I wanted to remain focused on my career. And yet, every time Tiffany came in for her appointment, I noticed how she always laughed at the jokes I made. Nobody thought I was as funny as she thought I was. Today, not even Tiffany finds me as funny as she first did when she was my patient. All that to say, I knew something was up. Some of the staff caught on as well, and I would get a couple of sly winks from them every time Tiffany came in for her appointment. However, since she was my patient, I needed to remain professional. So I was pretty quick to dismiss those winks.
After working with Tiffany for a few months, I was not able to help with her neck problems. I ended up discharging her, and I won’t lie, it bummed me out to see her go. But, a few days later, she called me and asked if I wanted to go to lunch. Since she was no longer my patient, I happily accepted, and that lunch was our first date. It wasn’t until later that I learned, after her first appointment with me at the clinic, Tiffany went home and told her mom that she was going to marry her physical therapist. I have no idea how serious she was when she said that, but it’s impressive in hindsight how soon she recognized our connection. “AFTER 19 YEARS, I STILL FIND IT A LITTLE IRONIC THAT MY FAILURE TO HELP HER AS A PHYSICAL THERAPIST IS WHAT STARTED OUR RELATIONSHIP.” A year and a half after our first date, we got married. After 19 years, I still find it a little ironic that my failure to help her as a physical therapist is what started our relationship. I guess all I can say is that I’m thankful she loves me despite my imperfections.
There are probably a lot of people out there who will be wondering this Valentine’s Day when or where they’ll meet their spouse. I speak from experience when I say you just never know. When I was in my mid-20s, before I met Tiffany, I was going out with friends on the weekends and meeting new people constantly. I always expected to meet my wife in one of those settings. I never expected to meet her in my workplace, and I certainly didn’t expect her to be one of my patients. After 19 years together, I’m so happy I said yes to that lunch date.
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