Tomás de Torquemada. Torture Specialist Extraordinaire.

From 1480 to 1530, Spain engaged in the barbaric practices of torture during a time known as the Spanish Inquisition in order to punish those deemed heretics and false converts.  In an effort to consolidate power, this regulation of faith was spearheaded by the reigning monarchs Queen Isabella and Ferdinand II who pressured Pope Sixtus IV into giving Papal authority to the Spanish Inquisition for the purposes of driving out of Spain the Muslims, Jews, and Protestants.

To make the effort more efficient, the office of Inquisitor was established in different regions of Spain to oversee tribunals and to mete out punishment.  The most famous or more appropriately described as infamous Inquisitor was Tomás de Torquemada.  On October 14, 1783, Pope Sixtus IV named Torquemada the Inquisidor General of Aragón, Valencia, and Catalonia under pressure from the Spanish monarchy to do so.  This was a position which Torquemada took to a new level.  Any half-hearted student of history knows the name Torquemada and the torture that he inflicted upon the people of his time.  In order to gain confessions from the accused victim that they were indeed a heretic or other undesirable, some of the most horrific methods of torture were devised.  Today, the name Torquemada is synonymous with the word torture.

So, you ask, why has Dirt Medic decided to write about the torture of the Spanish Inquisition?  Why is it relevant? I’m glad you asked.  If you have been following along you are aware of my broken ankle and torn ligaments that I am desperately trying to get healed up so I can get back to work and back to having adventures to write about.  The answer to the above questions can be summed up in two words: Physical. Therapy.

Anyone who says Torquemada’s torture techniques are old history has not encountered his modern proselyte, The Physical Therapist! I don’t know what I did to my doctor to make him hate me, but he has condemned me to this fate.

The first appointment was all about getting me, the victim, more comfortable.  They lie. They deceive.  The Therapist, in my case Cynthia, will tell you that she wants to make you better.  The first visit is a simple exam.  My ankle was poked and prodded which wasn’t too bad.  She then declared that my calf muscle and foot muscles were too tight and needed to loosen up.  I got a massage and some minor stretching.  It felt good.  I didn’t know what all the fuss was about.

Day two.  I go back and Cynthia says that we are going to do a little more work on the ankle.  Some more stretching, some more massage, some exercises.  I felt sore, but it was all for getting better, right? I’m tough.  I can handle this.

Day three.  That was today.  The office staff has been very friendly.  The office atmosphere is relaxed with Christmas music softly playing in the background.  When I look around the room there are soft pillows and mats everywhere.  Some gym equipment lines the wall.  In other words, I had begun to get comfortable and trust my physical therapist.  It’s a trap!

We started off with massage.  Yeah! I can handle this physical therapy stuff.  Then while I am comfortably (and ignorantly) lying on the table she pulls out this GIGANTIC butter knife, coats my leg with what feels like butter (real butter, not that margarine in a tub crap) and “HEY!! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE GOING TO DO WITH THAT!?!”.  She begins slicing the dull blade through my leg claiming with a smile that this is for myofacial release.  “huh?” All while shaving my skin off she asks, “how is that?”  “Uh, you are shaving my skin off.  Feels great!”

Next up is electrical stimulation.  I should have run, but now that I have one leg that is no longer functional, I couldn’t.  On go the pads covered in wet sponges.  Remember the execution scene in “The Green Mile” with Tom Hanks?  I couldn’t get that scene out of my head as she placed four wet sponges on my leg and then inserted the electrical pads.  This is all for my healing, right? Don’t I get a blind fold at least? Please?!?  For a quick death the pads should have been placed on my head.  Torquemada’s rule book states that it is more appropriate to place them on the leg to draw out the condemned’s agony.  It starts with a mild pulsating sensation.  “Can you feel that?” she asks.  Up goes the power.  This thing goes from static electricity on a balloon kind of a pop to full on capital punishment electric chair with the twist of a knob. “Can you feel that?”  The sound of me screaming through my electrically stimulated locked jaw must sound like “no ma’m, not very much.   Would you please turn it up even more?” I can only surmise that, because the power went up.  If you reside in Citrus County and experienced an electrical brown out for about an hour today, that was me.  Sorry.  I shall endeavor to die a quicker death next time.

While I am locked in this muscular convulsion she leaves the room.  If. I. can. only. reach. the. knob… But I cannot.  She comes back in with what can only be described as a heating pad she plucked from the deepest depths of Hades and prepared by Satan himself.  While I am in this electrically induced paralysis she wraps my leg in molten lava.  Anything she may have missed from shaving my skin with Paul Bunyan’s butter knife is now melting off the bones of my lower leg.  “That’s not too hot is it?”  “MMMHHPPHHHMMM!!!” is all I can get out.  “Good, just let me know if it is”.

Finally, the bell on the electrical stimulation machine goes off and I am released from my full body spasm.  I am still trying to catch my breath but before I can ask what prison auction she got her surplus electric chair from she comes in with a rope with knots tied in it  on one end and a loop at the other end.  I was contemplating whether I wanted that loop around my neck to put me out of my misery when she put it around my foot and handed me the end with the knots.  Whew!  How bad could this be?  I’m holding the rope and she isn’t.  I am instructed to raise my leg and use the rope to stretch out my ham strings.  Cool.  I can do that.  Up goes my leg.  Feel the burn!  No problem.

This woman must have trained in Jiu Jitsu.  Before I could react she has grabbed my knee, thrown my foot over her shoulder and driven my lower leg over my head in a move that would make any professional football coach proud.   I felt my knee bend backwards and pop out the backside of my leg.  My exposed femur was now pointing to the sky while my toes were jammed in my eye sockets.  Blood covered the ceiling.  Her maniacal laugh let me know that I was going to suffer the most humiliating death Tomás de Torquemada Inquisidor General of Aragón, Valencia, and Catalonia had returned from the grave to personally teach her.   Just to make sure I was equally crippled, she proceeded to break my other leg in half backwards too!

I hobbled over to the parallel bars on my stumps that used to be my legs too afraid to disobey.  If only the loss of blood would end my suffering.  Cynthia brings over an 18 inch by 18 inch square thick pad.  I am told to stand on it.  Again, I succumb to the blessed thought that there is no way I could be tortured anymore by standing on a soft pad.  I am instructed to “raise your good leg and balance on your left foot”.

“What? Who put marbles in this thing?”  Ever watch a circus walrus balance on a ball?  That is a good description of watching this fat guy get humiliated.  I am sure there is a youtube video she will publish soon titled, “Hilarious fat guy tries to balance on a bag of marbles!”.  I just couldn’t figure out where she hid the camera.

After my reward of a frozen sardine I was allowed to step off the Pad O’ Humiliation.  A couple of stretches later and she decided I needed to freeze to death.  Today’s torture session ended with a frozen blanket wrapped around the protruding bone and flesh that used to be my leg.  I assume that since she is personal buds with Satan and Torquemada, she also has some kind of extra dimensional portal where she gets her supply of arctic ice.  Now that I have lost all the flesh on my leg, broken both femurs, lost my manhood by getting beaten up by a small filipino woman, and made into a circus act, I slipped into unconciousness by freezing.

Just before I passed into oblivion a timer went off and she woke me up.  My next appointment is this Monday at 9 a.m.

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