Doctor It Hurts When I Do This
From a lifetime of being an athlete I have collected more than my share of injuries and scars. I attribute part of it from the fact that I always gave everything when I was out on the field. And by everything I usually mean there was literally a part of me left in the dirt or on the fence or in the trainer’s room.
When I was younger I was under the delusion that I was invincible. For some inconceivable reason I thought I was either going to live forever and not to worry or if my freshman English teacher was correct I would either be dead or making license plates by the time I was 30.
Now that I am well past 30 I have come to the conclusion that this was yet another thing my freshman English teach had no clue about. There are of course consequences for an active and somewhat reckless lifestyle in my youth.
My body and my medical file is like a who’s who of medical calamities and injuries. I have enough pins, plates, and other hardware that if I walk slowly through the airport metal detector I can set it off causing quite a scene as security runs the wand over various body parts to incessant beeps.
My running total of injuries and subsequent medical procedures would make me an interesting case study by first-year medical school students. Going through my daily routine is a perpetual impression of Snap, Crackle, and Pop from the Rice Krispies commercial.
The tally of procedures includes four surgeries on my pitching shoulder with a potential fifth on the horizon. There are the three knee surgeries, one on my left wrist, two on my right middle finger. Add to this a broken right wrist, two ankles, and twelve stitches above my right eye and you begin to get the picture.
Kneeling is always a new experience in snapping, grinding, and other abnormal sounds. The funny thing is that Trina is not a whole lot better off. She too has been a lifetime athlete and while she has not had the surgeries that I have, her bones creak just about as badly as mine.
On more than one occasion I am reminded of the nursery rhyme about the crooked man who walked a crooked mile. So last week when I was out running around I didn’t think much of the popping and subsequent grinding that I heard in my left foot.
In the days after that my foot was tender but really no more than normal. Like I normally do I just ignored it. It’s weird, although I have had a lot of medical procedures; I have a substantial dislike and distrust of doctors so unless something is falling off or bleeding I would rather not go to a doctor.
After a couple of days my foot was really hurting badly. I started to adjust my walking style to try and find a position where it wouldn’t hurt. That of course caused other problems as my left knee dislocated (a normal occurrence I’m afraid).
When things did not get better and in fact became worse I finally decided may I did need to see a doctor. Trina made an appointment for me. Normally she will go with me to see the doctor. It is not that she doesn’t trust me; it’s just that I tend to leave out important details like death or disfigurement and stuff like that.
In this case though she couldn’t go due to scheduling conflicts. So I hobbled into the doctor to see if he could diagnose what the problem was. After what felt like a lengthy examination I was sent for an x-ray with words like STAT and CRITICAL written on the form.
Based on my past experiences the thoughts were that I might have a stress fracture or perhaps a tendon issue. So I spent today trick-or-treating to various medical facilities as they tried to decide what the problem is.
As I sat at home with my foot above my head (not an easy feat given my age and flexibility), I received a call from the doctor, “Your x-rays came back and your metatarsal pack is within tolerance. There is a prescription for a steroid pack and pain killers that has been called in.”
I have absolutely no idea what that means. My metatarsal pack is within tolerance? I guess that means it’s not completely broken, it is just slightly messed up. So for the next several days I get to lay around with my foot over my head while consuming a solid diet of painkillers and steroids.
So what have I learned from all of this? Bones heal, you don’t live forever, and chicks dig scars.