Thursday, February 11, 2010

A shot of adrenaline

I got the cortisone shot!  Now I lay low for two days, letting my hip heal, and then my mobility will return to normal.

It was like smelling the ice: old memories.  I have seen so many orthopedists and have had so much physical therapy that I know the drill about how these exams work.  The number of times I have had someone bend my knee and rotate my hip to see where the pain is is probably in the hundreds.

And I like my orthopedist.  He showed me my x-rays, showed me some calcification on my hip joint that might at some point cause me discomfort.  Calcification is normal and can happen any time.  I bet I've had it forever: I calcify slowly.  I know this because I had to be in a sling for 11 weeks after I broke my collarbone.  It healed so slowly that I was scheduled for surgery.

And then he said that I needed a cortisone shot for my trochanteric bursitis.  Music to my ears.

That he is competent and intelligent and has a decent personality and respects that I ask technical questions about physiology means that, after 10 years in the wilderness, I finally have found a good orthopedist.

My first orthopedist was Arthur Ting -- orthopedist to, among others, Barry Bonds.  I went to him with my first hip injury because he was the Sharks' doctor, and I knew he wouldn't tell me I was crazy to be playing hockey.  He was aggressive with treatment and had a relationship with the best physical therapists.  Back then, he took insurance.

Then he switched to taking only cash, and I was adrift in orthopedic land.  I lost the name of the doctor who gave me my first cortisone shot for trochanteric bursitis, but I had a crush on him.  I had an evil doctor, Jeffrey Mann, when I blew out my knee.  He was a bad physician (over-immobilized me, didn't let me start physical therapy early enough, didn't give me anything for the pain -- and didn't realize that the pain was coming from the fact that I was over-immobilized) as well as an asshole.  As I sat in the waiting room listening to him berate either a patient or a member of his staff, I asked the receptionist if he was like that with everyone, and she gave me a terrified nod.

So now I have a doctor whom I trust, someone who will put me back together when I injure myself again.  It's a sign.  It's time to be an athlete again.  I emailed a student from the doctor's office to say I might be late for a meeting because I was being seen for a skiing injury.  Her response: "I just saw the doctor for a snowboarding injury."  Athletic injuries give you instant credibility.

Two days of rest, and then I'm going to get a plan in place.  Not hockey yet, but soon.

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