Monday, 4 March 2013

Lame Excuse

I went to see my Doctor early this year with a painful knee.

"Difficult customer, Johnny Knee", he said after a cursory investigation. "There's no middle way - it's either pills or replacement". He carefully wrote the words "paracetamol" and "glucosamine" on a piece of paper and passed it to me as I limped away.

A few weeks later I decided I'd like a second opinion and went back to see a different Doctor who sent me off for X-Rays. When I returned last week for the results he said the good news was that my knee was showing signs of arthritis but not particularly desperate. However, it transpired that my hips had severe arthritis and I'm ready for a hip replacement operation. I didn't quite catch the technical words he used but it was something like "fatally tucked".


It appears my years of Marathon Running have come home to roost. I was never described in running circles as a "whippet" but was a "heavier built" runner which obviously placed much greater strain on the old joints.

Would I have avoided the jogging if I'd known the damage it would do? I don't think so. I took up running in my forties during difficult times and it gave me a terrific sense of self confidence when I really needed it. The feeling of powering back home on a warm Summer evening after 5 miles out into the woods in a PB of 36 minutes was priceless, as was the time I sprinted past Olympian Sir Steve Redgrave on Tower Bridge in the London Marathon. I was Alf Tupper, the tough of the track.


dinahmow said...

I can empathise, having just had all sorts of hi-tech pictures of my bones. Arthritis, they say. Exacerbated by some pretty energetic dancing.

Martin said...

I have a friend (also an ex-runner) who is suffering just now. As he put it, "the shock absorbers are knackered, but my engine is in good nick."

It seems we're damned if we do and damned if we don't.

Roses said...

See, I knew running was bad for you, unless you're being chased by a hungry sabre tooth tiger.

So, will you be on the replacement lists etc?

Not at all surprised by conflicting diagnoses. GPs these days eh?

Rog said...

Di: At least we are extremely wise now :-)

Martin: Apart from poor old Andrew Marr, who had both a snapped achilles and then a stroke as well :-(

Roses: As I'm not in much pain I decided to hold off getting on the list for a bit -plus I've also got a job of national importance to worry about.
These days a doctor's "cursory" examination means they have a quick look at Google using their, er, cursor.

Liz said...

The unfortunate side effect of trying to keep fit does seem to be an acceleration of wear and tear on the old body parts.

The trouble with General Practitioners is that they are 'general' and they don't know everything. The good ones will refer you on to someone who can better diagnose and then treat your ailments. Unfortunately, good doctors who actually have enough time in which to treat their patients are a rare breed.

Roses is a woman after my own heart. I remember an Alan Davis stand-up routine from years ago where he said. "Why would anyone run 10,000 metres? Get a cab!"

Nota Bene said...

Once you have the titanium hip, you'll be trotting past Mo Farah...

Mike and Ann said...

Rog, I'd advise getting on the list now. I had a knee replacement op done about ten years ago. I'd smashed the knee thirty years or so earlier. I had a 'hospital infection' in the knee after the op, so had about a month's misery, since when the knee's been better and more comfortable than it had been since 1969. With luck, it'll be well worth doing.
Warm regards, Mike.

Rog said...

Liz: Doctors must get fed up with people walking in with Google printouts and self-inflicted wounds.

Nota: Only on a high powered motorbike.

Mike: Thanks for the "heads up". I'll see how it goes this year.

Pat said...

Bad luck but these ops seem to be getting better results all the time.
I recommend glucosamine. It has certainly made me less pain driven.

Zig said...

Oh no, however I can lend you my 3 footed walking stick if you like - it's a dreadful thing that's supposed to be more stable but trips you up when you're not looking. It'll get you onto the list quicker.

mig bardsley said...

It's a good idea to see at least two doctors for each complaint but really, you need a third opinion in the hope that at least two of them agree.

Rog said...

Pat: thanks - I've moved back to Cod Liver Oil which sounds more like it will lubricate joints ;-/

Zig: I'm afraid a 3ft walking stick will be too short and make me bend forward like a wizened old bloke.

Mig: I may just make do with Google for the time being.

Z said...

Rog, I am sorry. Both hips? You'll know when it needs to be done - but as soon as you get near it, get on the list. Once you're desperate, you won't want to wait any longer, so you need to anticipate by a few weeks. I refused one in September 3 years ago, only to ask for it to be done as soon as possible in the December.

Having said that, it takes a few weeks of care, after which you won't look back. And you're very fit, with all your cycling, so you'll get over it quickly.

Whatever happens, don't have a metal-on-metal implant, either all ceramic or titanium/ceramic.

Rog said...

Ah wise words from one who knows - thanks Zoe. Advice duly noted with thanks.

janerowena said...

I'm going to need a few new parts soonish too, so read Z's posts about it very carefully. My aches were brought on by too much digging and going to the gym and using a stepper at home. So I agree, too much exercise is bad for you. Try fish oil rather than cod liver oil, it's stronger and works very well. I soon know if I have forgotten to take it.