Liam and me at Garcia Bend, Sacramento River, 2008

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Ice in the Wickets...

Friday was an active day - vet for Sally, the grocery store, the zoo, Faerie Tale Town and ice cream. Based on how my groin area was feeling last weekend and during the week, I didn't expect to be able to pull that off.

What may have helped is ice. Between activities, we came home, read, watched Fireman Sam and I put ice between my legs! Yikes! Once you get through the first five minutes, it's not the bad. I left the bags on for about 20 minutes. After peeling them off, things were pretty numb, but the difference was also pretty apparent. It seemed to hold well through the rest of the day, which included FFT. I didn't even have to take any IBU. Very cool.

I've also decided to keep my March 15 appointment. If I can modify my activity and be smart with my self-treatment, then I think I can hold out till summer. That's when I'd expect/demand some orthopedic intervention. I truly don't think I'll have to demand it.

Anyway, it's so refreshing to not care about the little things. MU loses a heartbreaker to Pitt - eh, no biggy. I'm going to get Liam and Sally out now for a walk, avoiding hills where we can. I can think of someone who won't like that. :^)....

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Referral Went Through...

Yes, that first step is done. The referral went through and was greeted when I got home last night with a profoundly excited automaton imploring me call the UC Davis Department of Sports Medicine to set up an appointment. I'm gonna do that in about an hour.

On the other end, it seems that my hips are trading off on who's going to dish out the pain. This morning, it's the right hip. Again, a low-intensity burn that's just there. I want to take some NSAIDs, but also want to ration my use, knowing full well that things are bound to get worse.

Well, Liam's off to school in a few minutes and tomorrow's a big day for both of us. Friday's OUR day and I don't want it to be a flop because of the pain. The ZOO and ice cream are on the docket and you can bank 'em.

Times like this force one to seek solace anywhere. Apparently, this is not the disease of the couch potato. It's the province of the athletic and active - I can live with that. In the end, I just wanna lessen the impact that this whole thing has on my Li-Li.

UPDATE: Nothing like having to wait 30 days to see an expert when your hip's hurting. He's not even a surgeon. Okay, I shall sucketh-up and move on...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

First Day to Work, Knowing What I Know

My eyes opened at 5:30 this morning. It was time to rise. My alarm clock/3-year-old goes off: "Trucks, trucks...I wan my trucks." "Okay," I say to myself, "let's roll." So out of bed I go, mindful of the fact that there is a low burn of refered pain in each groin. Staying in bed sounds more than good, but what choice do I have?

It's going to be a day-by-day thing, but at least I have something or someone to keep me busy. And from 5:30 to 7:20 it seems to have gone okay. Breakfast and lunch were made and we even got a bath in. Not bad. The drop off at school is never easy (emotionally, that is), but it seems to have gone okay, too.

The thing I rued most of all about coming in today was telling my bosses of my condition. I sent out an e-mail to both on Friday, as soon as I got the radiographic diagnosis. They were naturally receptive and warm, but as I look at their faces, I'm reminded of the fact that I've seen that look before from when I had experienced my chondromalacia patellae. Oh well, people will simply look the way I look.

The one thing that I'm starting to notice is that, from one day to another, my appetite is ebbing. This is, pretty honestly, a somewhat mortifying prospect. Eating, although I did have a superb breakfast burrito at the Co-op this morning, just doesn't seem very appealling to me.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Month 1: Waking up with Femoral Acetabular Impingement (FAI)...

My name is Olaf Silesia and I enjoy my life. I am a 40-year-old single father with a 3-year-old son. He's the love of my life. He's also a whirlwind - active as can be. He's a lot like me in that regard. From the earliest age, activity has been as natural to me as eating, breathing, reading. Running, basketball, hiking, biking have been the engines driving me through my awkward adolescence, endless years of higher education, and just times when I needed to get away.

By the time I had reached 30, I was diagnosed with bilateral chondomalacia patellae - a misalignment and, as a result, faulty tracking of the knee cap. Over time, this causes wear on the articular cartilage and, oh, a lot of pain. Four surgeries later, including the fantastic procedure known as microfracture, I'm good. During a three year stretch of procedures, however, it was hard on myself and friends/family. I'm naturally impatient and invasive orthopedics take patience and time to work.

So, here I am. Thought I was out of the woods. No - oops - another patch apparently rests just ahead. Aging brings on aches and pains. I guess if I've had some I've always felt so good that it wasn't my knees creating it. Hips, back, wrists, whatever. That's the pain that's okay to have. Well, at least in the case of my hips, apparently not.

Just before Christmas 2009, I started to have pain on the pointy precipice of my hip. As time went on, it got, worse and worse. While not think too much of it, I thought it was good to get it checked out. So, I went in to see my PCP. He manipulated my joints and ordered an x-ray. Truth be told, I was a bit anxious as I waited to get my picture taken. This made it especially satisfying when I finally saw the results for myself. To the untrained eye, the radiograph looked great. Symmetric spacing between my joints was ample. There appeared to be no osteophytes or early signs of change in the cartilage or the bone surface. My Doc felt the same way. He turned, gave me a smile and said "you've got a bursitis. Do these exercises, take 600 mgs of IBU every five hours and call me if it gets worse."

Well, it didn't get worse, but it didn't go away either, so back I go to the PCP. So, we're sitting in the exam room and he looks over to me and says, "Oh, here's the report from your x-ray - you have hip impingement." Huh. Okay. So, I think to myself, "before I move on to the issue at hand, I have to wonder if there was any way I was going to find out about this without actually having made the appointment?" Okay. Whatever. It's not going to help to go there. So, what follows is the typical chit-chat about referrals and Sports Medicine.

Okay. That's good - I like Sports Medicine. The whole idea of Sports Medicine is to treat the problem at hand and get you back to activity as soon as possible. I've got no pretense or vision of running through the fields, ripping up daisies, but I do want to be a functional father with a 3'er.

So, that's it. That's where I stood. I left the office and already had a plan of action. Get to the Mac, be smart and assess the extent of things, from worst case scenario to best case scenario. Also, don't overreact. I think to myself..."You've been here before and survived. You can do this. You HAVE to do this."

At this point, I wait for a phone call to come from UCD Sports Medicine.