Here is a little article that Mike Cazalas wrote after a recent visit to Florida Sportsmedicine and Orthopaedics to see Dr. Talkington.
Time is on my hip, not my side
Mike Cazalas, Editor – Between the Cracks
It finally happened. The moment I dreaded, the occasion about which I’ve joked – like whistling as you walk past the graveyard to show you’re not afraid — is upon me.
Like a plague on Egypt, snow on the Alps and spring breakers on a keg, age has descended upon me.
This isn’t about forgetting where I put my keys, or not recognizing the latest jibber-jabber today’s kids call music. It’s not about having a son who has reached double digits in age or fancying a woman who turns out to be young enough to, biologically, be my daughter.
Thursday afternoon, right there in the office, I found myself engaged in a conversation with a co-worker that degenerated into a swapping of our physical woes — woes that come only with age.
I’ll spare his name here, because he’s a good friend, a co-worker for a couple of decades, and I don’t want to embarrass him or his wife Deborah, or his two children, Nathan and Jess.
But there we were, talking about the dreaded exam faced by men our age, his ailing back and my newly diagnosed arthritis, and it occurred to me we had both become our grandfathers.
Deep down inside I knew the moment was drawing near, but I’d fought it hard. I started walking last May, added some jogging and that turned into running and I’ve gotten to where I can make it through a 5K with a respectable time.
The weight came off, and stayed off, and on the last doctor’s visit my “numbers” — that’s what we aging men like to call our blood pressure, cholesterol and pulse — were better than they were when I was 20.
But something was amiss and it had been creeping up on me since June 2012, shortly before my 50th birthday.
It was that month, in New Hampshire on summer vacation, that I jumped a wave on my uncle’s Waverunner for the 100th time but, this time, something popped when I landed more abruptly than planned.
It hurt, like something had torn in my right upper thigh. And it continued to hurt, that day, through the vacation and after we returned home.
Sometimes it was sharp, when I bent at a certain angle. Sometimes I woke up at night with a scream on my lips. And sometimes I didn’t notice it for days.
Mainly, I did what guys excel at: I ignored it. Not because I have a high tolerance for pain but because I was avoiding going to an actual doctor for a real diagnosis.
These days, who needs that? Isn’t that what the Internet is for?
I Googled and consulted and searched and self-diagnosed and confirmed through other non-doctor friends that what I had was a hip flexor. It was a common injury among athletes, and I had, by this time, deluded myself into believing that’s what I was.
So I put up with it and stretched and iced until, a few weeks ago, I hit a stretch that was intolerable.
I leaned on some friends and got in to see Dr. James Talkington, who was recommended by people I consider to be pretty finicky so I figured he was my man.
And he was, right up until he put the X-rays up on the wall. Having lulled me into a sense of complacency with his hunting stories — he must’ve read up on me — he told me I didn’t have a hip flexor, I had osteoarthritis.
What?! First of all, he was calling my self-diagnosis into question. Second of all, I remember my grandfather had that. When he was old. Really old. Third, I didn’t know what that was.
He broke it down for me: essentially the cartilage or cushioning in my right hip is worn out and when I turn certain ways or do certain things I’ve got bone grinding on bone.
Basically, I have old age.
So he put me on Naproxen twice a day and it has helped. He didn’t restrict me from running, but hinted that a secondary exercise habit should be readied, something like bicycling.
I’ve run since then and it felt good, but it doesn’t change the facts.
And the fact I no longer can escape is that something really does happen to the body around the 50-year mark.
The trick now is to avoid letting it spread to my brain.