Limping back to actionI have been gone for a while but do plan a return to the airwaves. Part of the time (only Part) can be explained by this extract from a note to a colleague:
After a drive to Ottawa (5 hours) Saturday to visit my mother, I noticed my left leg starting to tie up, and the pain grew to the point where on Sunday I was barely hobbling with a cane (which just happened to be in my trunk, after I had bought and used it for a couple of days at least five years ago when I had a mysteriously wonky ankle). Having had that leg tie up a little a couple of weeks before, and then just get better in a day or two, I decided to do nothing. On Monday, I was still hobbling badly, but oddly, as my wife and I headed out to the car to start our trip home, I moved not badly. We got back to Toronto, with me driving and feeling a bit of pain in the left leg (I could not have clutched had I been so foolish as to buy a manual transmission car) - I dropped my wife off at the bus terminal so she could get back to her apartment. On return home, I could barely move. My neighbor was so alarmed he volunteered to drive me to the hospital - he is a retired doctor. I demurred - prideful, and wanting to see doctors only as a last resort, assuming that a night's rest would make me more mobile. (One clear lesson - whatever it was, a five-hour drive was not good for it.)
As it did, but I did finally decide to go to emergency in the morning - I was worried that I might have broken a bone. My own personal theory was that I had a pinched nerve. Arrived at 10am - saw a doctor around 11am, though that hour felt endless. Was X-rayed about noon (they lost my form and I had to assert myself after watching three or four X-ray candidates who had arrived after me go in). The review of the X-Ray, as they say about Yogi Berra's, showed nothing. The doctor then suggested that it was likely a compressed nerve and he showed me on the X-Ray the path of that nerve. Exactly where I suspected it went. We agreed on a programme of initial rest and then later preventive exercise, and I bought some crutches from them for $30. I was home by 1:30. Everybody around me was complaining about the wait but I thought that was not bad.
Since then things have been improving slowly and I have not had to use the crutches. The pain comes in and out, ever less frequently in, so I think my own diagnosis and initial programme, essentially what the doctor and I agreed on, would have been fine. But it is good to know there are no broken bones. And there was a bonus - detailed review of the X-Ray apparently showed that my hips are in pretty good shape - after the years of jogging I was pleasantly surprised.
I am no major fan of our medical care system - I think we, with Cuba and North Korea, are one of the few countries in the world where it is generally illegal to pay for better medical care (unless it is 'inessential'). But all my encounters so far have been like the one above. (Not so for my wife, who actually had serious problems, but that's another story.)
Since then things have been improving, though not quite steadily. Sadly, I am not yet ready to do my morning walks at Ashbridge's Bay. Though a later post will update readers on many developments there that I noted before suffering this problem.