Another Diagnosis Please Dr. O

Here we go again. No not another knee. This is the first. In January of 2003 I woke from a Sunday afternoon nap with paralyzing pain in my neck and shoulders. After a few days I attempted playing basketball with my normal gang on Friday mornings. Not the best idea. I could not grip with my left hand.

Dr. O’Brien is part of our morning crew. I told him of my symptoms. He suggested I see him that morning. An x-ray revealed a damaged cervical disc. March 1 of that year I underwent a cervical fusion with success thanks to Dr. Smith. The pain was gone. Three months later I was back to playing basketball and golf.

Several months ago my right knee began bothering me. It hurt whether playing basketball or not. So, I played. After Christmas it got worse. Rest did not help. I contacted Dr. O’Brien again. An x-ray and then an MRI. I sat in his office on Wednesday afternoon to hear the news. “You have a big tear in your medial meniscus. I can scope it and fix it.” I expected as much. I did not expect what came next. “But, you have other issues.” He went on to describe a fairly severe case of arthritis. He could not promise my current symptoms would go away with the scope but that it was still necessary. I looked at Dr. O’Brien and suggested I would exit the exam room and re-enter and entertain another diagnosis. He laughed. I did too. The encouraging word? I am still too young for knee replacement. Now that is good news. I think. As I reflect on that exchange, it does seem he means one day I will no longer be young enough to “not” need a knee replacement.

So, in a couple of weeks I will have the cartilage repaired and hope the symptoms go away or at least abate a bit. The few hours I can sleep without pain are not near enough.

And, there is still the matter of more basketball and more golf to consider . . .

About the Author
Husband to Patty. Daddy to Kimberly and Tommie. Grandpa Doc to Cohen, Max, Fox, and Marlee. Pastor to Snow Hill Baptist Church. Graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Reading. Photography. Golf. Colorado. Jeeping. Friend. The views and opinions expressed here are my own and should not be construed as representing the corporate views of the church I pastor.

4 comments on “Another Diagnosis Please Dr. O

  1. Paul says:

    Well, I’ll try to avoid the old age comments since that would seem like piling on right now. 🙂 Truth is I gave up basketball a couple of years ago due to “age related” constraints myself. When are they going to do the surgery? One thing’s sure: you gotta preserve the golf game. You can do that till you’re so old and senile you can hardly remember where you just hit the ball. And then you just take someone younger along to help you find the ball – or just slide one down the leg of your pants in a better spot anyway.

    1. Paul,
      I guess the old age thing would in the end backfire if you retired from the game before me. 😉 So, we will leave it at that and I will take your advice and be sure to have a “provisional” golf ball always on hand for my future senility and the continued enjoyment of the game. Now, I am wondering, have you found someone younger to take golfing with you so you do not lose your golf balls? 🙂

  2. Brenna says:

    David’s orthopedic doctor (Dr. Axe, that’s really his name) told him to avoid running/jogging. He didn’t do that anyway but no running on bball courts either. Too much pounding on the knee joint. He said no skiing. No ice skating, which I like to do occasionally when we go on vacation to a place where that is an option. He watched me ice skate a few years ago in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
    David has a bike for bike riding but the seat is way up high so his knee doesn’t bend too much while pedaling.
    Dr. Axe said he will need a knee replacement later on in life but that’s because those replacements only last about 10-15 years. So… David’s too young for it now, too.

    So sorry for your joint pain and your limited golf and bball days. Take it easy. Will be thinking about you with the upcoming scope surgery.

    1. Brenna,

      I am prepared should Dr. O suggest I bring my dubious intramural basketball playing to its end. I think I should like to stay in shape and enjoy limbs in their natural given-ness as long as possible.

      Thanks for your thoughts as always. You and David are kind encouragers.

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