Thursday, January 22, 2009

Cairo Practica II and III

Last July, in the blog entry titled  "Cairo Practica", I presented some background, and a working definition of this ancient healing maneuver.  This now, is a follow-up on that entry.  Thank you for joining me on this part of the journey.  I know you all have parallel stories...

Cairo Practica II 

So, we were working on my back in an effort to allow me to return to riding the Harley somewhat pain free.  We made regular visits to the Chiropractor to practice pretzel back maneuvers.  That helped my back but did nothing for my hot hip.  We met, and fired an Acupuncturist who dared suggest that I quit riding.  Then, a couple of months later I returned to visits with my personal trainer, a gorgeous French woman who charmed me into following her torturous instructions to stretch my pitiful body into something that borders on normal. 

Therefore, be it known that I am happy to report we may be making progress.  The more I stretch, the more my gait changes from shuffling to normal and the more I seem to be able to sit in the saddle of the Hog.  It is too early to say “we have a cure” here but I am now my usual overly optimistic self.  It’s not bad for my golf game either.  I seem to be getting more of my lower body into the swing and that is bringing some of my distance back. 

But wait!  There’s more!

Cairo Practica III

In ensuing months, it became clearer that my travels in the chiropractic, acupuncture and personal trainer worlds would not fully do the job.  Of the three, the trainer and exercises helped the most but still, my beloved iron steed rested in the garage, waiting for that long-haul trip when she could stretch to her full potential.

We (my guidance counselor/wife of some 40 years, Juleiann and I) tossed the old "sciatica" idea and finally agreed I should consult with a physician.  Our family doc, a terrific internist named "Li" moved my legs around a little and declared "arthritis" in my left hip, described the stages, "exercise, shots, replacement" and sent me off for an x-ray to be followed by a consult with an orthopedist.

I hauled the x-ray around in between appointments and Julieann got to take quick look at it. Her declaration, "Your hip looks like that of an eighty-year old woman".  (Why she couldn't have said "eighty-year old MAN" is beyond me...)

Duly chastened, I headed off to Doc #2, an Orthopod who immediately verified Julie and Dr. Li's diagnoses and threatened me with hip replacement unless I checked out the shot approach...


Nah, I wasn't slappin' leather, I was following a tech to a dressing room where I was firmly instructed to "Take off all your clothes".  I looked for a hint of lechery in her eye and was disappointed to see none but complied anyway.  I wrestled on the 'robe' and headed out for more of whatever.  I quickly found myself lying prone on a radiology table (designed specifically to induce visions of torture... far beyond that prescribed in the official Army Field Manual).  

The technician explained the process and we waited for the doc. A few minutes later, as my hip was telling me in no uncertain terms it didn't like being in that position... on that hard surface, the doc showed and we got started.  He lined the machine up, gave me a numbing dose (slight discomfort), injected dye so he could see where his needle was going (no problem), and began probing with the needle for the cortisone injection (Ow!!!... but only for an instant). He finished quickly after that.  I thanked him, told him he did a good job and then advised him he should have offered me a shot of whiskey before he started (When did they stop doing that?!).

On the way out, my non-lecherous tech made sure I could walk okay and explained that the effect of the procedure could last from "one day to eleven or twelve months".  

I was feeling pretty good when I got home.  I had no idea quite when the numbing effect of the lidocaine would go away and the cortisone would kick in but I felt pretty good at that point.  So, I cranked up the Harley and did a 20 mile round trip to test the effect.  It was pretty good!  I must have been running on lidocaine, the temporary local agent, because that night my hip decided to remind me who was boss.  The next day though it seemed that the cortisone kicked in because I was feeling damn good.

And so it goes... we'll keep testing the bike to see if I get my  range back.  By "range" I mean I will be gauging how far I can travel without serious discomfort.  I am looking for something like 6,000 miles as I would like to do the "Rolling Thunder" run across country and back this Spring (or any Spring) in honor of our vets. 

Cortisone:  Don't leave home without it.  It's good for a gimp hip. 

PS... Aught - I know you set the bar high with your Nick Nolte DUI in mufti imitation.  I apologize for not attempting to do the same by adding a gross hip photo here.


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