Thursday, June 19, 2008

Thanks A Lot, Tiger

Yesterday I had my six week post-op visit with my knee surgeon in Detroit.

I have tremendous respect for my knee surgeon. So much so that I would never use his name without his permission. So I will simply refer to him as 'the Good Doctor'.

Six weeks ago, the Good Doctor replaced my shriveled ACL with part of my hamstring. He also repaired a tear (bucket handle for those in the know) on my meniscus and as much (but nowhere near all) of the arthritis from the same meniscus was removed.

And it feels great.

Still swollen. Still puffy. But everyday feels better than the day before.

My physiotherapist is very pleased with my progress. We had set my goal to play golf by the end of July. Our Irish friends from Dublin are returning for a visit then. Ray is an exceptional golfer, and a great guy to walk a golf course with. So I have been looking very forward to playing golf by then.

After the Good Doctor examined my knee, he restated several times that this is actually the most dangerous time for the new ACL (once part of my hamstring) to tear. "If this things tears", he warned quite clearly and seriously, "we can't go back in there and fix it again. This is it. Don't screw it up!"

I nodded my acknowledgment, and would explain my practices for safety. And after each of examples, the Good Doctor would reply:

"If this things tears we can't go back in there and fix it again. This is it. Don't screw it up!"

And most would have known to keep their mouth shut, and perform the Boy Scout salute while promising:

"I will be very very careful and do nothing dangerous, Good Doctor. I promise I won't screw it up!"

Most would. But apparently not me.

".. you see, Good Doctor, I have some friends from Dublin Ireland coming to visit in the end of July…", I started.

The Good Doctor turned and looked at me – holding my chart – looking over the lenses of his glasses as they dangled on the end of his nose.

".. and I have set this target for myself to be able to play golf by then …", I finished.

The Good Doctor shook his head – almost in disbelief. Almost as to say – although he didn't verbalize the sentiment – "Haven't you heard a word I'm saying?"

But all the Good Doctor did was look at me.

"I would wear my brace of course ... ", I said trying to predict his argument – like a teenager asking to borrow Dad's car to drive to a party.

The Good Doctor kept on staring.

".. and I would ride in a cart, of course .. ", I continued.

The Good Doctor kept on staring.

"See, I hit the ball from my right side and shift my weight quickly to my left ... and since I would not hold any real weight on my right leg …", I continued further, now trying to safely demonstrate to him that I had analyzed this thoroughly and in my own expert opinion …

The Good Doctor kept on staring.

And then he started to shake his head. Head shaking is never a good sign when asking someone for permission.

He laughed a gentle laugh and he said "didn't you hear about Tiger Woods?".

"Why yes, I watched most of the US Open, it was clear he was in great pain, but his bad knee is his left …" I answered, but then cut off.

The Good Doctor kept on staring.

"Tiger Woods is done for the year!", he stated. "It was in the news this morning".

"Really? He hurt it that bad?"

"Yes, and his ACL is now torn, and he has a double-stress fracture in his tibia!"

That sounded bad. I know the tibia is a leg bone, and fracture means a break – and well – double usually means two.

"Huh." I replied.

The Good Doctor returned to staring.

I sat there quietly.

"Let's see how you do this next month then" said the good Doctor – after several long moments of silence passed he said ...

"If this thing tears we can't go back in there and fix it again. This is it. Don't screw it up!" he stated again.

This time it really sank in.

"I will be very very careful and do nothing dangerous, Good Doctor. I promise I won't screw it up!" I replied while speaking slowly and sincerely. "Scout's honor".

"Were you a Boy Scout?" asked the Good Doctor.

"Cub Scout"

And then again, he started to shake his head. "I'll see you in six weeks, Mr. Brill", he said almost dismissingly. But then he added one final time, "If this thing tears we can't go back in there and fix it again. This is it. Don't screw it up!"

Thanks, Tiger.

Thanks a lot.

And Tiger, should you ever happen to read this, I hope you get better quickly – but my advice is to let it heal this time. Otherwise you will have to endure hearing your knee surgeon say "Since you tore this thing again we can't go back in there and fix it again. That was it. You screwed it up!".

And you, Mr. Woods, will feel as childish as I do now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Haha , well I'm only laughing at the grown man reverting back to a little kid part. Yeah meniscus injuries suck. they dont go away do they. well I wish they would heal on their own like nearly every other body part but cartilage dont. soooo I may have to get surgery on my knees now. Sucks. Get well guy

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