Friday, 11 May 2012

Dr Finlay's Casebook

This blog is rapidly becoming a journal of my medical travails rather than anything that approximates to a record of sporting pursuit, but if that's the only subject matter I've got to work with, what can I do?

Have had a very sobering visit to my physio. He prodded, manipulated, questioned and listened, just like he usually does so well, and came to these conclusions and bits of advice:

- there are probably two problems in my right leg, the sciatica and a hip issue
- the sciatica is probably caused by a herniated disk, which isn't clearing up, so I need to have an MRI scan on that to decide the best treatment
- the hip issue could be 'impingement' - there's naturally a fancy medical name for it that I can't remember, but basically it's the growth of spurs of bone on the hip. I need to have an X-ray on that, so I'm armed with a letter and I'm off to Macclesfield General Radiology dept in the morning to wait my turn to have a picture taken of my middle regions
- the back issue is probably caused by years of bad posture (which we already knew), whereas..
- the hip issue is probably caused by wear and tear, particularly the fact I did so much sport as a kid
- I shouldn't cycle other than just leg spinning
- I can run, but not on consecutive days, not if it hurts, and not too far
- I have less than half my usual power in my right leg, and I've got to monitor that
- the sciatic nerve issue is hindering rest and recuperation all over the body, so I need to sleep more than usual. (This would help explain the tiredness I've been feeling since last autumn).

Apart from all that, I'm ready to compete in the Olympics.  There are a lot of 'probably's in everything the physio said - he can't be certain, which is why I'm on to the next stages of diagnosis. Since 2003 I've been able to mark every year down as "the year I did the Etape, rode Lands End-John O'Groats, ran my first marathon" and so on - it's looking like 2012 is going to be "the year I did sod all", but also I hope "the year I got some stuff sorted out".

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't slightly miserable about all this. It's the open-ended nature of it I think. However, on the positive side and not being self-centred for a moment, I have a child (Liv) who's doing the classic Ten Tors challenge on Dartmoor this weekend, and a friend (Rachel) doing a skydive. I'm very jealous of both, and intensely proud of Liv - she's trained for months, not only in the physical side of things, but also the navigation and route-plotting skills needed. Chapeau et courage mademoiselle.  Even the weather's looking pretty favourable. Though out on those moors, I doubt it'll be quite so congenial.

Sitting here writing this, I've realised I've got a role model for the next few weeks - Ledley King of course. The man never trains because of his "dodgy knees" (I've never quite understood the medical niceties of Ledley's knees' "dodginess"), but still manages to put in sterling performances (for the most part) at the heart of the Tottenham defence. There we go; I can be the inverse of God during his creative phase, I can sit on my ar$e for 6 days a week, and run half-marathons like my trousers are on fire on the seventh day. Praise be.

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