Sunday, April 20, 2008

32 Going on 80

2008 is turning out to be a rough year so far. First I broke my arm and now I'm in the hospital for ankle surgery. A few years ago this spontaneous ankle swelling started to happen. The ankle would stay swollen and tight for a few days and then return to normal. I ignored it the best I could but this year the swelling became larger and more frequent so I returned to the doctor to see what could be done.

I had gone to doctors in the past for things like this. The last one I went to drained a bunch of fluid out of the ankle (that was so cool) and then tested me for gout (that was not cool). Who gets the gout in one leg? It just kind of amazed me that no one could tell me what was going on, or even recommend getting an MRI. Most of the doctors just recommended waiting. Waiting for what? Until it's really screwed up?

So I bit the bullet last Wednesday and got an MRI on the ankle. My right knee has been bothering me also so I figured why not get that checked out also. I thought maybe I could get a two for one deal. No dice, they don't even accept coupons. Scanning both areas costs a lot. I fell asleep during the scans and it was the most expensive nap I've ever had.

The results were I have no anterior taliofibular ligament. It's funny because I don't recall having lost it, but I guess it's gone all the same. Damage to this area is usually a result of trauma in sports; however, I don't recall having done anything too crazy to the ankle.

So yesterday I had the reconstructive surgery. In the states they administer a general anesthetic which knocks a person completely out. Here they use a spinal anesthetic, which is exactly what it sounds like-- a couple of shots in the spine and my legs went numb. I was actually awake for part of the operation but wasn't able to see anything.

So now I'm in a hospital room with three other ajushies (old Korean guys). Their past time seems to be snoring a farting quite loudly in their sleep. Actually, everyone here has been really nice and accommodating, I'm just ready to home where I'm the only one who snores and farts in his sleep. There's no way I can keep up with these guys.

The funny thing is when I broke my arm three months ago I said how happy I was that I didn't break my leg. Now I'm on crutches for four weeks. Then, when the ankle heals, I get surgery done on my right knee. It's going to be a long spring/summer.

The reason I have these compounded problems is two fold, genetics and lifestyle. I tend not to keep cartilage very well, that's the genetics and I like sports that are harsh on my body. Those of you who know me well know what an extreme guy I am. Extreme! My idea of a good time is biffing it in the half pipe. Actually that's not my idea of good time but that's what tends to happen anyway. It's a tough decision to make, do I slow down and compromise or do I keep going at it. Riding my bike, snowboarding and playing sports are things that make life worth living so what is the true price of compromise. Funny though, I can tell you exactly how much the price of not compromising is. I have the medical bills to prove it.

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