Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Doc Says ...

Gray345 Went to see an orthopedic specialist about some pain I've been having in my knee. I considered not going. With nine days before I'm to get on a train to Georgia, I did not want to hear that hiking in the mountains wasn't in my immediate future...

Besides, I've had knee pain all of my adult life. It'd flair up, last a half hour, then go away and not bother me for months...

But this time the pain wouldn't go away. I felt twinges of pain as I walked, and it was tender to the touch below the kneecap. I called, and was able to get in today - as long as I could get there in 20 minutes...

I may have exceeded a speed limit or three, but I got across town with 5 minutes to spare.  The doctor I saw clearly understood backpacking.  He poked, prodded, stress-tested, and filled in some substantial gaps in my knowledge of the anatomy of the knee. He ruled out tears in either my meniscus or ligaments. And said I have tendonitis. While that's not good, it's not hike-ending.

Phew!

Rest, ice, vitamin I, and daily stretching are in order.  He questioned me about my pack weight, and was happy I wasn't humping 60 lbs.  He likes that I'll be starting out slow and building up to big mile days, and he really liked the idea that I'd be using hiking poles!

The doctor proved he knew more than a little about backpacking when I questioned him about Advil vs Motrin.  He told me that with Aleve at 1 pill every twelve hours, vs 2 Motrin every 6, it helps lighten my pack load!