Get thee to an orthopedery

December 3, 2015 § 37 Comments

Reader of this blog may know that I am cheap, so when the cute ER doc fondled my ballsack with thick rubber gloves and enough disinfectant to sanitize the Rio Doce, and told me that if it “still hurt after two weeks” I should see an orthopedist, I could only snicker to myself.

“Wanky ain’t spendin’ no money on no damn doctor.”

I came by my medskepticisum honestly. My mother, who is a doctor, taught me early not to trust MD’s. “Don’t ever go to a doctor unless you’re on death’s door,” she used to whisper, “and when you do, only go to the very best.”

My Grandpa Jim hated doctors, all of them, except my mom, but she didn’t really count because she was a psychiatrist anyway. “Sumbitches,” he called them.

One night he had his third heart attack and they took him to the ER at Lake O’ the Pines Hospital and Used Carburetors in Daingerfield, Texas. We sped up from Houston, six hours distant, to find Grandpa lying on a gurney in a hallway, in a rage.

“Oh my god, Daddy, are you okay?” Mom asked.

“Hell no I’m not okay!” he roared.

“What are you doing in the hallway?” she asked.

The flustered doctor came over. “He won’t let us check him in.”

“Get away from me, you sumbitch!” Grandpa roared, his fourth heart attack not far off. My grandmother, Estelle, stood there wringing her hands.

Grandpa, who couldn’t move his head because he’d also broken his neck when he fell out of the bed, roared at the top of his lungs. “STELLA! GODDAMIT, GET ME SOME GODDAMN WHISKEY!”

Even at the age of six I knew that whiskey was good, Grandpa was great, hospitals were terrible, and doctors were sumbitches.

So each day at home with my strained ballsack I’ve been watching the incremental improvement and getting treatment from a combination of efficiently using Google Chrome and a straw poll among fellow idiots.

It turns out that the strained ballsack, a/k/a pulled groin, is common. Everyone has either had three, or knows someone who has. My problem is that since I began cycling in 1982 and racing in 1984, I’ve never been injured. Scraped, banged, pushed around, spit on, laughed at, dropped, and knocked over? Yes.

Injured? Never. As Daniel Holloway put it, “Man that’s the most incredible run of luck for a bike racer ever.”

I thought about his statement, which was itself amazing, as no one has actually called me a bike racer before.

But the straw poll was starting to look like this:

  1. 76% of respondents said that strained ballsack hurt worse than a bunch of bad words said quickly in a loud voice, repeatedly.
  2. 27% of respondents said that it takes 3-4 months to heal.
  3. 44% of respondents said that it takes 1-2 months to heal.
  4. Smasher said to “quit being a puss” and “get back on your fuggin’ bike.”
  5. 12% recommended surgery.
  6. 87% recommended deep tissue massage.
  7. 99% of the 87% who recommended massage said it was the most horribly painful thing they’d ever done, worse than the injury. So I scratched that off the list.
  8. 35% said that it will become chronic if you don’t let it heal.
  9. 78% said that they had a friend who knew somebody whose uncle could get me in at a chiro/acupuncture/medical marijuana shop.
  10. 54% asked for my leftover pain meds.
  11. Derek the Destroyer told me to fork over the money and go to a real doctor.

No one suggested self-rehab, so that’s the course I embarked on three days ago. I began by lying on my back and gently stretching the injured ballsack muscle. Huge spears of intense pain shot up into my nuts and from there to my abdomen, pancreas, duodenum, eyes, and back to my urethra.

After that 2-mm movement I stretched a bit further. This time the searing, tearing, ripping, rending feeling was so intense that it felt like sitting on Smasher’s wheel after getting dropped by Derek, mutilated by G$, and then having the whole thing analyzed by Dr. Whaaaaat? after he draggled up to the Domes five minutes later. It fuggin’ hurt.

The rest of the day my stretching regimen made itself known because the tiny improvements I’d made in the last ten days were all completely erased. Stabbing pain with every motion, swollen feet, bleeding eyes, and an aching spine accompanied me until bedtime, so I knew I was on the right track.

Yesterday I upped the rehab intervals so that the pain color flashes looked like the worst of Prez’s outfits and hi-viz orange. By mid-afternoon I couldn’t even sit and the torn ballsack felt worse than it did the day of the bicycle falling off incident. That’s how I knew it was progress.

Proudly I called Derek the Destroyer to let him know that with a combination of my straw poll and a careful reading of the medical articles surrounded by ads for tummy-fat reduction, I had managed to make the pain worse than it originally was.

“Dude,” he said. “You were hurt two weeks ago and you still can’t walk, right?”

“Right!” I said.

“Go see a doctor, okay?”

I thought about it for a second. “Okay,” I said. And then I sang the grandbaby to sleep.



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