Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Visit to the Orthopædo

I was visiting an old friend in London last year, when I found it suddenly very painful to sit. In fact the situation was so bad that I had to make a sudden departure from my visit and head back, with my lads, to Cambridge, Even then, it took many weeks for me to recover from the unknown event. Yet how could I recover when I had no inkling what I was recovering from? Not long after that, it was time for me to head to India to continue my adventures. To live and love; to laugh and cry; to see many who are better ~ and a few that are a great deal ~ worse than me.

As long as you get yourself inveigled into the right sort of bunch, India is a great place to be where sitting presents a problem, for you can lie and loll and sprawl, speadeagle yourself, lounging on couches and propped up with cushions stuffed full of silk cotton growing from pods on trees in the next field. With massages and lively chat, your bed exposed to the wildlife and fresh air, you can easily lose yourself in wreaths of timelessness. One day melts into the next until, of course, it's time to come back home.

Driven on by pain again, I have an X-Ray and an appointment with the Orthopædo, who shows me one of these:

The contraption inside me is a hip replacement known as a Mckee Pin, and it was inserted into me when I was a lad of seventeen. It's an artificial ball-and-socket joint, and in my case the ball is still going strong, but the socket has eroded away, disintegrated and collapsed. Yet the good old ball is going so well, that it's trying to grind its way further up into my pelvis. What a good job the body defends itself against such excesses by producing defensive gristle, cartilage, scar tissue and stuff. So there it is! I'm a ball without a socket, a hinge without a bracket, a ping without a pong and a Cedilla without a C. ;)

Now is this a 'good' thing, or a 'bad' thing?

Well that depends on how you want to look at it.
If I'm hoping to enter the paralympics or climb the Eiffel Tower, or even a modest flight of stairs, my hopes are dashed. But if you don't mind being cuddled, cajoled, carried, toted, and carted all about, adjusted, mollified and pampered, then it's great news.
In other words, it's a repeat prescription for being spoiled way beyond what's good for me, a docket for being caressed and stroked, and it's a voucher for my every whim to be granted my every whim in a flash, and in that respect it's just the ticket.