The Back Story: I Ache In The Places Where I Used To Play
On the last day of my 2007 Hilton Head vacation, I began the same morning run I had completed each previous day. A couple of blocks later, a pain in my right leg became severe enough to convince me to abort the effort and limp back home. When the pain persisted unabated for almost a month, I saw my physician, who diagnosed a pulled adductor and recommended anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. After two or three weeks of physical therapy brought about no relief, a second doctor’s appointment resulted in an x-ray to rule out a hip fracture in anticipation of an orthopedic consultation. One glance at the film transformed that rule-out into a confirmed diagnosis.
A few minutes later, my son was chauffeuring me to the hospital with a referral to an orthopedic surgeon. Quick as a wink, I was domiciled in a room, ownership of impressive quantities of what were once my own bodily fluids was transferred to a variety of laboratories, and my signature was affixed to multiple pieces of paper which must be read by someone someplace sometime. Most significantly, I underwent an examination notable for the surgeon’s repeated, rhetorical refrain “And you continued X’ing (where “X” = walk, exercise, ride a bike, …) on that leg with the broken hip for how many weeks?” Afterward, the nurse told me, “Well, I’ve never seen Dr _____ write an order for ‘Strict Bed Rest’ with 17 underlines and 8 exclamation marks. See that, where the doctor’s pen has ripped through the paper?”
The operation itself was a joy. After a couple of whiffs of gas from a mask, I found myself gazing at the walls of a recovery room cubicle, my hip well on the road to recovery.
The final requirement for discharge was demonstrating to a physical therapist that I was capable of locomotion WITHOUT PLACING ANY WEIGHT WHATSOEVER ON MY RIGHT LEG (yes, I know employing all caps is impolite. but when my surgeon addressed this issue, he spoke in all caps). It was thus that yet another of my narcissistic defenses bit the dust. When the young, attractive. vivacious physical therapist suggested that a walker might prove safer as well as easier and more efficient to use than crutches, I, being of the manly man persuasion, informed the young lady that he would keep an open mind but frankly saw himself more an injured jock on crutches than a crazy old codger limping behind a walker with a macramé pouch dangling from the crossbar. That notion persisted no longer than the therapist’s explanation of the maneuver required to approach a toilet on crutches if one is restricted to the use of one leg. Since then, I have been hopping behind my assistive walking device.
Rehab, The Cruelty Of The Young, & Walkernastics
After reading posts about my femoral neck fracture, subsequent hip pinning, and post-op orders to use a walker to avoid weight-bearing on the pinned hip, SportsBizPro, groom elect of Very Very Good Girl, emailed this recommendation, “Please make sure to get a few ‘action shots’ of you walking around and post them!”
Now, one can hardly begrudge the inherent psychological drive of the young, hale, and hearty to point out and comment on the physiological deterioration of their elders. Ridiculing photos of the impaired is, after all, at least somewhat more sublimated than shoving the old folks onto ice floes.
Still, because I found it difficult to believe a photo of me as walker-gimp would appeal to viewers other than (1) ungrateful whippersnappers all too eager to replace the Boomer generation who currently (and rightfully) run things and (2) individuals with a strong skew toward the sadistic, I deferred any action on that idea.
Since that original suggestion, however, I’ve received enough similar requests that, in acquiescence to the wishes of the my audience and without passing judgment on the possible motivations – regardless of how sinister and perverse those may be, I offer this shot of me on my assigned apparatus, the pommel walker.
I apologize for the low level of expertise demonstrated in this instance. It turns out that the timing involved in capturing an action shot by triggering the camera’s self-timer and then executing the move is too tricky for any complicated procedures so I had little choice other than the simple loop dismount shown here. Despite several attempts, for example, I could never get the timing right for a photo of the handstands – and, as for those Russian Wendeswings, well, a picture of those would have just been grandstanding.
Related Post: See the announcement of my freedom from my walker at
Note: Originally posted August 11, 2007 at 1HeckOfAGuy.com, a predecessor of AllanShowalter.com