The Summer of My Discontent

With respect but no apology to Bill Shakespeare, this has the potential to be the summer of my discontent. Alas. I went to the sports medicine doc yesterday for confirmation that I have iliotibial band syndrome with hip bursitis included for good measure. Woot.

Now is the winter of our discontent
Made glorious summer by this son of York;
And all the clouds that low’r’d upon our house
In the deep bosom of the ocean buried.

Richard The Third Act 1, scene 1, 1–4

OK. OK. Let’s not get overly dramatic about this. Government Motors could be heading into bankruptcy. The North Koreans could be lighting the fuse on the nuclear firecracker. The Cleveland Indians could be in last place. Ah. Bad examples. But you know what I mean.

And I pretty much knew this was the problem when I headed to the doc’s office. Essentially, I have an inflammation — pretty common, actually — of the iliotibial band, a long fiberous tissue that runs on the outside of the leg from the hip to below the knee. As I understand it, the iliotibial band shifts during exercise and can cause problems in other areas (commonly knee) — in my case in the hip, with a swelling of a fluid filled sac. Gee. Starting to sound like Grey’s Anatomy without the sex and heartache. I digress.

Here’s where I’m at:

Hip bursitis is a common problem that causes pain over the outside of the upper thigh. A bursa is a fluid filled sac that allows smooth motion between two uneven surfaces. For example, in the hip, a bursa rests between the bony prominence over the outside of the hip (the greater trochanter) and the firm tendon that passed over this bone. When the bursal sac becomes inflamed, each time the tendon has to move over the bone, pain results. Because patients with hip bursitis move this tendon with each step, hip bursitis symptoms can be quite painful.

Don’t recall the doc giving me that much detail. But when she said, “You’re f@#ked, big guy,” I figured it wasn’t a good sign. So now it gets interesting. The doc wants me to go to physicial therapy — and to stop running for at least a month. (Note to self: No way. I’m running the Peachtree 10K in Atlanta July 4 with my friends Walter and Jerry. So we’ll see where we are at in a week or two.)

Maybe there are some lessons to be learned for all of us who like to run and exercise as I hit the road to recovery. In the 30 years I’ve been running this is really the first time I have been injured and told to stop. So maybe there is something to learn here.

And at a minimum, I’ve already learned that there are only three questions important to the medical profession and bureaucracy.

  • Do you have insurance?
  • What’s the group number?
  • Did you bring your insurance card?

Hope Prez O finds answers to those questions as we move to national health care. Woot.

And another word on civility — which I wrote about yesterday in a post involving SCOTUS nominee Sonya Sotomayor.

Looks like the controversy about the failure of LeBron James to shake hands with the Orlando Magic players after the game six debacle is going to last longer than the Cavs’ run in the playoffs. And James is wrong here. It’s a matter of sportsmanship — and civility. To his credit, James has had a good sense “of doing the right thing” since he joined the Cavs — and that public perception has benefited him through this first phase of what should be a long and successful career. (The fact that he looks like a dork wearing an ill-fitting New York Yankees cap is another matter.)

Still, James could have done better here — and even the NYT sports writers who are basically shilling for the Knicks in the attempt to woo LeBron to Gotham City are critical. Here’s from a column by William C. Rhoden:

Most impressive of all, after the conclusion of each hard-fought series, regardless of how heated tempers had become, players and coaches on each team took a deep breath, shook hands and congratulated each other. This is a sports tradition, like the handshake line at the end of an N.H.L. playoff series, the jersey exchange in soccer and the meeting at the net in tennis. Even boxers hug after a fight. More than any lecture we can give to young athletes, these series-ending displays speak volumes about respect and sportsmanship.

The glaring exception, one still being discussed, occurred after Orlando closed out Cleveland in the Eastern Conference finals on Saturday night. LeBron James walked off the court without shaking hands with Orlando players or coaches. James, the N.B.A.’s most valuable player, did not shake hands with his Olympic teammate Dwight Howard. He didn’t speak to reporters after the game, either. (The N.B.A. announced Monday it would not fine James for not making himself available to the news media.)

“I just thought he would have said something to me or said something to the team,” said Howard, who will face the Los Angeles Lakers in the N.B.A. finals beginning Thursday. “He’s probably upset, probably hurt and understand that, respect it. One day we’ll see each other, and I’ll have to wait until then.”

Civility matters.

And WTF. LeBron enters the summer of his discontent. Just like me.


2 responses to “The Summer of My Discontent

  1. Hi, I found your site while researching my condition (bone spurs in the neck 😦 ). Have you tried swimming or did the doc not suggest that?

    I swim every other day and on the “other days” i work out (run, bike, weights).
    Since I started swimming my pain has gone away, my neck cracks alot less, etc… It took a few weeks for the results of swimming to kick in but it has been well worth it (also good for other areas of your body.)
    I guess i’m lucky because I live in Florida and can swim all year.
    Good luck to you!

    • Patrick,

      Hello. And thanks for your comment. I’ve never really learned to swim — although I know that is great exercise and easy on the joints an so on. I may consider it though if this doesn’t improve soon. But something tells me it would take a while before I would get any benefits from swimming since right now I doubt I could manage a lap in a pool. Glad to know that swimming helped you with your neck problem.

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