Friday, February 23, 2007


That’s the Holland Orthopædic & Arthritic Centre of the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre on Toronto’s Wellesley Street. It’s where I spent two hours Friday morning in the mandatory “pre-op” for March 6’s arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. A clerk asked me questions and filled out a form, I had an ECG done, and then I saw the anæsthesiologist who confirmed that, yes, I was healthy. The heartrate on the ECG was slow, my b.p. was 124/73 (that’s good, right?), and there is, basically, nothing wrong with me. :-)

The news buried in this post, of course, is that I’m having surgery.

I haven’t run, really, since mid-January ’06. I’ve done various work-outs, “probe runs” (as Coach Pimm called them) of one or two miles, and just accepted the pain. By late fall ’06 I accepted that the problem wasn’t going to go away with non-invasive physical, chiropractic, or shiatsu therapy (though each has its virtues). My family doc requisitioned an MRI, which I got in early December. The result: a “small radial tear of the medial meniscus body”. (Also “severe chondromalacia patella”, but that’s the subject for another post.) So my family doc referred me to a specialist, an orthopædic surgeon. That was December 4.

In mid-January I called my doc. Any progress? Well, no; it would be months, perhaps eight months, before I saw the orthopædist. Eight months! What about my Ironman?

I spoke to my doc, and she said she’d “grovel” (her word), and the next day or the day after I got a call from the ortho’s office: I had an appointment for the next week. It was the day I was booked to return from Los Angeles, but I resched’d my flight to return over night (I ended up flying on a late and nearly empty flight from Los Angeles to Boston and then taking a little EMBRAER jet to Toronto.) Dozy, I saw the ortho. He recommended no surgery—unless I wanted to run. Yes, I did.

So they put me on the cancellation list—and less than two weeks later, I had my date.

I know it’s odd, but I’m excited at the prospect of surgery!

The one negative, if it is a negative, is that my schedulaholism cannot be satisfied. I have my March work-out schedule, but it’s not much more than Coach Steve’s wild guess as to what I’ll be able to do. The ortho will talk to me after the op, and we’ll take it from there. I’m kind of hoping I can go to the triathlete swim training class three days later and do some work-outs with a pull-buoy between my thighs, but, sigh, we’ll see!

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