Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doctor's Appointments

I've been having knee pain for around a month now. Both of them. It sucks. I can't do any sort of cardio workout and I'm walking around like an old man. I realized that it wasn't just going to go away with rest, so I went to the family doctorphysician's assistant yesterday. She diagnosed me with patellofemoral pain syndrome. Essentially, my kneecap is rubbing on the rest of my knee join and aggravating things. The treatment is mostly stretching and quad strengthening exercises to teach those errant kneecaps their proper place.

Patellofemoral pain syndrome is just a fancy way of saying that the area around my kneecap hurts, by the way. Most medical language is like that. I feel sorry for the people who use the phrase "well at least they have a name for it" related to medicine and illness. Some old lady gets comfort when she finds out that she is tired all the time because of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Except that Chronic Fatigue Syndrome doesn't have a clearly identified cause. Its just the category they put people into who are tired all the time and don't have Lyme disease, etc.

Once you learn the code, medicine gets a lot less impressive. Once you actually work with doctors on a professional level (as I did while researching biomechanics in college) the gild leaves the lily at an alarming rate. Doctors (and especially surgeons) are much more like skilled auto mechanics than white-coated super-scientists. It's a professional degree program, just a difficult one because the nature of the "machine" they're trying to repair.

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