The back doctor in Park City had prescribed yoga for what he called my (“on the fence, one wrong move and you’re done,” back. So from his office, yoga is where I headed, directly.
The doctor must have known my back was in severe spasm. He has eyes. I could barely walk, I was bent over dang near in half, and a good measure to the side. He must have known from umpteen years of studying medicine that yoga, now thought of as an almost proven cure for so many things that ail, isn’t what one should even think of doing when ones back is in severe, I mean friggin A, severe spasm. So why he didn’t qualify his prescribing yoga with a “but not till you can walk upright,” I’ll never know. What a ninny. Him, and me. Both of us. What ninnies.
Not to totally change injury subjects, but the above passage reminds me of a local doc who after throwing 8 stitches into a deep, ragged, 2 and a half inch long shin gash, boot high, let me leave the emergency room without mentioning, let alone stressing, that my shin gash was going to be ultra painful, for a long while. Instead he let me leave with a quirky “You’re fine, should be jumping around in days.”
I assume he was pandering to what I was; A typical 40 year-old fit guy who thought of himself as macho. Can’t fault him for that. Especially cause I totally bought into his pander at the time because my body was still in the shock stage and not fully feeling the pain. What the doc should have told me on my way out of his office is “On your way home pick up some Kleenex, because tonight, you’re going to ball like a colicky infant.” And that’s what I did, curled up, on the floor. I balled.
Took a week before my body even thought of having a pain free moment, and half a year without going a full day at least once recognizing some sort of discomfort from the shin.
A couple months later I happened to see the doc who stitched me and ditched me. He apologized. He was sincere. He said he’d heard around town that I had suffered significant pain, and that I’d spoken to someone during the worst period of it and mentioned to her that I felt the doctor who’d stitched me was way too casual in explaining the level of pain I’d feel during my injuries first efforts to heel. The doc admitted he should have warned me just how awfully painful a shin gash can be. He ended with, “Yours was pretty awful. Sorry.”
Here’s what you can’t do. You can’t assume a doctor will cover everything he or she should when treating you, anymore than you can assume the weatherman will forecast accurately.
Doctors have knowledge, they don’t know things. They’re dealing with relatively very little concrete information about all that we bring to them. Really, they’re out there on the edge of not knowing a gol-darn thing, and not always being 100% thorough with the task at hand. Remember that.
Back to the back. Way back in 2000, after my back injury, I had no idea doctors were fallible. That’s why I took the back doctors statement that yoga is good for bad backs as money in the bank. And it’s why I was astounded that after a 90 minute full-on session of yoga, my back felt/got worse. Yoga dang near crippled me. And all because there are so many things in life we can learn only through living.
Tell you what, I remember that yoga session, deeply. I’ll tell you about it in the next column. Remember this is #2 of a series of columns explaining why I decided to loose a fair chunk of weight. I’ll get to the point, later than sooner.