First, you must know that sympathy makes me uncomfortable. If you must offer me sympathy, please use a good curse word when you do it. I don't know why it feels less sharp when someone says to me "Aw sh*t, that f***ing sucks a**" as opposed to "Oh, honey that's terrible." It's probably because I have a tear-duct reflect to sympathy. If you want to see me cry, just have my mom call me up when I'm having a bad day and say "Oh, punkin..". I'm a grown woman and this reduces me to tears instantly.
I went to the orthopedist yesterday to figure out my hip issues. My hips have always given me problems, especially after my accident 20 years ago where I ripped my hip flexor tendons. So I wanted to go in and see if I was doing more damage by riding. After waiting an hour and a half for my morning appointment (and no one apologized for the super long wait which should have been a red flag), the orthopedist came in. He sent me for an x-ray and then sat down with his fancy pen and drew some angles on the screen.
"You have hip dysplasia."
"You mean like German Shepherds and Golden Retrievers get? "
He gave me the kind of look you give an idiot, eyebrows raised, pen paused in mid-air.
"Nevermind. I...just...uh...hip dysplasia??" I've seen my fair share of hip dysplasia in dogs over the years. I've recommended supplements for owners with large breeds and concerns about hips. Supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate, designed to help re-build the sonovial fluid in the joint. So, no big deal. I'll just start taking supplements.
The orthopedist at this point was talking and pointing and using his mouse to draw new angles on the screen. I was only half listening as my mind was calculating how much glucosamine I should take and what foods might have high natural sources of it.
Scrreeeeeech. My brain halted. Stuttered. Rewound.
"Not yet, no."
"Phew. You had me worried there for a second."
He explained that I have had hip dysplasia since I was born, but that over the years it has gotten progressively worse. He told me that as I get older, it will continue to progress and that he will probably see me again for a hip replacement. But since I didn't need a hip replacement now, he felt like some physical therapy would be appropriate to help deal with the pain and the scarring on my hip flexors.
"Now," he said as he leaned forward, pointing his pen at me. "Do you want to able to work out, to ride horses or to not have your hip hurt?"
"Yes!" I answered enthusiastically.
"This is not an 'or' question." He frowned at me, giving me that look again as if he couldn't believe how stupid I was. I laughed, sure he was joking. His eyebrows raised again and I shut my mouth mid giggle.
"You're serious? I have to pick one??"
He nodded and leaned back in his chair. "Oh, I see," he smirked. "You're one of those people that want to have their cake and eat it too."
Was he joking? How is wanting to stay in reasonable fit shape, not having pain and riding horses wanting to have your cake and eat it too? I thought doctors wanted you to exercise on a regular basis? What the hell?? I took a deep breath in through my nose and tried again.
"So, I can't work out AND ride horses?" He shook his head. "I can't not be in pain AND work out?" He shook his head again. I sighed.
"I want to ride."
He nodded briskly, scribbled out a prescription for physical therapy and said "Stop riding right now, take ibuprofen three times a day and go see a physical therapist three times a week. They'll tell you when and if you can ride again."
And with that dire statement, he handed me the prescription for physical therapy, nodded again and left.