Coincidence?: Part 3

This is slowing becoming a replay of 2009! After the doctor’s office FORGOT to forward my request for a referral to an orthopedic surgeon last Friday before closing, I was forced to wait until Monday to call and see if that requested had been filled. This morning I called and since the nurse practitioner who saw me wasn’t in the request had been passed to the doctor. I was told to call back after lunch time.

After waiting another 3 hours I finally put in a call to the office. I got lucky and got the nurse’s assistant. I explained the situation and then wanted to know the update on my referral request. She told me that the nurse practitioner wanted me to go for physical therapy for 2-3 weeks BEFORE seeing an orthopedic surgeon. Huh?

So let me get this straight, neither the doctor or the nurse practitioner can confirm what the problem with my left knee is, either a sprain or tear of the MCL. This was the same condition 3 years ago when I was told by my doctor, consequently I fell down the stairs a few days later and got a referral to see the orthopedic surgeon. Instead I was “pre-authorized” to go to physical therapy for a condition that CANNOT be verified!

As of today, now 8 days after injuring my left knee the only symptom that has improved to a degree has been the swelling. Quickly perusing the Internet for a few signs of a possibly MCL tear, I found this from Cedars-Sinai:

  • Pain, which can range from mild to severe, depending on how serious your injury is
  • Stiffness
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness along the inside of the knee
  • A feeling that your knee may give way under stress or may lock or catch.

Let’s take the list from the top. Pain, yup! I have it, but it does range from sever to mild, depending on what I am doing. If I am standing for any period of time, the pain becomes too much. Sitting at work, it’s not bad, it doesn’t go away.

Stiffness. Sure thing. If the knee is bent too long it’s sore and stiff on the back of the knee. Conversely if I have been laying in bed and try to get up, it takes a bit to get the knee to bend, but the pain is always there.

The swelling comes and goes with the amount of time I am on my feet. The longer I am standing, the knee will start to swell. If I am sitting, such as at work, the swelling does decrease. I have also notice an odd bulge that pushes out from the left side of my knee. I figure that is probably just fluids, but I can’t confirm that.

The MCL region of the left knee is still tender, has been since last Sunday evening when something popped and the pain flared up. Even to the tough, the region is warm and very tender. Pushing or probing the area is quite sore.

Finally what concerns me most, having a feeling my knee will give away. I had it happening once and I fear it will happen again, unannounced without warning. I take extra care in walking up and especially down the stairs. Last thing I want is another fall on the stairs as I had in 2009. It was also be the quickest way to get that referral I should of had last Monday!

Now I probably could have pushed the issue and might do so tomorrow. I know my body better than my doctor. All the signs of a possible tear are evident, but WHY they won’t give me a referral is anyone’s guess. This is just one more situation in which my doctor isn’t out for my best interest. His office has been on my shit list since January I met with the doctor to compare my blood tests (July, 2011 vs December, 2011) and he didn’t think I could sustain a plant-based, whole food diet. That same appointment saw him prescribe 50,000IU/weekly of Vitamin D for a reported “deficiency.” He has been wrong too many time recently and I am not happy.

Norv, AJ & the NFL

Sometimes it’s quick surprising when I explain to people during the NFL season I have been participating in fantasy football for 28 years. My fantasy league, the TFL will ring in year 29 with the kickoff of the 2012-2013 NFL season. Unfortunately, I could care less. Thankfully fantasy football will fulfill my desire to gamble on the season with friends I grew up with over the years. While we have moved our different directions, fantasy football brings us together every year.

But this post isn’t about the rekindling of friendships and reminiscing about years gone by. This year isn’t about supporting my team, the San Diego Chargers. While I won’t give up fantasy football, I really didn’t put much effort into until I found Fantasy Football Starters, hosted by Russ Bliss. I am not here to promote Russ or FFS, it’s the fantasy service I have used for the past two years and really like what they offer. This also reignited my interest in the NFL when I signed up with their service.

Unfortunately the 2011-2012 season, both for the Chargers and my fantasy football teams were a disaster. The fantasy team I take full responsibility for their failure, adding in injury and some players who just never broke out of their rut and performed. The Chargers though…failure, starting with ownership, down to the GM, head coach and some of the key players who seem to talk a big game, but rarely put one of those performances together. Vincent Jackson, you listening?

Add to that the bounty program offered to Saints defensive players. This on top of other notable scandals, such as the 2003 Spygate involving the New England Patriots videotaping opponent’s defensive signals. It’s not limited to teams, but individual players caught in a negative light also seem to shine bright during the NFL season. ” Actions of Adam “Pacman” Jones, Terry “Tank” Johnson, Chris Henry, and Ben Roethlisberger that subsequently got them suspended” (source).

So for the upcoming NFL season I pledge allegiance to team. I have given up on the San Diego Chargers until ownership gets rid of a two pronged problem, AJ Smith and Norv Turner. Both have been terrible for the Chargers. The “Lord of No Rings” continues his tradition of mediocrity in San Diego. To his credit he has made some worthwhile moves, but those have been overshadowed by questionable decisions that have set the franchise back. For example, drafting Eli Manning in the 2004 NFL Draft, when he (well his father) declared he wouldn’t play for the Chargers. In defense of that move, we did get Philip Rivers, Nate Kaeding and Shawne Merriman with the draft picks that were included in the trade that send Manning to the Giants.

The departure of Drew Brees after suffering an injury in the 2005 season finale was a surprise to many in San Diego. Smith refused to sign Brees to a long term contract or tag him as a franchise player and he eventually went into free agency. The rest is history. Michael Turner was drafted in the 5th round of the 2004 draft, but playing behind LT, he didn’t see much time. Turner signed a one year tender in 2007 and became a restricted free agent. The following year Atlanta signed him to a  $34.5 million contract. The rest is history.

Finally, the worst move of his tenure as the GM in San Diego was the departure of Marty Schottenheimer as head coach after a 14-2 season, which resulted in a 3 point loss to the New England Patriots in the playoffs. This issue was fueled more my owner, Alex Spanos, but since Marty wasn’t “AJ’s guy” it was evident the writing was on the wall. Still 14-2 on the season, what a shitty way to do a head coach. On top of that both the offensive and defensive coordinators departed for head coaching jobs. Yet more rebuilding in San Diego.

So while I am a San Diego guy, I just can come to support the Chargers or the NFL in the 2012-2013 season. Between the irresponsible players and coaches coupled with poor management of my favorite team I am done with the NFL. I will still play fantasy football and lobby my support for a player’s performance rather than what team wins or loses. I don’t care.

I have gone through a similar situation previously, but it was the interaction and enjoyment I had using Fantasy Football Starters that got my interest reignited. So for the upcoming season I will still follow player and teams for the benefit of having and sharing knowledge as it relates to fantasy football. As for the NFL season, I could care less as it will make no difference who wins, who loses or how the Chargers do.