Sixty-five may have its benefits.
I now ride SEPTA free, subways and buses, that is. I’ll get my money’s worth on that deal because I’m on the Philly subways a lot, 2-3 times a day. Just show my little card and, whamo, I’m on.
But age can work against you, too, like back in May when I ran Broad Street with my son, Matt. And what a great run it was: through the heart of the city and neighborhoods to the Naval Yard. Finished fine, but not at the same time my son did. He’s 31.
Next day, however, I couldn’t walk. The pain and stiffness in my left hip was about all I could bear. Loaded up on Motrin and toughed it out. By August when it wasn’t much better, I went to a doctor. He took x-rays and said I have hip arthritis and need a hip replacement.
I laughed. I need a what? Get out of here.
Couple of weeks later I went to another doctor; a hip surgeon who does hip replacements. I figured if I was getting a second opinion, I’d go to a doctor that worked in the trenches of what I had. His diagnosis: Not hip arthritis but tendonitis and bursitis. Gave me some anti-inflammatory medicine and told me to work on loosing up the hip with stretching and exercises.
I’m up to 25 minutes on the treadmill a day and feeling good. Stretching and exercising, just like the doc said.
So how can one doctor say this, and another doctor say that?
To be honest, the hip surgeon said I do have some cartilage loss in my left hip, but nothing near hip arthritis. He said I‘m done running on the street, which I’ve been doing for 30 years. He told me to swim, use a stationary bike, do exercises that won’t put more wear and tear on my left hip.
Or, he said, “In 10 years you may really need my services, if you get my drift.”
I want to get back to the street. The treadmill is okay, it’s bringing me back from the tendinitis and bursitis, but it’s not outside running. So here’s my plan: I’m getting an MRI on the hip soon to see what my chances are of getting back outside. It will give me a better idea of how much cartilage loss I have.
If someone has a better idea I’d like to hear it.