Well, the disappointment didn’t take long in coming

Today, I got my second appointment with the new neurologist. After spending 3 hours absorbing the magic healing rays that are evidently given off by an empty exam room and a rack full of magazines that don’t interest me, (broken up by 15 minutes answering questions from a different PA than last time, most of which were already in my file), I got to see the doctor. And he did the physical exam that I’m already too familiar with, having had it more times than I can count, involving moving my kneecap around, pressing on my legs and knees, and all that shit, only to hear the all-too-familiar word “chondromalacia”. Yup, the same diagnosis[1] that I’ve had since I was 15. And since we’re on the endless repeat cycle, I know what’s going to come next – some barely effective anti-inflammatory pills and some physiotherapy that makes the problem far worse.

I might as well forget it – I’m never going to be pain free, and even a reduction in pain or a reduction in the amount of increase in pain over time is too much to hope for. Trying a new doctor has been a complete waste of time, and used up even more of my ever dwindling bag of hope. It’s times like this I wonder how much more of this pain I can stand before I just have to end it all.

Meanwhile, I took some drug that he wanted me to try last night, and woke up feeling sleepy, mildly nauseated and headachy. The PA referred to it as a “hangover”, I assume in a medical sense just meaning a side effect that carries on the next day, but that’s exactly what it felt like, like I’d tied one on last night. And after the 3.5 hour doctor’s appointment (plug half an hour travel time each way) made me two hours late for lunch, I was really feeling sick. I was seriously considering just going home and lying down on the bed and crying for the rest of the day. But instead I grabbed some lunch, and after a few hours I can almost look at a computer screen without feeling like I’m going to barf. I still feel like crying.

[1] Wikipedia says “chondromalacia” isn’t a diagnosis, just a description of the pain. Big fucking deal – it also says the usual treatment is anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy, and “treatment of any underlying cause of the pain”. Well, since nobody has ever discovered the underlying cause of the pain, after X-Rays, MRIs, and arthroscopic surgery, that comes back to the same treatment plan that’s been tried and failed a dozen times already.

Kayak Racing: 24.13 Woo hoo! I rule!

Last Thursday I went for a private lesson with Dan. It went so well that I confidently boasted to somebody that not only would I beat my person best, 24.60, but I’d demolish it with a 24.30. Instead, I not only demolished it, I jumped up and down on the pieces. 24.13. My split was 11.88, compared to my previous best of 12.00, so much of that improvement came in the second half, where my improved technique on both halves of the course meant I had more energy and didn’t have to stop paddling to take a drink several times in the last quarter as I’ve done so many times in the past.

I took a stop watch this time and recorded split times at both buoy turns as well, but I forgot and reset the watch before I recorded them. Oh well, maybe next time.

With my technique and conditioning improving, I’m convinced that the only other factor I need to work on is the fact that I’m paddling a heavy plastic boat. Time to get back out into the garage and finish my Arctic Tern 17 Hi.