The discomfort in my lower back has not subsided. Standing and lying down relieve the pressure, but prolonged sitting results in a dull throbbing sensation down low. Walking is at times easy, at others a struggle. On Saturday morning, I noticed bruising where there had been none. Growing mildly concerned about the possibility of a fracture, or worse, I visited the Sawbones today.
I'm pleased to report that "Lumbar Contusion" is the diagnosis. The treatment: Alternating ice and heat, Alleve, and beer (I may have added that last one myself).
This constitutes my first visit to a physician since I retired from Uncle Sam's Navy. As my employer provides health coverage free of charge, I opted to take the civilian route, as opposed to navigating the murky waters of TriCare. I was most pleasantly surprised. While there, I disrobed and dressed twice, was examined by the Doc, x-rays were taken and examined by a Radioligist, back with the Doc, treatement discussed, and a tetanus shot for good measure. One hour and ten minutes later, I was sitting in my pickup headed home.
Prior to this, my visits to medical fell under the heading "Adventures in Naval Medicine". A typical experience goes something like this:
Viewing the obviously broken bone in my hand, I proceed to visit the ships "Doc". Submarines only carry a specially trained enlisted Independent Duty Corpsman for medical staff. I was, at varying times, convinced that said training consisted of two things: 1) How to convince someone that they were, in fact, not hurt, but malingering. 2) How to dispense Motrin.
Doc: "Stop malingering. Here's some Motrin. Now get back to work."
Me: "But this bone is pointing in the wrong direction."
Doc: "Yes it is. Stop malingering. Take your Motrin, and get back to work."
Me: "I can't move my fingers."
Doc: "It's getting close to lunch time. Go malinger at Squadron Medical."
A similar scene is repeated at squadron medical, only this time you are sent to Balboa Naval Hospital. Never mind that your hand is obviously broken, drive yourself malingerer.
I was lucky, getting in to see the Doctor a mere two hours after the scheduled appointment. After viewing the obviously broken fifth metacarpal in the x-ray, the Ortho Doc looks at me and asks "what would you like us to do?" (I'm not kidding. You can't make this shit up.)
Uh, gosh, I don't know, give me some Motrin? Reset the bone maybe?
Of course, after said bone had been reset, I was left wondering if I had chosen poorly. No anesthetic or such things. That hurt worse than breaking it did.
"There's your cast, malingerer. Get back to your command." Gladly.
The only hiccup in today's visit came when the Doc asked if I need a note for work. I said no, the only thing this injury is affecting is my ability to ride horses. To which she replied "that's probably for the best."
She obviously does not own any horses.