Erik Heerlein’s Weblog

My bones look good and moving on to phase two.

Posted in Personal Health Status by erikheerlein on August 28, 2008

I had a checkup with the doctor about my knee and the bad news is that I probably won’t be able to enter any cage fighting matches any time soon. And given my penchant for hocking loogies at my opponent, I guess it is just as well since spitting at your opponent is just one of the many fouls in Ultimate Fighting matches. Pounding on his skull until he goes unconscious is encouraged, even rewarded. But please, don’t get any of your saliva on the guy. You don’t want kids to get the wrong idea.


Isaac Brekken for The New York Times

Photo: Isaac Brekken for The New York Times


The good news is that I got an A+ on my checkup and a gold star on my chart. Well, not really, but it would have been funny if the doc pulled out a sheet of stickers and slapped one on there like in elementary school.

I first went to radiology for 2 x-rays where I happened to notice a big red switch on the wall labeled, “Mayday Switch” which was accompanied by a list of instructions to follow in case one found it necessary to flip it. I didn’t get to ask the technician exactly what kind of situation would qualify as a “Mayday” situation but I’m guessing it wouldn’t involve the Clearing House Prize Patrol or any form of cake.

So they gave me the little lead apron and my bones smiled for the x-ray camera and it all made for a pretty picture suitable for scrapbooking. In fact, they were so pretty that the doctor said that I can move on to phase two, which is to slowly start putting weight on the leg. Originally, I wasn’t supposed to be doing that for at least another 6 weeks but I’ve been a good little patient. He was also impressed with my range of motion but he didn’t have much to say about my birth mark that looks like Pete Rose stealing second base. I think the doc he was a Mets fan.

And for those of you playing the home game of, “To Shave Or Not To Shave!”, recent studies show that shaving actually increases the chance of infection. They may trim the hair with some clippers a bit, but even for surgeries on your hairy noggin, they don’t shave down to the skin anymore.

They are going to send me a copy of the x-rays, which I’ll post, along with that card for airport security certifying that I’m not smuggling a revolver in my knee cap. The doc said that the amount of metal in my leg is about equal to the wristwatch on my arm and when I’ve forgotten to put that watch in the bin, it has always set off the metal detectors. However, he said that he’s never filled out one of those cards before and he’s never even seen one, so I’m hoping it doesn’t turn out to be some kind of medical urban legend, like aspirin and the G-spot.

The doc was also out of the loop on whether or not I can ever get an MRI. Since an MRI machine is basically a 10-ton magnet, it can suck in anything metal from a floor polisher to a wheelchair. I shudder to think what it would do to my leg.


Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of

Images provided courtesy of


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