It’s hip to be efficient

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To bee or not to bee. Bruce chose to clock the wasps.
To bee or not to bee. Bruce chose to clock the wasps.

So on my recent 50th birthday, and just two days before I was to receive a cortisone shot into my hip joint, a friend told me his experiences with receiving such shots were very painful.

Thanks, Shannon. You had me worried about how much it would hurt to get a large needle poked into my groin area and pushed right up to my hipbone. Anything below excruciating would be a success in my mind.

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So imagine my surprise when the most pain – and it was only a slight stinging – came from the local anesthetic.

Yeah, what a relief.

What I wound up with was yet another positive experience in the Diagnostic Imaging department at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance.

You may recall back in March I had an X-Ray done on that same hip. I was in and out in no time, and was actually unhappy I didn’t get to finish watching a renovation show on the TV in the Diagnostic Imaging (DI) department’s main waiting room.

This time around, I had the procedure done while the fluoroscope imaging machine was powered up. And it didn’t seem to take much time at all once again.

I barely had time to sit in the DI main waiting room. Heck, I read a short story on my phone and fired up a game of solitaire, only to put my phone away as my name was called to head to another waiting room.

Back into solitaire I went. Same game. And again I didn’t complete it – and I’ve done them in less than three minutes in the past.

Instead, I had to go strip down and gown up. From that point on, basically any delays were because the X-Ray techs and the radiologist were stuck with a patient asking a ton of questions – me.

The folks were great, really friendly and answering any question I tossed their way.

I laid down on the X-Ray table, had the fluoroscope whiz around as one of the techs – and I swear she needed at least a forklift licence to run the thing – put it into position, and then the table lifted me (remember, I said forklift) into the desired position.

The doc briefed me that likely the most pain I would feel would be from him putting the needle in for the local anesthetic. After that, I’d likely feel only some pressure as he pumped the cortisone and a short-term pain reliever into my hip joint.

He did say I might feel something as the needle touched the bone, which to me just sounded painful.

I felt the “pinch” of the needle and that was about it. Sure, there was some discomfort as he administered the cortisone, but after being told by others to expect a great deal of pain, I was ridiculously relieved. When they told me they were done, I couldn’t believe it. So fast, so little pain.

In terms of timing, I arrived at the hospital just after 1 p.m. for my 1:30 p.m. procedure, and was on the table before 1:30. I was walking down Emma Street by 2:15 p.m. Had I walked out of the hospital prior to my procedure, I’d have been in a great deal of pain by the time I got halfway around the hospital, let alone to Emma.

The doc said I could expect an afternoon without pain, and he was right. My wife was surprised to hear that I was hoofing it from the hospital. But the doc wanted me to walk around to circulate the medicine.

In regards to the cortisone, as I write this, it’s too early to tell just how effective the shot will be. The doc said I would feel immediate improvement, but the short-term medicine would wear off and then I’d have to give the cortisone a little time – days – to take effect.

For some folks, it does nothing. For others, they feel weeks or months of relief.

We shall see, but it certainly seems to be much improved. Not perfect, but way better than it was.

 To bee or not to bee

I received a cute present last week, the day after my birthday to be exact, from Wallaceburg residents Sally and Gary Lucier.

They read this column regularly and said the “delicious aroma” from my barbecue will surely continue to attract bees.

To help me out, they gave me two Bee Bats. The mahogany novelty items are essentially wooden paddles.

According to the operating instructions, you use an overhand smash to take out high-flying bees, an underhand drive to whack low fliers and whatever you want to take them out in midlevel flight.

I was also advised to never clean the Bee-Bats with honey.

But the kicker was the final sentence in the instructions: “In case of Bee-Bat malfunction, Run, Run, Run!”

Thanks for the laugh, Sally and Gary. At least one of the Bee-Bats will hang near my barbecue at all times.

 

 

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