>KAPOW – The Doctor’s Take

>I am just back from an appointment with my orthopaedic doctor, and all appears to be progressing as it should. He is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon, and helped me a great deal two years ago when I had a severe ankle sprain and was in a cast and on a cane for nearly two months. I had an appointment with him last week, but canceled it the day before because I had been feeling better – which of course was stupid because then I started feeling worse. This time I kept the appointment and decided not to self-diagnose for a change.

After a lot of poking and prodding of the leg and knee, which seem to be getting back to normal quickly, we talked about the neck and back which are the areas at this point that are causing the most annoyance. He says what I am going through at the moment is just part of the healing process after you have a neck strain or sprain. He gave me a book he co-wrote on how to treat neck injuries, and told me that if it gets worse or I am not better in a few weeks, to come back and he will prescribe some physical therapy.

Anyone who knows me well knows that I am not always a good patient. I have a tendency to try to shrug things off and say I am back to normal after an injury far too quickly. Partially this is being reasonably literate and thinking I can diagnose myself. Partially this is the result of being both a man and stubborn. It is simply the case that unless one is a trained medical professional – and sometimes not even then – you should not try to diagnose yourself.

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