Archive for Wednesday, July 26, 2000

Chipmunk cheeks, wimpy injuries

July 26, 2000

I've seen the future and it isn't pretty.

On Thursday I had my upper wisdom teeth removed and my face ballooned to "chipmunk cheek" status. I've made up my mind after seeing my swollen face reflected in the mirror that no matter how much work it takes, I'm going to stay in shape after my running career is over. "Pudge Pressgrove" is not a face I want to see again for a long time.

The wisdom teeth surgery was the second of six visits to a medical facility for me in a two week span. This week I have a dentist appointment, orthopedic appointment and a revisit to the oral surgeon (or wisdom tooth doctor in plain English). Good thing I'm still covered on my parents insurance guess I'll have to take better care of self when I'm out of school so I can afford insurance.

Most of the appointments are just yearly checkups before I head back to Michigan for school. Similar to the annual car checkup up before the big family vacation.

The visit to the orthopedist isn't an annual one, and it is the one that I'm looking forward to the least (not that I look forward to getting my teeth pulled or drilled on). I've been fighting a knee injury all summer, and after two visits to the family doctor and no answers, I'm heading to a specialist.

I've never had the most talent in the world as a runner, but I've been reasonably successful due to my ability to stay healthy. Unfortunately, this summer my running has been limited due to stiffness in my right knee. What bothers me the most about this injury is that it isn't a "oh, he's out for three months with a ruptured carthologostincus (I made it up, but it sure sounds serious)." Instead it is just a wimpy, nagging knee stiffness. The knee only hurts once or twice a week and as soon as I start thinking about seeing a doctor it decides to stop hurting.

I can picture myself in the trainer's room this school year surrounded by football players comparing injuries.

Football Player 1: "Man , what happened to you?"

Football Player 2: "Dude, I popped my shoulder out of place and broke three ribs when the free safety blindsided me. How 'bout you homie?'"

Player 1: "Well I broke my tibia when their tackle chop blocked me. How 'bout you cross guy.'"

Cross Country runner: "My knee hurts every once in a while so I have to ice it everyday. I'm not really sure when I hurt it."

Player 2: "HA HA HA!"

Player 1: "The preschool training room is down the hall, girlie. Why don't you go and get a real injury before I give you one."

As my teammates are running at least 70 miles a week, I'm struggling to get 55. With the recent wisdom teeth surgery I even had to take four days off. Maybe it was a blessing in disguise by giving my knee a chance to heal.

So here I sit with chipmunk cheeks and a "girlie" knee injury pondering exactly why they call them "wisdom teeth." I think I need to go to a psychologist next.

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