Friday, November 02, 2012

golfing whimp or just old and decrepit?

I played golf yesterday with my great mates Ken and Steve in Oxford (Pete cried off due to grandchild-sitting duties!).
We had a lovely time together - although we weren’t very impressed by the constant rain showers when the forecast had been for sunshine (of course, the sun came out as we were finishing our round!).
The only depressing thing about the day (apart from the weather) was that I came away thinking that I might be about to label myself as a “former golfer”.
I’ve been suffering from hip problems off and on for some two years now (I’ve just typed in the word “hip” on a search through my blog and came across this note in January2011).
I hadn’t played golf since our trip to Spain in April (apart from hitting a few balls on Iona in June). I’d very reluctantly had to cry off from playing at Burnham+Berrow with good friend Jake at the end of September (because I was finding it very difficult just to walk, let alone get round a golf course).  Physiotherapy subsequently improved things considerably and I found I could walk reasonably well (ie. rather than limp!), so I decided to give golf “another go” yesterday – and accepting that I might well be suffering a little by the end of the round. In the event, the walking was pretty good (not back to normal, but acceptable). What came as a shock was that I had shooting pains down my right leg virtually every time I hit a shot with my driver… and woods and long irons (note for non-golfers: these are the longer clubs, in terms of actual length, in my golf bag). So, I very soon stopped trying to use my driver altogether and either avoided using my woods and long irons wherever possible or just hit “half shots”.
The phrase “golf handicap” has developed a whole new meaning!
If this is what the future holds for me as a golfer, then I just don’t want to know – which, given the pleasure that the game and my golfing friends have granted me over the past 30 years(?), is pretty depressing.
I had been half thinking of doing a half marathon run as one of my “retirement projects”; this now seems like a laughable pipedream – I’ve tried running and can do little more than a painful 10metre “shuffle” (which must look hilarious to any onlookers)… at present, there’s no way that I could even keep up with our 3-year-old granddaughter!!
I’m very loathe to do so, but I may have to seek further medical advice.
Background (apologies, but while writing the above, I thought it would useful to jot down some background notes as a future reminder to me): My mother and her mother both had double replacements and so, when I started have “hip issues”, I feared that it might be an indicator of me following family history. I went to see the doctor in September and was sent for an x-ray. Thankfully, the results revealed a “normal” hip – but it was suggested that I was added to the two-month physiotherapy waiting list. In transpired that the way they “do” this in Bristol Community Health is through detailed telephone conversations between the patient and a senior physiotherapist (who has access to the x-ray results).
My physiotherapist reckons I’m suffering from ‘tensor fasciae latae’ overload (note: nothing to do with coffee!!) – possibly due to some weakening of my gluteal muscles. He’s unsure why this occurred in the first place, but reckons it’s a pattern he sees quite regularly… although he added that, despite the clear x-ray, there is a “small possibility” that it’s an early sign of osteoarthritis.
I’ve only been doing my twice-daily exercises for about 10 days thus far (apparently, it might take 5-6 weeks for the muscles to show a marked increase in strength), but have already seen some improvement (I’ve been told I can continue my daily walking, but to try to restrict this to say 2-3 miles for the time being).
I’m probably guilty of trying to run before I can walk!

1 comment:

just Gai said...

Poor you. It's early days with the physio so I hope you'll continue to see improvement.