Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hip Rehab With Dr. Drew

For those of you who were not aware of this already, a month ago I ran an embarrassing marathon in Houston. It was essentially twenty months of training right down the toilet. I did mention in passing in a post on this blog that I was running this marathon hurt. Now that the marathon's over and missing training time is not as much of a catastrophe, I am trying my best to rest and figure out what the problem is with my hip, groin, and lower abdomen. I found out today that I probably have a sports hernia. Whatever, that's not the important part of this post.

The important part of the post is the fact that going through the labyrinth of medical red tape to actually see a specialist is a great opportunity to expand the Death of Sabermetrics series.

I don't really like to see doctors, mainly because like most of the population, they don't know the difference between elite runners and four-hour joggers, nor do they understand the premium put on training. Doctors basically like to tell me not to run. By contrast, JD Drew loves doctors because they like to tell him not to play baseball yet still get paid for it. I had not seen my primary care physician for five years, and I saw him shortly after Houston. This is reasonably-miraculous, becaue his office takes more time off than JD himself: The referral line literally works 21 hours a week. They get in at 10, take a 90-minute lunch break, and don't work Fridays. Sweet life. But I did get an appointment, burning two hours of company time.

My doctor had the same interest level of my maladies as a professional athlete as Drew has of playing baseball to his potential. He treated me me as if I were some jogger who ran on Wednesday and felt a dull pain in my hip, instead of someone who has been playing through pain for two and a half years. Seemingly in a hurry the whole time, he barely took a look at my hip. He did, however, take my blood pressure. And despite my horrific diet, my blood pressure was stellar.

So my doctor basically shrugged off my injury after taking my blood pressure and enjoyed the smug satisfaction that I was healthy because the one number (my blood pressure) indicated that one part of my health was adequate for a 24-year-old. Apparently his office doesn't evaluate health by investigating the affected area, instead relying on one number, drawing the conclusion that I don't need further medical attention, and telling me to stop wasting his time.

So basically he treated my blood pressure metric the same way Theo Epstein treats OPS. And I guess I had the second-best blood pressure statistic of all my doctor's patients. Like those people in the "buzzed driving" commercial, I guess it's time for me to act okay, spring up as if I'm not injured, and start pounding 130 miles a week again.


the gm at work said...

Also, just a thought, who likes to be in front of a microphone as an unofficial press department more: Lindsay Vonn's husband or Ben Affleck?

Anonymous said...


If you have a serious sports injury, you can't expect your primary care physician to have much to say about it. You only go to the doctor to get a referral to some sort of specialist.

However, despite your misplaced expectations, I enjoyed reading this post about your eccentric runner lifestyle. And yes, JD Drew is ridiculous.


the gm at work said...


It's really more about Theo than it is actually about the player. I mean, all the "generation 2" (my term) sabermetrics, such as VORP, WARP, and the true annual value of a player (I assume that as a Colby econ major, you read Diamond Dollars by Vince Gennaro) are way, way, way too reliant on OPS and OPS alone. This is too simplistic of a calculation, and if people really put so much stock in "values" that overrely on one imperfect statistic, they are being naive. Just as my doctor--and I know how much of an exaggeration this is--oversimplified my health situation by affirming that my blood pressure is okay.

And why not knock JD's work ethic and attitude while we're at it?

Just wait until I write "Theo Epstein, CPA."

jbartlett said...

You might find some answers in the magazine a few young Jehovah's Witnesses (who were doing "volunteer work") just gave me...or not. I almost told them I was you, but figured you have enough crap going on.

As far as your question goes, my answer is Mr. Lindsay Vonn.