Friday, April 24, 2009

How I spent the last few weeks

As I noted earlier, I've been cast as Boo Radley in Aloha Performing Arts Company's production of To Kill A Mockingbird, which starts May 8th at the Aloha Theater. Tickets here.

In the script (SPOILER ALERT) Boo, after saving Atticus' son Jem from his evil, drunk, racist attacker, is supposed to carry the boy to the Finch "house." The boy playing Jem is a healthy lad weighing about 155 pounds. I've lost enough weight (through exercising, nothing alarming) so that at this point I only outweigh the kid by ten pounds or so.

The first couple times, I had a difficult time picking the kid up, but, once I had him off the ground, managed carrying him the short distance OK. Then, on April 6, as I picked him up, I felt something "give" in my hip, then a fair amount of pain, and fell backward. Earlier that day, I'd started a prescription for levaquin, an antibiotic. The label gave the usual side effects for an antibiotic, nausea, diarrhea, stay out of the sun, blah blah blah, as did the main sheet that the drug store gave me. Inside the bag was a second warning sheet that I didn't see until later that evening, which gave additional side effects: tendonitis or tendon rupture, especially in patients over 60. (let's see, birthday 1947 - D'oh!) I didn't discover the second warning sheet until I came home, in pain and, not being able to sleep(because of another side effect, insomnia), went Google and found out through medical information sites and public feedback sites full off horror stories (posted, naturally, in ALL CAPS) from folks who had been HORRIBLY INJURED by the "POISON" Levaquin. In fact, I could (and, I suppose, still can) sign up for legal representation to sue the manufacturer.

When I went back to the doctor the next day, in pain but not in a very happy mood, the first thing he said, after hearing about the injury, was "It was the Levaquin!" Thanks, doc. He said I'd probably just strained a muscle and told me it would be better after a couple days rest. It wasn't. The next Monday, I got some X-Rays to rule out any structural damage, but everything seemed OK. Though I was still very sore, I resumed my walking regimen and was surprised to notice a suddenly appearing bruise behind my knee, which meant it had been not just a strain, but some tearing of the muscle where it joins the tendons at the hip. The "few days" was amended to (considering my age ) six weeks or more. Still due to the Levaquin, though.

Back at rehearsal, it was still too painful to pick the boy up from the floor, so they came up with the change that I would pick him up using the fireman's carry, which allowed me to get him on my shoulders from a standing position. Though my hip was still tender, that was workable. The pain was lessening, although there were minor setbacks when I rolled my foot on loose rocks while hiking up in Kaloko. Things were fine until they built the set last weekend. Now there's a stairway going up to the porch. Tuesday, I carried him just fine until I tried to take that first step, which really was a doozy. Once again, I crumpled to the floor (or in this case, the stage), hopefully not whimpering audibly.

Now, just for me (and my hip) the script has been re-written so I merely help Jem to his house. I'm still limping a tad, but thanks to the incomparable Therapeutic Massage of Sandra Bennett, LMT I'm doing much better. After all, the show must go on.

So I've spent the last several weeks resting, stretching, taking pain pills, and trying to sit on my right cheek.

1 comment:

charley foster said...

I'm sorry to hear it, John. (What the heck, you might as well sign up with one of the class actions. You might get $38).