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The Warning Signs - Blow Off Issue 12. 2014

Taking Your Medicine

Nov 10, 2014
It’s easy to ignore a problem in its early stages -- too easy. Whether you’re hearing a faint squeak from your front left wheel bearing or feeling a twinge of pain on a daily basis, it’s not hard to convince yourself the problem will just go away. Willful ignorance seems free, and it’s a lot easier than pulling off a wheel or navigating an HMO website to find a doctor in your plan. Unfortunately, you usually end up paying more later for burying your head in the sand instead of meeting your challenges head-on.
I recently became a victim of myself. No, I didn’t have a wheel bearing melt down and leave me stranded on the side of the road -- it was worse. I had my Achilles tendon seize and leave me slumped on the floor. There had been signs a problem was in the works, but I was ignoring them…for months. Then, one day -- OUCH! -- while reaching for something I got a jolt of pain and felt like I’d been stabbed in the foot. Luckily, there was enough pain involved that I only delayed making a doctor appointment for half a week this time instead of three months.
Photo 2/4   |   The Procare XcelTrax Air Tall measures 17 inches tall and weighs in at 2 pounds, 15 ounces. It has a rigid frame and a soft liner that’s made of nylon and foam. There’s an adjustable air bladder system for a firm and secure fit using a Reebok Pump–style inflator button with a re- lief valve. Adding an insole helps provide comfort, and low-profile black socks keep toes relatively hidden from public view. The Hot Rod sticker adds at least 5 hp and 10 lb-ft of torque at the floor.
The news wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The X-ray didn’t show a rupture, but the diagnosis was Achilles tendinitis, and the treatment seems more like a punishment than a cure. The orthopedist prescribed an “air walker boot” to be worn for six weeks. It’s heavy, it’s cumbersome, it’s uncomfort- able, it’s annoying, it’s…completely my fault.
As an added bonus, the diagnosis came with me being at this new job for only a week, so I am not just the new guy in the office, I'm the new guy with the big, dorky boot.

At first, the attention was mortifying. As the new guy, I'd rather go unnoticed, but I felt less self conscious when I turned on the first episode of the HBO series Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Atlanta Falcons and saw defensive end Kroy Biermann wearing the same boot -- although mine is a newer model (I have to brag about something). Then, one day I was hobbling down the office hallway and bumped into a guy named Dave Wallace, who was also trapped in an air walker boot (older model). He’s an OG freelance editor who actually once worked as a staff feature editor at Hot Rod magazine, way back in 1977.

We became instant Boot Buddies, had our picture taken together, and laughed about our shared troubles. So, it hasn’t been all bad, but I’d do almost anything if I could go back in time and do the right thing and just “take my medicine.” So, maybe I’ll throw out some advice that could help a few of you: Next time your diesel (or your body) starts putting out warning signs, don’t ignore them or you might end up paying for it in the long run.
Photo 3/4   |   Trevor Reed And Dave Wallace Boots Bodies
Photo 4/4   |   We could be mistaken for long-lost friends, but Dave Wallace and I met just a couple of minutes earlier and became instant Boot Buddies. Dave said he got booted due to a broken foot that he thought was just sore until a trip to the doctor. (See, I’m not the only one.) You can learn more about Dave on the website for his business Good Communications at: goodcomms.com.

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