For A Happy And Active Old Age, Find A Surgeon Who Listens (IF YOU CAN)

Hand surgeon and ball

What have these two guys got in common? Dr. Mack (hand surgeon) and my TriggerPoint Performance Therapy Massage Ball. They are both great listeners AND they are helping to keep this old body moving into an active old age. Photos by FitOldDog, with permission.

Good day, today! I met a surgeon who actually listened to me, and this is important for someone wanting an active old age – you need to trust them, and how can you, if they don’t listen.

Your medical mind, book

Interesting book with very valuable ideas.

Some doctors don’t pretend to listen. In fact, if you bring a friend or family member, they’ll give them lots of attention, even if your companion doesn’t have a clue about what’s going on, while you sit there feeling like chopped liver. More than half of the doctors I’ve encountered as a patient looked at me with a semi-glazed expression, and I just knew that their mind, running on autopilot, was saying, “Key points for charting are…”

NOTE: All medical staff in the US have to spend far too much time recording things in computers (charting), and it’s not their fault. It’s a symptom of the litigious nature of our society, so give them a break, but also ask them to listen.

The great guy I met today, Dr. J. Mack Aldridge, is a hand surgeon, which is just what I need right now. The funny thing was, he called me Dr. Morgan – don’t know how he knew that, but Kevin is fine. He not only listened, he showed an interest. Then he asked a question, which I failed to answer adequately at the time. He said, “Have you ever tried an ultra-marathon?” I could just tell that he wanted to do one, taking him up another notch in my estimation.

And he was wearing a bow tie, which suited him well, reminding me of another great Bow Tie Guy, I met on Twitter.

FitOldDog's Ironman Coach, AIMP Ironman Coaching, Chris Hauth,

Chris taught me many things, one of which was to never give up.

As I left the office, I recalled that years ago, I asked my Ironman coach, Chris Hauth, “How do you do a 100-mile ultra-marathon?” and he replied, in his usual Laconic Germanic style, “Fifty miles out, and fifty miles back.”

So, there’s your answer, Dr. Aldridge, 50 miles out and 50 miles back. I think that you should give it a try, but not on the day before my upcoming (minor) hand surgery, please. Come to think of it, my last aortic surgeon, Tara Mastracci, was a great listener, too, so I guess I’ve been very lucky.

And thanks for listening, which I think was a key point in the book I reference in the adjacent image.

People aren’t just patients, they are people, and they need to be heard – so thanks again!

PS Why the massage ball? Because most of my recent running issues have turned out to be due to a tight hip rotator, which I’m fixing with that baby.



  1. When you go to the doctor here, they spend most of the consultation time trying to type something with two fingers on their computer.

    • Sounds as though it’s the same problem we have. One doctor dictated into his dictaphone the whole time, and didn’t once look me in the eye. I found another doctor, and he was great. Seek and ye shall find (if you’re lucky). -k

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Disclaimer: As a veterinarian, I do not provide medical advice for human animals. If you undertake or modify an exercise program, consult your medical advisors before doing so. Undertaking activities pursued by the author does not mean that he endorses your undertaking such activities, which is clearly your decision and responsibility. Be careful and sensible, please.