Steven Tyler on how to pick a surgeon and getting smart about health.
Interview by Lonn M. Friend For the Rockstar Remedy
You have to get serious with life at some point. With most people, it doesn’t happen until they’re old. When you’re a teenager, you just deny it. Forty years of denial and when this teen finally hits 50 and confronted with a doctor who tells them the truth.
In my most recent specific case, it’s this: You have a knee ailment that’s going to take your foot out and your hip, all because you had an ACL reconstruction that slips. They just don’t work. Doctors won’t always tell you this but trust me. ACL reconstructions don’t work. Well, maybe it works for a limited amount of time but while it’s UNWORKING, your hips and your feet are failing. So you gotta be intelligent enough to know I’ve got to get this done sooner than later or I’m gonna suffer from a bad foot and a bad hip. Those of from my generation, we tend to be a little older and this about this stuff, well I realized at age 65 I’ve got to get my knee straightened out. I had a 12-degree Valgas – which means that my left knee was bow legged in towards the right knee. Valgas, which is the term doctor’s use for ‘bending in.’ So here’s the realization. What’s next? I spent a week in L.A. looking at doctors. Now here’s where I can give you a little tip on how to find the right doctor for a specific condition like mine. Find out which physicians have been sued in the last five years. AND, which physicians have done the most operations. Then you go to the top four and before you leave their office, you ask them, “If you were having this operation, who would recommend perform the surgery?” And if they give you the name of one of the top three doctors you just saw, you mark them “keepers.” From there, you make a final decision based on bedside manner because basically at that point – based on whatever blowjob the doctor got that morning – is what you’re going to get for an operation that day. They’re all pretty much going to be the same – in other words, as good as it gets.
…you make a final decision based on bedside manner because basically at that point – based on whatever blowjob the doctor got that morning – is what you’re going to get for an operation that day.
With regards to my drug history, let me say this. One out of a thousand can stand the pain associated with surgery without narcotics. You cannot have an operation and recover without some sort of pain medication You don’t make a big deal out of it because then people start looking out for you too much and you don’t get the right amount of pain meds. When you get cut into, you need to be sedated as much as you want. NO doctor after performing surgery is going to tell you, well, forget the meds just drink your Kangen water. Which takes nothing away from Kangen water, I’ve been drinking it now for almost five years I think it’s important to keep the body in an alkaline state. It’s good for the body.
For years I was a drug addict rock star person that takes advantage of situations who is verbose and loud – we were put in that category. But if you sustain and live long enough, you discover that you’re the farthest thing from that. What you are is an athlete. And no track coach tells a kid who running miles and miles for years and years that you may have trouble walking when you’re 50. Have fun with that gold medal while you’re crawling on the rug with your grandchildren.
I talk to people all the time who’ve had a similar journey – some of us are lucky and survive six rehabs; others are unlucky and still doing drugs and believe they’re happy.
Never know what’s coming. Tomorrow your doctor could tell you that you’ve got Cancer and four months to live. That’s the world. Thing about life that’s sad but true is we get too soon old and too late smart. And smart means that you wake up and look at things before they pass you by. Every one of us goes through it. I started to see it when I was 50. They don’t write that into your birth certificate. It should be written in: DON’T DO WHAT EVERYONE DOES. Don’t find out too late about your ailment or disease when you could have done something about it.