Brian, an area hospital tech, was sitting near me at the Denny’s counter, over on Highland Avenue. Seemed to be a nice guy. Wearing medical fatigues. Once I’d figured out what he did, the questions rolled out of my mouth.
This guy’s an X-ray technician.
“Lots of athletes in there … athletic injuries?”
Some of Brian’s answers might seem shocking.
“Some… Soccer, football, a little basketball. This area isn’t all that big for sports. I was in Covina. Lots of sports there. Lots of people, kids and adults. Lots of work for us. This (area) is nothing. Not compared to that.”
Wait a minute! This area? Not all that big for sports?
“It seems like everyone plays a sport down there,” he said, “whether it’s adult soccer or basketball, all the kids’ sports. Wrestling is huge down there. So is soccer and baseball, football, you name it.
“You can drive past any park or school grounds,” he said, “any day of the week. People are involved in their sport. I don’t get the same feeling around here.”
On orders from the medical professionals, he puts them underneath that magical X for internal photos. Lots to share under those X-rays. They’ll tell a true story.
Kids on those motorized four-wheelers is the gold medal winner for X-ray techs, he says. Says he sees it often enough.
“I can’t believe how stupid parents are,” said Brian. “Eight-year-old kids aren’t strong enough to control those heavy machines. That’s a fact.”
Which is a mouthful for an X-ray tech. They’re not allowed to talk. It’s part of the profession. They shoot the pictures. Doctors explain the results. It also explains why we won’t divulge Brian’s last name.
Gotta protect the brother while he’s filling us in.
Motorcycle accidents are equally covered -- ignorance and stupidity.
“You should see parents trying to explain it all. ‘I don’t know how it happened,’ they’ll tell me. I do. They’re stupid.”
There are lots of chest X-rays for flu-type symptoms.
You’d be surprised on this one. Stairs is a big-ticket item. Three or four a week, he said. Usually, someone’s carrying a load up or down the stairs, misses a step, boom!
“A guy came in awhile back with both ankles sprained. He was playing softball, slow pitch, I think. Took a late slide into third base. Hard on both ankles. He was okay. Slightly sprained.
“Lot of pain, though.”
Skiing injuries? During the winter months?
“We’re a long way from the nearest ski areas. Besides, there’s not much snow around here -- even in the winter.”
Soccer injuries pose the most of the athletic hurts, but that’s a given. Soccer is year-round, isn’t it?
Said Brian: “I’ll tell you, though, there’s some head injuries in soccer. It’s not so much hitting the balls with their heads. It’s bumping heads with other players mostly.”
Yep. There are lots of balls in the air. Gotta get those under control.
Brian’s shifts run around 10 hours. It can get busy. “There are days I don’t sit down.”
Watch out, though, going down the stairs. It keeps those X-ray techs hopping.
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