‘The doctor says it’s an old rugby injury – I can’t tell you how proud that makes me’

Ross finds the past, and tackles by Jerry Flannery, catching up with him

“Ross, how long have you had problems with your hip? I’ve been listening to that thing clicking for 10 years or more.”

“Ross, how long have you had problems with your hip? I’ve been listening to that thing clicking for 10 years or more.”

 

So I’m standing on the stairs of a gaff in technically Cornelscourt, trying to reassure this nice couple that the property morket isn’t going to collapse again, when it suddenly happens. I don’t mean the property morket collapses – like I said to the MacElligots, we’ve got some very clever people in chorge these days who are going to make sure that house prices stay up this time. No, when I say it happens, I mean the entire lower half of my body seems to lock, to the point where I can’t put one foot in front of the other.

The same thing happened to me about a month ago while I was showing another couple around a gaff in Hatter’s Cross. At first, I thought it was possibly God striking me down, because I’d just pulled that old estate agent trick of inventing a proposed motorway that was going to put a property within commutable range of Dublin. “Yeah, no,” I went, “when the M73501 is finished, you’ll practically be living in the City Centre – trust me!”

That’s when I went to walk away and I ended up falling flat on my literally face.

This time, though, I manage to grab on to the bannister and I hold onto it for dear life, while Mister MacElligot tells me that he has a degree in Economics and what I’m saying about the property morket makes no sense at all.

I’m about to accuse him of being unpatriotic when I suddenly hear the most unbelievable cracking sound. At first, I think the banister must have come away from the wall, but it’s actually the sound of my hip cracking as I finally manage to move my right leg.

When the MacElligots leave – after deciding not to make an offer – I whip out my phone and I ring Sorcha. I tell her that it’s happened again and she goes, “Where are you?”

I’m like, “Well, we’re claiming it’s Foxrock. ”

“Cornelscourt,” she goes. “Okay, I’m on my way.”

Twenty minutes later, she pulls up outside the gaff. By then, I’m sort of mobile again – as in, I can walk, albeit with a limp. Sorcha helps me out to the cor. Honor is sitting in the back. “Hillair!” she goes when she sees me trying to negotiate my way into the front passenger seat. “Hill! Air!”

Sorcha goes, “Okay, that’s it, Ross – we are going to Blackrock Clinic right now!”

I’m there, “I think we might be possibly overreacting here, Sorcha.”

“Ross, how long have you had problems with your hip? I’ve been listening to that thing clicking for 10 years or more.”

“Okay, I’ll maybe make an appointment to see someone in the next few weeks.”

“You don’t need an appointment. Doctor Boden is one of my dad’s – oh my God – best friends. He was actually very nearly my godfather, except he’s an atheist who thinks that religion was created to control the masses by keeping them mired in ignorance and superstition.”

“Er, cool.”

So we end up hitting the Blackrock Clinic. Atheist or not, the dude ends up being – it has to be said – sound?

“But, despite his beliefs, he happens to be one of the country’s leading knee and hip specialists.”

So we end up hitting the Blackrock Clinic. Atheist or not, the dude ends up being – it has to be said – sound? The first thing he says when I limp into his consulting room is, “Ross O’Carroll-Kelly! I was one of the lucky ones who saw you play rugby!”

You can imagine my reaction. I end up nearly bursting into tears.

He goes, “How did you not make it in the game?”

Maybe put your phone away for 10 seconds, Honor. This man is complimenting me on my rugby.”

I turn around and I look at Honor. This is great stuff for her to hear – except she’s on Twitter, trolling celebrities.

I’m like, “Maybe put your phone away for 10 seconds, Honor. This man is complimenting me on my rugby.”

The dude goes, “You were the best outhalf I ever saw at schools level. What the hell happened to you?”

I’m like, “Did you hear that, Honor? And this man is a doctor – with a degree. You do have a degree, don’t you?”

I’m looking around the walls. Of course he has a degree. Blackrock Clinic. End of conversation.

Sorcha goes, “The reason we’re here, Doctor Boden, is that my husband has had problems with his hip for the last literally 10 years. And it’s – oh my God – getting worse?

He tells me to open the top button of my chinos, which is what I end up doing, then he storts touching my hip at various points. At the same time, he’s going, “All those body swerves, no doubt. I always said you could make it through spaces where there didn’t appear to be any space at all.”

I’m like, “Are you listening to this, Honor?”

The doctor goes, “How long has the hip been troubling you?”

“To be honest, it was never the same after Jerry Flannery tackled me in a friendly against Munchin’s. I’d still consider him a hero and actually a close friend even though he nearly crippled – aaarrrggghhh!”

Even Honor stops tweeting horrible things to Taylor Swift when she hears my screams.

The doctor’s fingers suddenly send this unbelievable pain ripping down my right leg. Even Honor stops tweeting horrible things to Taylor Swift when she hears my screams.

“Okay,” the dude goes, “I’m going to need to x-ray that hip.”

And that’s what ends up happening. While he’s doing it, he asks after Sorcha’s old pair. He’s like, “Still going to Mass, are they?” and he says it with a little chuckle.

Sorcha gets all defensive then? She’s like, “Yes, their faith is still super-, super-important to them, even though they don’t go as often as they used to.”

He goes, “I hear they’ve ended up living in Sandyford Industrial Estate?”

And she’s there, “I hope you’re not suggesting that that casts doubt on the existence of God?”

He doesn’t answer her.

When he sees the x-rays, the dude just shakes his head. “Well, it’s no wonder you were in pain,” he goes, running his pen over the x-ray. “See those two bones? They’re just rubbing off each other.”

I’m there, “Tell me straight, Doctor. Is it a rugby injury?”

“Yes,” he goes, “it’s a rugby injury.”

I can’t tell you how proud that makes me feel. That is until he goes, “You’re going to need a new hip, Ross.”

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