Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Post With the Most Happy Ending Ever

So I blame this one on Twitter. The first weekend in April, Dr. Diva tweeted that she had gone on an 8-mile run and listened to kick-ass tunes on her iPod. And it was a Saturday. And the first nice weekend we'd had in an eternity. And I wanted to work-out. And going for a run in the sunshine seemed so much more appealing than 30 minutes on the elliptical. And I also had kick-ass tunes on my iPod. And so it was settled.

I went downtown to the rail trail and ran it 3 times (which is probably just short of 5 miles) and I felt great. So great, that the next day, which was also absolutely gorgeous, I went for another run on the rail trail (only 2 rounds this time). Approximate distance – probably just over 3 miles. That Thursday, when I was down in Atlanta for Passover, I jogged the short distance over to Emory University and ran 4.5 miles on their indoor track. Only, somewhere around the start of mile 2 my left knee started throbbing. Now, I had knee pain a few years ago when I got into jogging, and so I always wear a patella strip to keep my knee in place – but it didn't seem to be helping. Still, I was in the zone and got through my 4.5 miles – pain be damned. That Saturday? Another gorgeous day, another near 5-mile run on the rail trail. And a whole lot of pain. Like – come home and start icing my knee pain. And taking Advil pain.

So I texted Dr. Diva (who for the record is a vascular surgeon and NOT an orthopedist but obviously brilliant and totally talented in the medical arena) and was all like: How the Hell do people train for marathons and I go for 4 piddly runs in 8 days and wham – I've blown my left knee out. I mean – really! And she texts me back: What kind of shoes do you have and how old are they? And I got mildly indignant because I do have real shoes (Asics - although they are almost 3 years old) and I could not believe that a poor choice in footwear had contributed to this much pain. And I was mad that I couldn't run any more (I was physically in too much pain plus Dr. Diva suggested laying off the jogging to give myself some time to heal). Still – that didn't stop me from hopping on the elliptical the following morning (it's low-impact after all) and going walking with my friend Karen the following day. At which point, the pain got so bad – I admitted that I probably needed to take a break from exercise period.

So I did. For two weeks. And during those 2 weeks I bitched to told anyone who would listen about my knee pain and sought out their opinion on why I was in so much pain and did they think I had done any permanent damage and would it require surgery and so on and so forth. And after about a week and a half and 100 different answers and still being in pain and being massively paranoid that I was going to require knee replacement surgery, I scheduled an appointment with the orthopedist.
So, Friday April 24th, almost 3 weeks to the day that I went on that first fateful jog, I went to OrthoCarolina where my knee was poked, prodded, and x-rayed. There was nothing visibly wrong and the doctor thought that I likely had ITB Syndrome which is a common injury among runners, but just to be sure there wasn't an actual tear in the tissue, I had to have an MRI. Oh great. Because you know – I can totally lie absolutely still for 30 minutes without moving an inch.

Still, five days later I was back at OrthoCarolina getting my first (and hopefully last) MRI. Then the following week I was back at the doctor's office to discuss the results of said MRI. Here's what I was Twittering about while I waited to see the doctor:

Slightly irritated that it's 9:30am and I am still in the waiting room. Appt. was at 8:55am - granted I was 7 minutes late...but still...
9:29 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry

Did I say slightly irritated? I meant EXTREMELY irritated - esp. since 2 people have gone back & I am still languishing in the waiting room
9:36 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry

Bordering on apoplectic - and if she tells me I need surgery after making me wait I am going to be freaking furious...
9:39 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry

1 more still before me @ 50 mins past my scheduled appt? WTF???
9:46 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry

Just played the NYC bitch card and it worked! Wait - is that wrong of me to gloat about it? And why is my knee throbbing? A sign? Oy...
9:50 AM May 5th from TwitterBerry

Yeah. That was an hour of my life I'll never get back. The good news? Well it seemed that I did in fact have ITB Syndrome and the first course of action was 4 – 6 weeks of physical therapy. And even better – there was a local PT place in Lincolnton (which meant I wasn't hauling my cookies to Charlotte/Gastonia/Hickory any more than I already have to).

So I called the following day to schedule an appointment and given my travel and their availability the first day I could get in was Friday, May 15th. Sort of ridiculous but so is my life sometimes.

Meanwhile, as time goes on, my knee is hurting less and less. I am back to working out on the elliptical. And by the time I rolled into PT last Friday, I was in zero pain and feeling like I could run the NYC Marathon.

So after the physical therapist asks me a bunch of questions, watches me walk and puts me through a bunch of range of motion tests, you want to know what he tells me? My ankles turn in when I walk and I need new shoes with better support. Oh – and my muscles are a little tight so I should stretch more. Oh – and once I start running again, try to take it easy. Start with 1 – 2 miles and build up and don’t try to run 20 miles in 8 days. That's it.

So after 2 trips to the doctor (one of which sent me to levels of apoplexy usually reserved for when I get stuck behind a slow-moving 18-wheeler in the left lane), x-rays, an MRI, a trip to PT and countless dollars spent (although luckily I have already met my deductible and insurance covers 85%), the answer is: NEW FUCKING SHOES. Don’t think Dr. Diva didn't love that when I told her.

So dear readers…tell me about an unexpected happy ending in your life. Or just tell me about a pair of shoes you are currently coveting. Either way.

As for me, I am having a strong craving for a sausage biscuit for breakfast.

And if that ain't country, I'll kiss your...


harmzie said...

If it's comfort you are looking for (the shoes in your link are *very* pretty, btw), I recommend these Aerosoles I have. I bought them something like 5 years ago and have been astounded at how I can go all day on my feet & they stick with me (they're quite high heels). A couple of weeks ago I saw the exact same shoes at the store & thought "I should get more of those, they have been great!" Then, I wore them to the wine festival (don't know how to include link - you know where I am), thinking "hey, gonna be on my feet all night", ended up walking *across downtown* (after wearing them all night) & they felt great.

Later, I discovered that I must have knocked the bottom sole off of the heel, so I NEED new ones - yay! The bad news? They're just black. The good news? I like black.

Anonymous said...

I have only had one injury - when I switched from my trusty Soucony Grids to Nike. I switched because a friend/Nike employee got me a great discount. I will NEVER switch again. I have worn the same awesome running kicks for 11 years. I give them away when I have 500 miles on them. I also back away whenever I feel pain - I never try to "run through it" since I want to be able to run for the rest of my life. I love that you a runner now!

debb said...

I just went and got evaluated for new shoes. It took an hour. Now don't get me wrong, they are totally worth it. I have lots of back / foot injury.

The shoes, New Balance 1123 cost $150.00 I could not believe it. And I still might need special orthotics.

Good Luck. And if you are ever in Vegas let me hook you up with my shoe guy. He does fancy stuff like measuring your stride, your gait, etc.

Take Care and take it easy.

kyooty said...

I can't run more then a wii lap on the wiifit but I'm a walker, I can walk 6miles easy and not even twinge until I need new sneakers. I'm so lame though when it comes to spending money, that I wait until I'm almost lame. :)

Nancy said...

I always say I wish I liked to run because it looks so healthy.
Actually I used to run but started to worry about my knees so stick to nordic track and workout DVDs.
Recently started walking/running on the weekends and it feels good again.
Your experience is why I always avoid doctors. It drives my husband crazy that I try to self-diagnose myself but usually I'm right. I figure it will take a doctor three visits and 2 x-rays/mris/ct-scans to come to the same conclusion.