Friday, April 27, 2012

My MRI Results: A Laundry List of Crap

Yesterday I climbed into the MRI tunnel, and you what? It wasn’t that bad, and I wasn’t even drunk, high or unconscious. The tunnel was bigger than most. They blew a lot of cool air through it during the 32 minutes of hell where I couldn’t move a muscle, which made me want to move every muscle.

I did fart at least four times. There seemed to be something about the magnetic stuff going on that made the gas move around and want to come out the back door. Thank goodness for the cool air moving through. It carried the gas right out of the tunnel and into the universe where it maimed a few people.

I was given a DVD of the images, which I promptly took home and tried to figure out. All I could decipher was that I have a cow head in my groin:

image

And, what appears to be an alien or a devil with horns in my ass.

image

There might also be an old man or lion in there:

image

No wonder everything hurts. Those horns are brutal on your insides. Cow heads are big. Old men just have no right to be there.

I gave up trying to be a radiologist and decided to have some wine and wait until the morning when my doc would give me my real diagnosis, which I knew might be Devil Up the Ass (DUA in the medical world) or cow head of the pelvis (CHP – some people thing this stands for California Highway Patrol, but they would be wrong).

I told myself that any news that did not include the words “stress fracture” would be very good news.

Here’s what I found out:

Yes, that is certainly a laundry list of CRAP. While I am not happy about any of it, I can work with it. 

I was, however, thrown off by the mother eff’ing disc disease. I mean, really? We’re just going to throw that in with all the other bullshit? Below the belt. Not fair.

I do feel empowered (I am WOMAN) because I have a POA (plan of action):

  • Reduce running by 50%. No high volume, no speed work. Easy. Slow. Kind of surprised doc said this was okay. He told me to go based on pain threshold. If running bothers me, I will stop until it doesn’t.
  • Get another bike fitting to make sure my seat fits my sitz bones (or devil horns)
  • Start PT/dry needling 1-2 times per week to develop pelvic/hip/glute strength and minimize pain.
  • Possible platelet injection for the hamstring tear (at a later time depending on healing)
  • Look into form issues as a potential root cause

I realize that I am the type of person who initially freaks out and loses her mind and gets hysterical and drinks and cries. But, then I quickly become the type of person who is very proactive, resourceful and resilient. So, if you can put up with my hysterical mental breakdowns for about one day, things usually get better. At least until something else goes wrong.

Now I’m stepping up on my soap box (or living room coffee table):

P1120548

If you have been having pain/injury that will not go away and has been bugging you for awhile now (mine went on for over a year) and if you have the financial means or insurance to cover it - get an MRI. Especially if running is the love of your life and you can’t live without it. You can knock on a million doors and get a million different answers, but until you factually know what is going on in your body it is really hard to have a POA (plan of action) and to get the help you need. Plus, if you continue to run in a compromised state you will do more damage. You just will.

I have been unintentionally misled by many people on this journey merely because so much of this is guesswork.  Their recommendations actually might have set me back a bit (for instance, the lift in my shoe – probably did me absolutely no good and even contributed to making some problems worse).

Just my two cents. And, what worked for me. Stepping down now.

Bottom line: I am committed to being a healthy, efficient and long-lasting runner. I am not in this to just get by and finish my races. I am in this so I can do it until I am 85 years old and wearing Depends in place of running shorts. This means that I need to take along term approach to healing and healthy living. If this means cutting back on racing, time goals, etc. than so be it. Because in a few years I will be kicking ASS.

I know a lot of you struggle with glute/hamstring pain. I have a lot more to say about this issue regarding both the tendinopathy  and the tear. High hamstring tendinopathy is literally a “pain in the ass” and can cause deep buttock pain and hamstring pain. I’ll be discussing the ways that I will be healing and recovering. There are some very proactive things to be done. So, stay tuned.

Looks like my best case scenario for my June marathon is that it becomes a June half marathon. If that.

Have you knocked on more than one door and gotten more than one opinion about your injury?

Have you ever felt like: It’s not worth it. I’m going to quit running. I have to admit I’ve had these feelings more than once. But, I love it too much to give up on it. Yet.

SUAR

88 comments:

  1. Awwww, best of luck to you. Love your blog - you make me laugh!! You are a gift:)

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  2. Soapbox or not, I couldn't agree more. I think the absolute worst thing is the guesswork and the subsequent time wasted. I am so glad you got answers!!! A POA is crucial and yours rocks!! Heal quick my friend!! xoxo

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    1. And...if you have something like I do that can look like so many other things, you really need to clarify!!

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  3. I'm glad you found out what it was. Here is hoping for a speedy recovery!

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  4. SO glad it wasn't a stress fracture! Like you said, you can work with the other stuff. I have every confidence that you'll be smart about your recovery and do (or not do) what is necessary.

    And we'll all be right here, cheering you on. :)

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  5. Sorry about all those issues! Keeping my fingers crossed for a speedy recovery.

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  6. I am so sorry you have the HHT (same as me). It is so difficult to deal with. I'm on total lockdown from running/biking since March and I am about to lose my mind. Hang in there.

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  7. SUAR Rorschach test aka MRI pics.

    Glad you got this done and got lots of answers.

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  8. Hey there,
    Wow, total cow's head and lion, too! So glad it's not a sf! I had a similar issue and the mri report showed small labral tear as well. I first freaked out because if you go online, labral tears are non repairable and just bad for some people. But apparently they are pretty common and while some people ( A-rod for example) have to have surgery, the majority do not. I do so much core work now- i.e- ton of different bridge variations, leg lifts etc. There's a great core routine on Runner's connect. It's so imp to strengthen all things core so the little issues we'll get ( labral tears etc..) don't cause problems. I still run and race but do so much more core work and really just run 3x/week with each run a specific type- tempo, long, easy. No speed work but never have anyways really. Again, yay no SF!-

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    1. Thanks Lissa. I was suprised by the labral tear b/c I had no symptoms or pain in that location. I got freaked out when I looked online too, but honestly my doc did not seem concerned. I think your advice is very good. Thanks.

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    2. I just replied down below but I say proceed with caution! It took me almost a year to get an actual diagnosis of my groin/quad/hamstring pain and it turned out to be a labral tear. I was told it would get better, did MONTHS of PT, cortisone injections, etc and it all only made it worse. A year after my initial injury (a year to the date actually) I had surgery to repair the tear.
      I was told by many people that labral tears are no big deal. But mine took me completely out of running and I trusted my doctors for way too long until it got so bad I could hardly walk, let alone run. I don't mean to freak you out-but I just wish someone would have told me to be more aggressive with my search to fix it.

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  9. i'm dealing w a freaking pain in the ass myself, my orthopod thinks it's a joint issue between hip and pelvis. i hope so, for i too am downgrading my june marathon to a half. going on week 3 of no running, barely walking, PT every day. cheers to game plans!

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    1. See if your PT can try dry needling. It's like acunpuncture, but might be a little better...healing wise.

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  10. Those MRI images are kinda frightening. My professional medical diagnosis, having stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, is that the first image clearly shows you in fact have a warthog in your groin. I suspect if you stay very still you'll notice a faint rendition of 'Hakuna Matata' emanating from your nether-regions. Probably best to be on the lookout for a meerkat as well, although I'm concerned as to where that one might be hiding.

    That is a heck of a list of issues. Those tears must really get to hurting after a while. Not sure which of these things are the worst, but good to have a clear list of issues to tackle. MRI seems to be the way to go with most issues. I walked around with a ready to burst appendix for nearly a week, misdiagnosed multiple times, until I got an MRI and they sent me directly to surgery which started just after it ruptured. If only we were more transparent.

    Good luck with the recovery. Wishing you a speedy recovery across the board.

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    1. OK you and your Holiday Inn Express are killing me. Warthog in my nether regions. Tongiht I'll watch for a Meerkat coming out of my ass.

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  11. I gave you a shout out on my blog post yesterday and told people to come give you some healing vibes. I am glad you got some solid answers. As an RN I am not afraid to ask questions and ask for the tests I need and it sounds like you did just that. I also am a hammy sufferer right now. My left hamstring for a Grade 2 strain and I go to PT right now. I actually enjoy PT. LOL!! As for the degenerative disc disease I hear you. My chiro took x-rays and said I have some of that too, but so does my sister who is 47. She is still active with it. I am 37. I think all of us have a bit of it as we get older. I hope the PT does you good and am so happy you have answers. Your plan sounds great. Your MRI story had me rolling laughing too. Great pictures. I must share with my doctor and nurse friends because that is the best MRI story.

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    1. Thanks for the shout out yesterday. Got to have a sense of humor, right??? Sounds like we have similar issues, mine is a Grade 2 as well. Hang in there and I will too!

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  12. Yes, I've gotten three different opinions about a sore hip, and nobody suggested an MRI, which would have saved me time, money, and would have prevented me from having surgery. Even after surgery and now the owner of titanium hardware attached to my femur, I haven't given up running, I just run slow, but I will forever be working with someone (a physical therapist who also does personal training) who will keep everything working as it should.

    I'm glad you were able to have an MRI and get definitive answers.

    Take care.

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  13. Oh my! Thanks so much for sharing all of your hiliarious MRI pictures!!!!!!!!!! LOL Your comments combined with the pictures really made me laugh. Nice end to a long work day. Thanks!

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  14. I am VERY glad you do not have a stress fracture, though I'm sorry about the disc stuff. You make me think maybe I need an MRI. Did you just ask for one, or was it suggested? And when you say expensive, what do you mean? (I know everyone's insurance is different.)

    Last night after doing my new PT exercises my back was KILLING me. Maybe I was just doing them with bad form, but still....And today stupid stuff like picking laundry off the floor (with deliberately good form) set it off again. I've been at the PT thing (and being a very good girl, no running, no regular biking) for almost eight weeks now....Maybe I don't need an MRI, maybe just more patience. But then again....

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    1. Yes, going to same girl as you for PT/dry needling. My MRI was $1,000. I just had to pay 10% with my insurance. Sorry you are having pain. Maybe with all these exercises things are flaring up. Yes, be patient. I think you're on the right track (says someone who sees a lion in her ass).

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    2. It's that lion that makes me trust you.

      OK, OK, I'll continue being patient. Good luck to BOTH of us! And I hope you like the PT. See you in the waiting room. :^)

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    3. Maybe you can cancel your appt so I can get in earlier.

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  15. I got a one word answer for all these medical problems.

    Web MD. com

    Coulda saved you some time. Try it. Just enter 'pain in the ass' and see. This blog post came up. Saved me $3700 for the MRi I don't need now!

    Woot!

    Thanks!

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    1. Wow you got gyped. My was only $1000.

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  16. Who Photoshopped all that stuff into those images? This guy?

    http://twistedsifter.com/2012/03/photoshopping-celebrities-into-holiday-party/

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  17. Sorry to see you have a big list of issues, but it's great to see you already have a POA in place!

    As for the degenerative disc disease, a friend of mine recently got diagnosed with that as well. Although it freaked me out for her, our friend Google basically just consoled us that it's pretty common and not really a "disease" so much as "getting older".

    Now that you know what you're dealing with, I bet you'll find you'll recover and actually become a stronger runner sooner than you'd expect! Best of luck!

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  18. Wow, that really does look like a lion! Good luck with your healing and thanks for sharing it with all of us. :)

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  19. Looking forward to hearing about your POA regarding the high hamstring/glute pain. I get pain in that area when I do too much leg strength training.

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  20. Getting more inspired by you every post. Feeling like we might be kindred spirits because we have a lot of the same furniture. =) Excited to follow your and your POA. My rule of thumb w/ pain is that if it's not getting better in 2 weeks it's getting worse- yet I still haven't done anything for nagging back pain or worsening arch pain in one foot. Hmmm. Better at giving advice than taking it.
    I am a newbie runner- maybe your slow & steady runs you could be my "shut up and run" buddy =) Trying to train for the MS150 now but most of my miles have been in my dreams. Glad there were some silver linings to your diagnosis.

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  21. So I just opened this post and my 3-year-old climbed up on my lap, pointed at the first picture and asked, "Is that a frog?" Um, no. "Oh. A spider then?" Poor thing is all mixed up! I wasn't going to tell her it was your pelvis and your hiney, though! LOL!

    I have bursitis in my hips. I had some testing done to be certain. It sucks, and the "cure" is complete and total bedrest for a min. of two weeks. Who can do THAT?!?! Glad you have a doable POA!

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  22. I have to admit, your analysis of the pictures made me laugh...I can never see what they want me to. I hope you heal quick! Injuries are no fun, and I hope that you get back to the running you love as soon as you can.

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  23. With my left hip stress fracture a year ago, I had 5 doctors on my medical "team," and received five different opinions as to recovery and reentry to running. I work at a medical campus and for fun/agony I asked everyone I met who had an MD after their name their opinion, and received even more opinions- no two the same. In the end, I just listened to my own body and took a very conservative approach after my first reentry attempt failed. Knowing exactly what is wrong is critical. I wish you a speedy recovery.

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  24. As an nerdy engineer type I think nothing is better than cold hard facts and a POA. Glad you have some definite answers!!

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    1. I'm with ya sister. I must be a nerd as well.

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  25. I'm so glad you got some answers and they do NOT include stress fracture, although 'tear' is scary too. Wishing you a healthy, efficient recovery, Beth! Looks like you have a plan in place and I KNOW you will conquer this!

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  26. Wow, that really does look like a lion! Way to get through the MRI without freaking out:)

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  27. Those are solid soapbox points. I agree with those. And I'm bummed to hear about your bum (high ham).

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  28. Heal quick my friend! I like your POA and attitude toward longevity in running:) take care of yourself!

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  29. Check your vitamin D levels and consider VD with calcium. Didn't you just have an MRI last year or earlier? I seem to remember one recently but my mind is a sieve.

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    1. Yes, I had an MRI over a year ago for my hip stress fracture. That's when I did all my Vit D, calcium, bone density checks, so I've been through that already and addressed it.

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  30. As someone who works with orthopedic pain I can say that these are not worrisome results. The degenerative disc issue is age related. The problem with taking an MRI is that it shows a bunch of incidental findings which do not mean anything. But, once you know about them, the head can make them into problems. Sounds like you have a good plan though. Not sure about that dry needling -there are no scientific studies showing that it works better than placebo - but it surely can't do harm.

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    1. Yes, that's what he told me about the DDD. Age related, most people have it.

      As for dry needling, I've had great success with it in the past, so I'm going for it. Much more than a placebo for me.

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  31. Yay for NO stress fracture, however, there is a crap load of crap wrong with you, woman! So, here is my question: How easy is it to get a doctor to order an MRI? I've had multiple x-rays, and as we all know, stress fractures don't show up on x-rays.

    I am actually going to some special doc that specializes in running injuries on Monday...and paying out of pocket (ugh). Maybe what I should be doing is demanding an MRI.

    I'm so happy you're not dealing with a S.F. though. Woo hoo! And those pictures are insane! Cows and bullhorns in your a-hole. How weird!

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    1. It hasn't been hard at all for me to get the MRI ordered. If you present with the symptoms and let them know you are training and really want an answer to know what the hell is going on (also that you have a hx of stress fxs) they should order it. No skin off of their back. Although...MRIs are expensive. Mine was $1000 (insurance covered most), and that is pretty cheap.

      Bullhorns in my a-hole!! Dying laughing.

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  32. the MRI pics are hysterical...when I looked at mine all my husband could say is that I looked like a fine piece of marbled meat...I took that as a compliment btw ;)

    so, lots going on huh? I had surgery in NYC late august for a laberal tear, FAI Cam impingments and loose bodies...8 months later, still not running and a whole lot of crap still going on. the excrutiating, debilitating pain from the tear is totally gone, however other things came into play...hip flexor tendinits, psoas spasms and tightening, still lots of uncomfortable achy apin and still very weak in my right leg. The hip sure is complicated! i am heading into having another image taken soon i hope to rule out an HO (bony calcification) regrowth possibly.

    I want to know more about this dry needling...what is it's purpose and what types of injuries does it help? I have had ART, which helped mimimally...but have never heard of dry needling. Is this done by your PT? If you have a chance let me know and I will inquire about it. i sure hope you start to feel better soon ;)

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    1. Yes, dry needling is done by your PT. Basically the needle (acupuncture needle, but it is not acupuncture) is inserted into the muscle/trigger point, and makes it spasm/twitch and release. Or something like that. I've had a lot of success with it.

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  33. Having had a hip stress fracture and a labral tear I can say, take the labral tear seriously. It has been much harder to overcome that the stress fracture, which healed up on its own with rest. Look into whether you might have tightness around the hip that might be causing impingement which can make the pain from the labral tear much worse. Best wishes.

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    1. Thanks for the info. I have had no symptoms from the tear. No hip tightness. The report said it was a small or nondisplaced tear w/no impingement. I take it all seriously...but my doc seemed the least worried about that part of my results.

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  34. I laughed at your descriptions of the MRI photos, I thought the same thing when I looked and then read what you wrote.... Not laughing at the diagnosis but glad you have some answers and no stress fracture. Hopefully your plan of action will help!

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  35. Does a bear shit in the woods? Yep, and hoping to run pain-free very soon. Love that you farted in the tube!

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  36. Thanks for the advice! I've had major calf issues. I've been work with a chiro/sports therapist doing ART and Graston. It's getting marginally better, but I'm starting to wonder. Maybe an MRI is what's next.

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  37. Dude, I'd be in pain too if I had a lion in my butt. Ouch. Get well soon.

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  38. Glad to hear you know what it is... a year is a very long time! Mine is gone... hopefully for good, but took a solid 6 weeks and a month of no running!!

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  39. Disc disease here too! I was told it probably started in my 30"s. Whatever, welcome to 40, right? Hang in there. I just finished 4 months of PT and got back to running this past week. It feels so good! Take care of yourself, and as hard as it is, listen to what they have to say, it will work.

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  40. Me: My knees and back hurt.
    Doc: Do you lift weights?
    Me: Of course!
    Doc: You will give yourself arthritis. Only lift cans of vegetables in your kitchen.
    Me: Kiss my xxxx.

    ok, I didn't tell him to kiss anything, but I've definitely had bad advice, including a real doctor really telling me the above. Needless to say I found another doc. That was 20 years ago. About 15 years ago I tore up my back and have lived with disc disease, including herniated discs, no space between some, tears, whatever. But I'm still running. I'm still strength training. And I'm still growing as an athlete. The best thing you can do is to make besties with a great support group that you can lean on when you need then, including an massage therapist, chiropractor, various docs, and someone who specializes in ART to help keep everything moving. They keep me going when the kinks and pains kick in and keep me going without most of those things getting to the point they actually bother me much. The important thing is to be smart about it and keep running, keep doin' what you're doin'. You got this...

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  41. The beauty of an MRI is that it illustrates your problems. The drawback of an MRI is that you can't always determine with certainty what problems were caused by overuse and what problems were caused by having too many birthdays. By the way, from my experience, $1,000 for an MRI is quite inexpensive. Regarding dry needling and platelet rich plasma injections, beware of junk science. To my knowledge, there is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of either one of these therapies. Having said that, if you want to spring for the $800 for a PRP injection that your insurance won't cover, go for it. The placebo effect an be very powerful and should not be dismissed. Good luck healing.

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    1. Wow, I wish you were my doctor b/c you clearly know everything!!

      My PRP is only $500 so clearly I am getting a steal for using junk science.

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  42. Fun fact: I mainly read your blog to keep track of your farts. And now I have an MRI image of your ass too! One can really not ask for more! Glad to hear you don't have a bad case of Old Man in your Ass.....

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  43. Okay...I'm embarking on a quest for the MRI starting Monday. It's been a nagging idea in the back of my mind since 2000. I need to get off my pained ass and make it happen. Thanks for the push.

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  44. I will definitely keep your advice in mind the next time I try to [stupidly] push through pain. I have a tendency to ignore something until I'm hobbling which is no beuno.

    You should totally start a Tumblr titled "pictures from the depths of SUAR" and have it all just be MRIs of your ass.

    Best wishes to you as you heal!

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  45. You've got a very artistic-looking pelvis (is that too personal?)
    Degenerative disc disease is almost a given in anyone over 40 - or that's what my doctor told me. It just means that our bones are getting older and showing a little wear and tear. The other stuff is actually not too bad when the option of a stress fracture was on the table. I'm mildly excited for you.

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  46. Wow! Can I meet with your doc and radiologist? That is a really thorough diagnosis. I'm currently dealing with a labral tear in my left hip as well and I've seen so many doctors and PTs. Still trying to avoid surgery.

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  47. Ugh. I hope you heal fast. Do you do yoga? It would be great for your back. But I wonder as well...when do we say enough is enough? I LOVE to run, but for the last 6 months have been plagued by one injury after another. Nothing serious until the stress fracture, but my body sure has been talking to me. I actually had this conversation with my work partner yesterday. Now that my stress fracture has healed, when and how do I start running again? My plantar fasciitis is still there. Sesmoiditis in the other foot. I won't lie, I've been pretty depressed by the whole thing. How do some people keep running marathon after marathon, even ultras, and seem relatively unscathed? I want to be one of those women who runs into old age!

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    1. Great questions..I came back well from my stress fracture with walk/running and then full running. But then other crap just popped up. For me, I think the key is going to be changes to my form.

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  48. Too many people go to Web MD. Where I am convinced anything you have you should go see a Doctor ASAP or else you might die.

    Good message & POA! NOW you know what to do to keep running and not figuring it out before it is too late on your own.

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  49. Just a thought about form. I changed my running form from heel striking to ball striking (too me about a year and a half) and created different issues because the root cause was my weak glutes and my less than strong core. I'd say work on the bigger issues first otherwise, the problem will just migrate. Also, on your new shoes, you might consider working on alignment and form before you switch to the lower drop shoes, they put a tremendous amount of focus on your glutes and hamstrings. So if you are already having issues in those areas, those shoes might just make it worse. Your PT will know, of course, but that's been my experience. The problem doesn't get better with new "natural running" shoes, it just becomes a different problem. My two injured cents for what they are worth - and btw, like you, I am well over 40 so I can relate to all of your shit breaking at the same time. SIGH. You will make it out of this but it will just be a sort of long and winding road.

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  50. So glad you got that MRI!!! Even though it's a lot more crap than a stress fracture, at least now you know what you're dealing with and kick it goodbye!!! Best of luck with recovery!!! (I find recovery so much harder than what I was doing to get injured in the first place. It's so damn boring!)

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  51. Argh. Bummer. However, you are right; it's good you went and got the MRI (and relieved your gas at the same time! Two birds, one stone) so you can begin to work on the actual problem instead of worrying about what it MIGHT be. You have a great attitude (now that you have cried and drank etc) and that is very important! Good luck!

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  52. They gave you a DVD of the images from the MRI?! That is cool; love your descriptions of what you see in them, I was busting up reading them. While the laundry list of things going on isn't fun, it does give you the information you need to get started on that POA, and it doesn't mean you have to give up running. Hate to spend the money on tests like that, but sometimes it's worth it to get answers. You only want to run until you're 85? I'm aiming for 100; it might be shuffling along with a walker, but I don't ever want to quit if I can help it!

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  53. I agree nothing beats just the facts!! An MRI is the best to get the basis of what is going on. I am glad it was not another stress fracture. Opinions are like a dime a dozen every one has one. Your own MD is the really the place to start.

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  54. I cannot wait to read all of your information on this. I have sciatica/butt/hammy issues on my left side. I have been almost a year out of pain and it started up a week and a half ago. I'm a week of no running and going insane. I am icing, advil, foam rolling, stretching and vodka. I will give it a slow run next week to test it, but will definitely go see a doc if this persists. I do struggle in this area and I know it is a strength and cross training thing.

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  55. I will be praying that your healing process goes by quiclkly and that you are able to find peace with the process and then come back and kick butt!! Stronger and faster!!!

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  56. Fart-tastic!!!! I mean, your post was hilarious. . . and great that you don't have a stress fracture. I also just raced the hottest and hardest race I've ever run--Nashville Marathon--and I needed some laughter. It got up to 86 degrees and I was NOT ready for the heat . . . of course, this just made me more determined to run the NEXT marathon . . .sorry, ADHD moment . . .back to your post . . .here a bit on degenerative disc: The best thing you can do is keep moving. My mother was diagnosed in her late 40s, and is now 65. Even though she has some pain--she hikes, kayaks, does yoga and walk/runs half marathons. She became active in her 50s, and she has incredible bone density and very little problem w/ her back at all. Your activity level will serve you well! Great post, and thanks for writing.

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  57. OMG ! Those pictures are hilarious ! "Why TF" do they give you the pictures "pre-discussion" with Dr. - most people are going to be looking at them thinking of those Rorschach Tests (yes I had to google the spelling on that)...or "what the hell is that" anyway.? LOL
    Glad to hear (even though it's quite the list" that wine and some other "medical/physical" adjustments will get ya' fixed up in no time. Wear it like a Badge of Courage ! Keep on Keepin' ON !

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  58. I was initially diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, but I did not think that was right as my pain was much lower. Four weeks of PT, a referral to an orthopedist for a second opinion AND an MRI later, it was hamstring tendinopathy. Wasted time annoys me! Love your MRI pictures. I felt the same way looking at mine! I could only see that I had weird masses of bizarre shapes in me! Anxious to hear about your treatment...I'm still looking for the right combo of stuff to help mine!

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  59. I was initially diagnosed with piriformis syndrome, but I did not think that was right as my pain was much lower. Four weeks of PT, a referral to an orthopedist for a second opinion AND an MRI later, it was hamstring tendinopathy. Wasted time annoys me! Love your MRI pictures. I felt the same way looking at mine! I could only see that I had weird masses of bizarre shapes in me! Anxious to hear about your treatment...I'm still looking for the right combo of stuff to help mine!

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  60. Hope you are on the mend quickly! As someone with bulging disc L5/S1, I can tell you that the back issues are manageable with the right PT and sensitivity to when it's getting bad-- and I run and ski bumps and hike and all that. Just have to be willing to back off when you feel the unfortunate, familiar twinges, as hard as that is. Hope your new plan works and that you are back in action soon.

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  61. Oh God I saw "labral tear" and squirmed. I had a labral tear that was diagnosed last year and had surgery to repair it last month. Labral tears are NASTY and they will not heal on their own (not a lot of blood supply to the cartilage in your hip) and unfortunately mine just kept getting worse. I can recommend a good surgeon not too far from you if you need it down the line!

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  62. WOW!! Thats alot!!... I wrote to you awhile back about having hip/back pain.. after my last race there was a Sports Dr. there whom I told about my pains.. she poked around on my butt for awhile while stretching me and making me do leg moves and she told me that theres something wrong with my hip flexor.. She wasn't specific on what was wrong, or what to do.. she told me just to take it easy and said I could continue to run but it wouldn't get better without treatment?... I hate injuries their so confusing!!..... Anyways... I hope yours gets better!! It sounds like a Great POA you've got! Good Luck to you!

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  63. Glad you have your diagnosis and yay for a POA! I had an MRI Friday (with dye injection directly into my hip joint - not at ALL pleasant!) and will get the results on Wednesday. I am both just hoping the diagnosis is something that will allow me to keep running, even if it means taking a few months off to heal (it's already been a month since I last ran). Good luck to you with your recovery!

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  64. You inspire me as usual! I've knocked on a few doors but I will NEVER stop running! Tomorrow I will have a colonoscopy because I had a scare after my last half (I mentioned this to you on fb)....an explosion of bloody stool in the biffy! I pray for positive results but as for today I'll starve myself and crap all day. :) I LOVE your POA and I pray for healing for you as well! Your MRI picks are hilarious! Thanks for putting a smile on my face!

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  65. degenerative disk disease happens to everyone as they get older...did they tell you that? and L4/L5 is an insanely common place for it to happen as that area bears the majority of weight in daily activities. don't let that get you down...its fairly normal for us as we age!

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  66. After having an MRI I was told that I would never run again (knee osteoarthritis) - that was in 2008. When I went to seek a second opinion (at Stegman & Hawkins in Denver) I was told I was fine and had tendinitis. I probed the doc a bit on this. he said that we all have degenerative changes after our mid-thirties. Sometimes MRIs give us information we don't need because the changes detected aren't the problem, aren't symptomatic, and may NEVER be a problem - but since you know about them you worry. That's certainly been the case for me. I wish I had never had the MRI but luckily I didn't believe what the first docs told me because it didn't make sense - I've never had knee pain. And so I looked for help everywhere - dry needling was the fix for me. But sometimes, in the back of my mind, I have to wonder. But then that just keeps me motivated to do what I can do now because you never know how long you will be able to do the things you love. Good luck healing, and I can't wait to work on my ham/glute issues after me marathon this Saturday ;)
    http://www.chronicrunner.com/2011/10/confessions-of-born-again-racer.html

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  67. Wow, love those images! I've also had high hamstring tendinopathy, not fun. Finally got it fixed with PT and strengthening, but now my hip is bothering me...thanks for the soapbox speech, that's what I needed to convince me to get an MRI and hopefully discover what's really going on in there...besides cows and old men. Good luck with the recovery!

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  68. Did you/ are you getting surgery for your labral tear? I'm guessing its a labral tear in the hip?

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  69. Held my stomach crying laughing at your attempts at radiology!
    My dad has been a marathon runner his whole life, and he's 64 now. He started running in the late 60s-early 70s when good shoes didn't exist, doing lots of road running and elevation changes without a care in the world like most think-they're-invincible-20somethings. His feet are in bad shape now, he literally can not walk around barefoot for any length of time without shoes. His knees are rough sometimes, he braces them every run, and he's thrown his back out completely twice. And he's still trucking! Like a champ! The man runs 7-8min miles for 15-20mi a week without any painkillers ever. Kinda awe-inspiring, no? He's really big on having big, aggressive goals in events, but not in speed. Pace is all well and good, hitting a great time is nice, but that probably can't be you end-all, be-all goal thinking if you want to run your whole life because it likely will lead to injury.

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  70. I attempted the NYC marathon this weekend only to be sidelined with hip pain severe enough that I stopped at mile 12. Of course, I have been googling everything, trying to self-diagnose. My MRI was today and I will have a follow-up with the Dr. soon. I have no plans to quit running and reading blog posts like this reaffirm that I made the smart choice so I can run again. Thanks for your humor and insight, I can only hope they give me some pics or a video like this and (fingers crossed) a benign diagnosis.

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