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:
And, what appears to be an alien or a devil with horns in my ass.
There might also be an old man or lion in there:
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:
- No stress fracture – YES!
- Mild high hamstring tendinopathy
- Partial tear of high hamstring
- Partial labral tear (left hip)
- Degenerative disc disease (L5 and L4)
- Left hip stress fracture from last year has completely healed – YES!
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):
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.