One of the fun parts about having a blog is that you can look back on your life and see things from a different perspective than you had while you were going through them in the moment. Of course, hindsight is usually 20/20 (unless you have vision like mine, which hasn’t been 20/20 since the first grade…), but it’s still interesting to look at.
Two years ago today, I ran 18 miles – it was the last run I had without pain. After this run, Eric and I headed out of the city for the afternoon to visit a friend, and I remember my upper thigh/groin area being really achy. It’s the first time I remember having pain, and basically everything went downhill after that. I walked home from a workout because I felt that I could hardly pull my leg toward let alone do mile repeats. (Although it makes me happy to see to workouts where I was averaging 6:40-ish pace…) I was training for the Eugene Marathon, which I didn’t end up running. It’s still on my list.
Was that the run I tore my labrum? Had it been in the works for months? Years? Who knows. Labral tears are often tricky to diagnosis, mostly because there’s so much going on in the hip. I had my first MRI in April 2015…which “didn’t show anything,” although over a year later, my surgeon saw the troublesome tear immediately on that scan. So that’s kind of disappointing, especially since the second medical professional I saw about my hip pain called a radiologist to specifically look at the labrum.
Two years later, my hips aren’t perfect, but they do feel a lot better than they did, and I’m very glad I had the surgery.
I’m not very glad that my calf still hurts! Last we heard, I had an MRI that showed stress reactions in my right tibia and fibula. (Is it normal to have them in both? I don’t know! Also, I wonder what my left leg would look like if it got scanned…) I followed that up with a bone scan – my report is hilarious because it lists me as being postmenopausal and having a history of adult fracture. I don’t know how to read a bone scan, but all my numbers are good except for my lumbar spine, which has a Z-Score of -1.4. That earns me a diagnosis of low bone mass, although I did quick search when those results come in, and apparently distance runners tend to have low scores in their spines. (Don’t quote me on that, it was one quick thing I read.)
The PA recommended that I see an endocrinologist. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and resulting hypothyroidism about five years ago – I was never symptomatic and Synthroid brought all my numbers into range. I maybe should have seen an endocrinologist before, but I guess it’s time now. She recommended a couple to me who specialize in hypothyroidism and metabolic bone disorders – but one didn’t take my insurance, and one is leaving practice, so I went on a hunt of my own. Of course, it takes months to get an appointment with an endocrinologist, especially a good one….so most of the ones I called didn’t have appointments until May. I start my clinical rotations in May, which involves one day of class and four days with 10+ hours of clinical per day, so that’s not the most flexible schedule. More searching and I found an endocrinologist affiliated with the hospital I used to work for (which was a good one), so I hope it’s not a bad sign that she has appointments at the end of March!
I’m also meeting with the PA to review my MRI and bone scan results in person later this week. I haven’t run in 2.5 weeks, and my calf feels about the same. Different than my left leg, but I wouldn’t call it pain. I’ve also noticed that the super tight knot in my calf doesn’t seem to be there anymore, so that’s good? Not running hasn’t been too hard. Shortly after I was told to not run, Eric gave me the cold he’d had for a couple weeks, and it hit me pretty hard. We also had three exams last week, so I was sick and tired and studying all the time! Once I felt better, I spent some time on the elliptical at school and took a couple low impact classes. Trying to keep up on hip strengthening so that doesn’t fall behind.
I hope that this calf thing straightens out soon so I can get back to running. It’s been two years since I was able to run without thinking if something is going to hurt – of course, I don’t think I’ll be as carefree when I get back to running, but not having to think about an acute injury will be nice. I hope to be able to look back on this time in two years and think, “I remember that! That was rough, so glad it’s over!” Thank you to everyone for your positive words about injury and recovery – it really helps, and I hope to be on the other side soon.
I miss being a runner and living the life of a runner. Eric and I are traveling to Amsterdam later this week for my spring break (still taking recommendations!), and while that is 95% amazing, a part of me is sad that I won’t be packing my running shoes for the trip. I’d much rather be checking out where the best route to run is, seeing how a training schedule could fit into traveling (remember when I was going to run a half this spring?), and making room for running clothes in my suitcase. It’s obviously going to be a great trip anyway, but I feel like I’m missing that part of my life and have been for awhile. I know being a runner is only part of who I am, but it’s a pretty big part, and I’d like to have some of it back.