The last several months it has been a battle to stay on the good side of sanity, in regards to my ongoing health issues. I am generally optimistic, full of a positive attitude, appreciative of my health, etc. But sometimes, when things linger I start crossing over to the dark side, like being in a tunnel and not seeing the light at the end.
I have had multiple things going on at once since December. A few months back Katherine gave me her beloved Winnie the Pooh to sleep with “until everything is better”. She has had this stuffed bear since birth a gift from her Aunt Julie. A couple of weeks ago I gave it back to her to take to camp at ASU for some comfort in the dorm (despite my issues continuing to linger).
The last time I was in a slump for a few months I had an aspiring Olympic athlete (Lauren Fleshman) staying with us and waging her own battle. There was no way I was going to complain and whine! I just sucked it up and tried to have enough cheeriness for 3 injured runners (when her friend Jemma joined us too). This time I don’t have such an anchor to keep me from slipping.
My elbow started hurting right before Christmas. I kept thinking did I bump it on something?? In January I kind of knew something was not right when it would stiffen up on a run and I would shake my arms out wincing in pain. I decided to ignore it for a few weeks thinking it might get better (this always works really well, ha ha). Finally mid Feb I casually mentioned it to Dr Ball saying “no big deal but my elbow has kind of been hurting me lately”. He worked on it a few times then suggested I get something to bring down the inflammation. This lead me on a trip to a sports medicine doctor.
**When I was 16 I fell from a high bar that collapsed at gymnastics and landed on said elbow breaking the ulna and radius each in 2 places. Never has been quite the same since that injury.
THE HAMSTRING/GLUTE/IT BAND ISSUE
The timing to see the sports med doctor was spot on since 1st week of April I was playing Ultimate Frisbee (in a class at MCC) and slipped in the grass. I immediately felt a whoosh up my entire left leg. I was supposed to run a 10 mile race that weekend. I decided to pull out of the race and be conservative.
Upon visiting the sports med doctor we discussed both right elbow and left leg. She suggested physical therapy for both. I completed 8 weeks of pt for both body parts. Much ASTYM and dry needling, exercises, pain, etc. The leg got better and I slowly worked up to 50 mile weeks! The elbow got about 80% better then nosedived.
It was suggested that I go back to the doctor and get a cortisone injection in elbow. I have always shied away from these but was getting desperate at this point!! The injection was excruciating (about 15 pokes in my elbow) and you could hear the crunching of all the scar tissue. Love revisiting this old injury!! My arm was stiff and painful for about 2 weeks then no better than were I started.
I was told my next step would be MRI and visit with a surgeon. Hmm no thanks on surgery. I hauled myself back to Dr John Ball pleading with him to make it better. 3 visits later I have range of motion and less daily pain. the visits have been the most painful thing I have ever had done. Today I was a pile of tears when I left the office. If I did not trust him so much I would never let him do this to me.
Just as I was building back my running, finishing pt on my leg and starting to feel invincible, I started to feel a strange pain in my left calf/shin area. One day it would be fine the next I could not bear weight on my leg. I stopped running and had Dr Ball look at that while he was treating the elbow. Strain to your soleus muscle. Need to rest a bit and do some exercises and then return to running slowly. Ughh again, seriously I feel like I have done my “injury time ” this year. We headed out for an awesome vacation in Northern California, Oregon and Washington all where I barely ran in the beautiful places with cool weather.
I started having complications with my gas permeable contact lenses last fall. They were dry and not comfortable. My eyes were depositing lots of protein on the lenses causing the problems. I joked with the dr about just getting that protein into other parts of my body like muscle repair! I was told my days were numbered in gas perms and I would need to switch to soft lenses. This means I would have to go through a process called regression, the gas perm lenses holds back all the changes your cornea wants to make and on top of that I also have astigmatism in both eyes. Once I started the process I was warned I would be coming in weekly for eye exams and a new prescription each time (they give me samples of the lenses). After a certain amount of time it will stabilize. It has been suggested that for every year you wear hard lenses you need a week to adapt. I wore them for 34 years that is 34 weeks!! I have gotten to the point of about every 2 weeks now. My vision each day is a bit different, also seem to need “reading glasses” too since I am over 40.
I am afraid to count how many medical appointments I have been to this year!!! I just know there is a stack of medical bills, my vision sucks, I can’t run and my elbow hurts all the time. I joke that I have more medical appts than a 90yr old woman! My hope is that when I am 90 I am running marathons and not going to medical appts!
I have been doing my standard “Focus on what you can do not what you can’t do”. Dr Ball said ease into the running (1min walk 5 min run for 15min to start) no biking or elliptigo and you could swim except with the elbow issue not a good idea. I have been focusing on my strength and core as much as possible. Today I went to Lifetime Fitness for about 90 minutes and did a lot of exercises but mostly felt like myself!
Usually my blog is full of good news, happy pictures and a positive outlook. This week I decided to tell it like it is and vent a bit. Lately I feel my dream of qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials is slipping away. Deep down I know there is a 2:42 marathon inside me waiting to be ran. So doing my best to keep the dream alive.
We are headed to Flagstaff for some cooler weather and a fresh perspective!
Have you ever crossed over to the dark side when dealing with a running injury?? What kept you on the good side of sanity?? How did you stay positive and occupied??