Some Almost Answers
|December 5, 2012||Posted by Emily under Uncategorized|
I promised I wouldn’t come back until I can run again, but it’s becoming increasingly evident that it’s going to be a while before my feet get any pavement action, so here I am…even though I’m most definitely not sweating once a day.
I’m still in pain. I’m still not running. I’m still incredibly frustrated, irritable and depressed. I’m still close to physically harming someone on a daily basis. Mostly healthy someones who run a lot of miles. I’m still ready to return to a state where I can sneeze without immediately clutching my side to quiet the pain. And way more than ready to wake up in the morning and grab my hokas instead of a heating pad and a percocet.
And I still have no effing clue what is going on.
Nor does anyone with medical credentials.
The first theory was costochondritis. I know it sounds like a disease I contracted from eating a Costco sized bin of peanut butter pretzels but it’s surprisingly not. (My recycling bin would lead you to believe otherwise.) In reality, it’s bulk-sized amounts of inflammation around your ribs and cartilage.
The next theory was that an excessive amount of scar tissue had accumulated in the rib region of my body. Or maybe it was all part of the same theory. I don’t know. I don’t speak Doctor. A (very) painful round of Graston actually relieved symptoms for a few hours. I was super hopeful. I charged my garmin, set out of my Hokas, and mapped out my route for the next morning.
One painful night of sleep later, and the garmin was back in the drawer, still untouched and neglected.
Yesterday, I went back to one of the several medical professionals I’ve visited during the last month. He happens to be my favorite one. Even when he tells me I’m not allowed to say “Fuck It, I’m going to run through the pain. PEACE,” I still like him. He’s an athlete. He has pictures of sporty things all over his office. He gets my need for sweat and (SPOILER ALERT) doesn’t judge me when I cry in his office because I can’t get any of that salty goodness right now.
When I saw him last week, he did some things to my rib area, was encouraged by my immediate physical response and promised that I would be pain free by now. (“Promised” might not be his word of choice, but let’s go with it.) After I sulked into his office yesterday and told him the pain has not gone away, but worsened, he poked, he prodded and he peppered me with questions to try and figure out what’s going on (again).
After several minutes of this, he developed a couple of new theories. He now speculates that I either have a fracture in my ribs that the Xray didn’t show or I actually tore a muscle. He also didn’t entirely rule out some kind of minor organ failure (I’m only kind of joking). The next step is to get an MRI done and get a better look at what’s going on.
He thinks that no matter what is wrong, I’m looking at minimal options for treatment beyond resting a part of my body that’s impossible to fully rest thanks to that annoying breathing thing. As much as I’d love to fall asleep and not wake up until I can laugh without pain and run again, that’s not really an option. Instead, I’m looking at a timeline for recovery that is going to span several weeks at best.
In some weird way it was a relief to hear some worst case scenarios. Yes, I cried after I left his office yesterday…and maybe a little bit while I was still in it, but at least now I can mentally prepare to be injured and out for the foreseeable future.
One of the most frustrating things about the last few weeks has been the uncertainty. I am so sick of hearing my doctors tell me “you should be better by now, I have no idea what is going on.” Even though we still don’t know exactly what is wrong, I can stop putting myself through the mental anguish of hoping everything will be better “by tomorrow” “in two days” “by the end of the week.” I am emotionally exhausted and desperately in need of some answers, even if they’re not the ones I want to hear.
I’m ready to move on from constant frustration, accept this stupid injury, and spend the next (TBD# of) months resting, healing and getting ready to come back a stronger, faster and more determined runner. I’ve done it before and you can bet your asphalt, I’m going to do it again.