Monday, March 11, 2013

Running, Apparently, Is the End Goal

Photo: Mike McCall, Flickr Creative Commons

A week after I finally sucked it up and went to see my doctor about my knee and ended up getting the joint X-rayed and magnetic resonanced, I ran a mile without any pain or tightness. It was just a mile and it was just an 8:46 per mile pace, but it was running and my wife almost cried when I told her I could run again. When we met my dad later that day for lunch, my son ran to him yelling, "Daddy can run again! Daddy can run again!" I swear to god that I did not realize I was giving off such an obvious vibe of despair that the act of running a mile (basically from my carport to the stop sign and back) could have brought such joy into my house. I still have an appointment with an orthopedist to keep, and I'll go just because it's probably a good idea to have an expert's opinion, but the ITBS is no longer a current issue. The good news is that I know what to look for now and trying to run through it for miles of rugged trail is a really bad idea. Next time, I'll just refuse to take another step and make Mickey run back to the truck and come pick me up on the forest service road where it started hurting. I blame you Mickey*.

As for my doctor, he may have been brilliant when he was diagnosing a form of asthma that I have that isn't triggered by exertion or stress like the kind my dad has and you see in the movies, but a kind that is triggered by illness or allergies and explained why I had bronchitis at least twice a year as a kid, but he's obviously not in sports medicine. Having recently read that article about radiologists and the dancing gorilla, I decided against telling him my personal diagnosis. I told him I had researched it and had a pretty good idea what it was, but he didn't ask and I didn't want to bias his examination just in case I had misdiagnosed myself. He never mentioned ITBS even though it's one of the most common running injuries and my symptoms match. He suggested a torn meniscus. He did rule out an LCL injury by testing the joint stability. He sent me for X-rays to check for a stress fracture even though he was pretty sure that wasn't the problem. It would just save the need for an MRI if that was the problem. I ended up having an MRI in the back of a tractor trailer because I live too far from civilization to have easy access to an MRI machine that doesn't travel around like a carnival ride. The MRI showed some signs of degeneration in the joint, a slight loss of cartilage, but nothing unusual, the nurse said. I know my knees are kind of shitty. Something happened to them back when I worked at the newspaper. I don't have the pain anymore now that I run and have lost a bunch of the weight, but they still creak and pop and I don't feel comfortable doing squats. I know that part and know the running knee pain didn't have anything to do with that, but whatever.

On a related note (me getting old and all), I think I'm starting to get retarded. I recently used an apostrophe to make an plural noun on Facebook and I used it's instead of its in the previous post. This is unexceptable**.

I may be missing the Publix Georgia Marathon Sunday, but I'll be on the bike instead. Like I've mentioned before, the ITBS never bothered my knee. I could ride for dozens of miles with no ill effects but couldn't run a dozen steps. I got my money back for the missed marathon thanks to having purchased the registration protector, and my son and I will be riding a bike century near my house Saturday. We're probably signing up for the metric century and I fully expect him to bail around mile 20, but since he'll be in the Weehoo, he may last a little longer. He's taken naps in that thing before.

*I don't really blame Mickey. It's just funnier than blaming myself.
** In case you're stupid, that was intentional. It's part of the joke, pendejo.


Sid said...

Yay, you can run again!

Julie said...

That is great news! I hope you see a steady improvement.