Thursday, May 14, 2015

Finding Answers

I had my follow up appointment with my Ortho yesterday.  If you remember my MRI update few posts ago I was in pretty good spirits heading into this.  His assistant had delivered me the news that I didn't have a stress fracture/avulsion injury and that I was pretty much on a "rest and wait it out" period.  I have been content with that and had been making plans for a gradual return as necessary.  I've been feeling really good - minimal soreness, I'm walking normally, moving normally in general, and most times I even forget that I have an injury.  I'm exercising via weight lifting, walking, biking, and yoga pain free.  So, I was honestly taken by surprise when my doctor met with me yesterday in full on doom and gloom fashion.  He pretty much had nothing good to say to me.

His exact words: "I highly urge you to forget running.  Just forget it."  After which he went on to tell me that there are other ways to exercise (I had to hold back from saying "I'm a personal trainer... no shit, dude") and even gave my husband and I information about where his colleague Freddie Fu and his team buy their bikes.

Forget running.  Wait - WHAT??

He gave me a copy of my MRI report and pulled up the pictures.  According to the scans, the radiologists report and his interpretation I actually have not one, but three stress injuries in my pelvis.  I have a grade 2 reaction in the left pelvic wing, and stress reactions on either side of the pubic symphysis.  My gluteus minimus is also strained (I'm guessing that's why I've felt like it was my piriformis bothering me all this time), and I have tendinosis in both hamstrings.

But all those things don't concern my doctor.  His concern is the findings of high grade chondrosis/degenerative joint disease (osteoarthritis) in the left hip.  Given my age, my past medical history, current injury status and progression, his opinion is that if I continue high impact activity (running) that I will need a new hip in no time.  He has also referred me to another endocrinologist for a full workup to see if I have any other underlying problems contributing to all this.  I haven't went into too much detail about it here on the blog but while I was pregnant with my second child I had a tumor in my thyroid.  I chose to continue my pregnancy and allow the tumor to grow and had over half my thyroid removed after I recovered from my c-section.  I had my hormones monitored for a time afterward, but everything seemed to be stabilized and I've just had regular appointments since.  So, I guess things could have changed in that department.  We will see.  Maybe my blood clotting issues play into it?  I have deficiencies in Protein C and Protein S, both of which contribute to my recurrent miscarriages.  Again, I don't know.

I'm honestly just in "uhhh" mode right now.  I feel fine!  I'm kind of in shock.  How can so much be wrong? How do I not know this?  I still feel like I'm in the best shape of my life!  I take Calcium and Vitamin D everyday.  I take glucosamine and MSM every day.  I am making the appointment with the endo today but I also want to get a second opinion from another Orthopedist.  I'm not going to fish around for someone to tell me what I want to hear.  Yes, I want to run.  I'll even settle for run/walk.  Or walk/run.  I'll run 15 seconds per minute if I can still run.  But I would also like to keep the hip God gave me intact.  Joint replacement scares the shit out of me, even if it has become a more common thing these days.  I'd like to avoid it.

I'm not angry. I think I've gotten all the anger out of the way in the prior weeks.  I'm really just confused right now.  I want answers.  If I absolutely, 100% definitely have to "forget running", then ok.  But I want to be certain that's not just a hasty judgement call.  I'm no doctor, but personally it's not over until the fat lady sings.  And I haven't heard a fat lady yet. I am going to do MCM no matter what.  Last night my husband even told me that he will come out on the course and walk in MCM with me if that's what it takes.  Thank goodness for races with long time limits..

So I'm in limbo right now.  I have no idea until I get some more answers what will happen from here.  I can tell you tomorrow I will be waking up at dawn and heading to the gym... just like I did today.  But where my fitness goals lie a month, 3 months, a year ahead?  I don't know now.  I'm looking at bikes.. maybe I'll get into endurance cycling?  Become a more serious yogi?  Get into pole or lyra?  Achieve the goal I had before of being a bodybuilder and competitive eater? :P   Here is my MRI report if you're interested in reading it.  Come be as confuzzled as I am... lol




The report says "Suggestive of degeneration".  How does that translate into a need to stop running immediately?  Help?

I'm not forgetting about running... yet.  I'm going to continue to take these weeks ahead to fully heal, and get some more opinions before hanging up my Adrenalines for good.  Anyone know a good Ortho office?  I've been at UPMC Ortho at Mercy in conjunction with the Sports Med building in the Southside.  I'm no stranger to having to search for docs... I can't tell you how many OBGYNs and REs and Urologists we went through to finally be able to have 3 successful pregnancies.  Every doc has a strength and weakness just like a patient and sometimes you have to look for the one that fits your puzzle...  My 1% chance of ever having a full term pregnancy and live birth resulted in 3 healthy and strong kids.  I'm not going to take 1 doctor telling me my running days are over to the bank without exploring more.

And just so this isn't a total downer of a post, I do have a mom brag!  Last night we attended the Sarah Heinz House end of the year awards ceremony.  Sarah Heinz House is awesome and I'm so glad that my family is a part of their family and vice vera.  My kids will be attending their summer camps again this year too and they are so excited.  Anyway, my daughter Victoria won an award for attendance.  She's so proud of herself and I am proud of her too.  Having extracurricular activities on top of school is always a challenge, but she loves doing swim lessons and club activities at SHH!


Congratulations on another great year at Sarah Heinz House, Tori!

10 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry about that terrible diagnosis Nichole! It's really inspiring how well you're taking everything and still being optimistic. This is the reason why I feel like I HAVE to run..my mom also has arthritis and is unable to run, and so many people I know have some sort of disease or genetics that prevent them from running. I just think of the Pre quote: to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift. My gift is the ability to run, so I feel like it's a waste if I don't, and I feel like I owe it to people like you and my mom who want to run and are told they can't. I hope that you'll get some better news. You're in my thoughts!

    Also, I used to go to SHH and that was my first job! I worked at the desk when I was 14 and I loved it. That's so cool that it's still running and that your daughter goes. I hope she loves it as much as I did!

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    1. That is my favorite Pre quote! :) How cool that you went to SHH too. All my kids go to programs there as well as summer camp. It's wonderful. I always say that if I ever win the lottery I'm going to give them a heap of money.

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  2. Jesus my jaw just dropped when I read this. I hope they are wrong. I don't know what I would I do if I was told I can't run. I guess I would be doing exactly what you are doing, getting more opinions. If you ever do decide to become a competitive eater, I will gladly train with you :) I have been waiting to break into that sport

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    1. I subscribe to several eating channels on YouTube. I think it's great.. lol. One of my favorites is Matt "the MegaToad" Stonie. He's something like 2nd in the whole world of championship eating. Crazy - he's so tiny but can down a ton of food!

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  3. UGH. Shin splints! So bad I remember standing at the sink (on New Year's Eve) and sobbing because of the pain!

    Do not recall how I got them, though it was likely from to much tennis. Lots of contrast soaks (hot tub of water, towels in the freezer) did the trick. I found this useful trip at never-never-never-give-up.com It is worth it!

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  4. Wow. It doesn't make sense that it's so serious. I know running is high impact, but you were so good in making sure that you ran your easy runs truly easy. You did strength training & yoga. In other words, you did everything right! I hope that since you've been recovering so well so far and nothing hurts that you're well on your way to healing. As for the dire announcement to forget running, I'm glad you're getting a second opinion. I hope you can consult someone else soon. I'll be thinking if you & keeping my fingers crossed. Also, your daughter is the cutest! You can tell how proud she is in that picture. I live just across the street (28) from SHH & used to go too their gym.

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    1. Thanks! I don't do first opinions very well when they seem extreme to me. I'm just going to keep on keeping on! I keep telling myself I'm just down, but not out!

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  5. I'm so sorry you are faced with all this. Hopefully, with some recovery, you can ease your way back into things. Don't let one doctor tell you not to run - they all say that. I'll be thinking of you and checking back for updates!

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    1. Thank you Kim! I'm hoping he is just being hasty and overcautious. I mean, I totally understand that, but at the same time I'm willing to put forth whatever effort I can to recover well and change some things to be able to keep moving!

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  6. I've been off the grid for the last week and am just catching up!!
    I am in shock over this! I hope this is an overly cautious initial reaction...!!. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for you and am wishing you a speedy recovery and that a second or third opinion will bring better news <3 <3 <3 !!

    I love that you always stay positive through this - I would be drowning my sorrows in Ben & Jerry's with that news


    PS - Your daughter is just the cutest!! Congrats on her attendance award :-)

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