Friday, October 19, 2012

It's a Matter of Time

(I'd meant for this to be short, but seem to have poured out all the details.  I'll forgive you if you don't read it.  No worries.)

It's not that I haven't had time to blog this week.  I really have.  It's just that I haven't been happy about what's going on, so I haven't wanted to write about it.

Here's the thing - I have injuries as a result of doing the marathon.  I feel stupid because I totally did it to myself with the not training enough thing.  I also feel frustrated, as it took me a week to realize a couple of things weren't getting better with time and then even more time to make doctors' appointments and then even more time before all the diagnostic efforts will be done.  Sigh.

I also feel a bit like a drama queen.  And I really hate having to involve medical people when it's my belief that things generally get better with time.  I've mentioned that here before.  After having gone to the ER or gone into to see my doctor, so maybe I'm only talking the talk and not walking the walk.  This being the third time I've involved medical people in my health in the last year and mostly getting back "we can't find anything."

Actually, though, as a bit of an aside, it turns out that there probably was something when I went in to see the doctor in March.  I never did blog about it because I was embarrassed to have gone in for a false alarm.  It was an abdominal pain issue, again, but in a different location that time.  It had been getting progressively worse for weeks.  I finally went in and had some blood work done.  I was also scheduled for an ultrasound.  However, within days after the appointment, I was feeling better - the pain wasn't totally gone, but it wasn't bad anymore, so I cancelled the ultrasound.  Then I got a letter saying my lab results had been normal.  Okay, then, hypochondriac at work again.

Only, guess what?  I just figured out how to get the system whereby I can check on my medical records for the clinic I go to.  I thought, "Hey, I'll go see what those lab results were," as I was, at least, interested in how my anemia was going now that I'm taking iron supplements regularly.  Turns out my results weren't so normal after all.  I had six different flags, mostly just out of normal range, but one was rather far off.  And two of those flags were indicating I was still anemic.  Anyway, I started looking at what all those numbers meant online and ended up deciding that I wanted to know why I hadn't been contacted.  I sent a message to my provider.  She apologized and said she didn't know how that had gotten past her and she'd like to recheck me, particularly in regards to the one way out of whack number.  So, maybe I'm not such a hypochondriac after all.  While I don't want there to be something wrong with me, getting something wrong fixed and being validated for not being a total wuss who runs to the doctor for every little thing?  Well, that's kind of nice.

Anyway, back to my current woes.  I have two points of concern.  One is my left foot and the other is my right hip.  Last week, I worked all week and, while I took it fairly easy, I mostly tried to just ignore things, figuring it would all get better with time.  Thursday, though, I demonstrated a bit and then went to class myself in the evening.  Friday was a long day on my feet because it was a day camp day at work.  By Friday evening, I could barely walk due to the pain in my foot.

The family plan, then, was for me to rest all weekend, figuring that should pretty much take care of things.  However, the lack of improvement by Sunday had me doing the dreaded self diagnosis through internet searching.  I was wondering if my foot was a stress fracture, so I looked up information about stress fractures in runners.

I found out that what was going on in my foot was not a typical stress fracture if it was one, but it might be.  However, that same informational video put out by an orthopedic sports doctor, talked about watching for stress fractures in the hip of a runner.  When she described those symptoms I became concerned because it fit my hip pretty well.  The hip has been bothering me off and on for months, but I just kept working through it and, usually, it would subside.  Post run, it's been hurting pretty consistently, though.

Monday morning found me trying to make a doctor's appointment.  The first place I called could fit me in next week at the end of the week in their Vancouver office.  I tried my usual clinic, but they said I'd have to see my primary person first before I could see their sports medicine ortho type.  I decided to keep looking.  The next place had a foot ortho person and a hip ortho person (different people), but also a sports med doc who could evaluate both and pass me on to the others if necessary.  I made an appointment for Thursday morning there, but felt iffy about it and wasn't excited about waiting until Thursday.

By this time, I was in tears trying to deal with all this and being concerned about my health and being concerned about if I even should be going in or just waiting it out.  Anthony called my usual clinic back and made an appointment with my regular practitioner for me.  She could see me Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile, I went to work, where I hobbled about on my injured foot.  I nearly got sent home.  The next day I was asked not to come back until I had a diagnosis on my foot.

Tuesday morning, I saw my practitioner.  She didn't know what was going on, said she wasn't a specialist in this, ordered xrays and referred me to their sports person who only is at that clinic on Fridays.  I went to get xrays and then was sent home, knowing nothing, even if I'd be able to get in on Friday.  I decided to keep my Thursday appointment at least until I knew about Friday.

I hadn't gotten the call about Friday nor even the results of my xrays as of my appointment time on Thursday, so I went.  I'm really glad I did.  I really liked the doctor I saw, who is the sports medicine person at that orthopedic clinic.  She really listened and was knowledgeable about the sorts of injuries people who go too long without adequate training can get.  I had xrays done right then and she read them in the office right after, then did an exam of the foot and hip. 

I'm happy to say that the foot isn't a stress fracture, but it is injured enough to require a boot for a couple of weeks.  Apparently, some of the joint fluid leaked, causing pain and inflammation.  A couple of weeks in a neutral position with no impact above walking should heal it up.

The hip is still an unknown, though.  The xray did not show a fracture, but xrays are unreliable when it comes to stress fractures.  The doctor was concerned enough to order an MRI for my hip.  I'll be doing that on Wednesday.  There will be dies involved, as well, which will help to show if there is anything going on with the ligaments and tendons in the event there isn't a stress fracture.  I'll be really embarrassed if nothing shows up, I have to say.

For now, I can walk as long as I don't limp, which I seem to be able to do if I take it slow and easy.  For both the foot and hip, there is no high impact, no extra stress, no twisting. 

Even though the hip is still an unknown, I'm being allowed to return to work now that my foot is in a boot.  I'm glad about that.  Mostly I like my job and miss going.

So, that's my life this week.  Sad, but true.  I'll try for a better post soon.  One with pictures.  One that is a bit more upbeat.  One that involves Davan. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry for what you're going through and I hope for a speedy resolution to the issues, particularly the pain issue.

    And be sure to post the update when you find out what's up. I mean, now that you've told us all the details.