April 29, 2012 § 10 Comments
After a couple of weeks now of very limited mobility and ongoing pain in the ol’ hip bone, I have done some “research” (i.e., scoured the Internet and read a lot of forums) and am 99% sure that what is going on with me is actually a femoral neck stress fracture (FNSF).
The implications of this are kind of hard for me to even grasp right now, so I’m taking it one day at a time.
Make that an hour at a time.
I wanted to write and just ask anyone who reads this to please pray for me. I go back to the doctor tomorrow for results of my X-rays, but FNSFs are notorious for not showing up on X-rays, which means I may need an MRI or bone scan to accurately diagnose the problem.
Thanks so much for all your support and sweetness…and thanks ahead of time for praying.
April 27, 2012 § 7 Comments
Does running make you happier? All kinds of bloggers, runners, magazine articles, and even researchers seem to think so. I’m no expert, but today, I’ve at least felt the converse effect, the tearfulness that seems to hit me when I’m not running. Strange things make me cry. And even though it’s only just after lunchtime on a beautiful Friday, I’ve found myself crying three times today already. Maybe it has to do with the pain I’m in. Maybe it’s because I’m just a baby. Or maybe it’s because when I run less, I feel more.
Here are the three. Prepare yourself. They’re small.
- The nurse didn’t care.
The pain in my hip, I am sorry to report, is not better. I won’t go into it, but suffice it to say, I wound up at LSU’s Student Health Center first thing this morning for triage so I could try to get in to see a doctor (who would hopefully refer me to a specialist, to get X-rays, and maybe for physical therapy). The nurse, not looking at me as I limped into the room, said, “Alright, what’s wrong with you?”
“I hurt my hip–”
I gave it.
“Are you on any medicines?”
“No. I’ve been taking two Advil in the mornings.”
She looked at me for the first time, peering skeptically over her glasses. I stood my ground. I wasn’t lying.
“What’d you do?”
I told her I’d hurt it running. She asked when the pain had started. I told her a week before I ran in a marathon and had to drop out because of the–
“Where’s it hurt?”
I showed her.
“And no trauma?”
“Well, no, it just got worse when I was in Boston, trying to run a –”
“And you’re not on birth control?”
That’s when I felt tears. No, lady, I’m not on birth control. I just have a hurt hip. That’s ruining my life. Help me out here.
2. I’m saying good-bye.
I am so crazy-excited about the next step in my life, which I’ll write more about later. But it means that I am leaving some people I love dearly behind. I was texting with one of them today, my friend Matt who has done so much for me and has been such a true friend to me even when I basically have done nothing for him. Suddenly, I found myself with full-on tears streaming down my face. I felt so sad about not seeing him anymore and not being in and out of each others’ lives (even though we don’t really hang out that much as it is). It’s just hard to say good-bye. I hate it. So I cried.
3. This American Life
On my local public radio station, they play last week’s episodes of some shows on the following Friday. Today, I caught a little bit of This American Life in the car. It was Mike Birbiglia telling a story, first explaining that he didn’t believe in marriage and then describing how he had gotten obsessed with bringing to justice a drunk driver who had hit him and totaled his car. Then one night, on a date with his girlfriend, he was scribbling on a napkin an idea about his case and how he could prove himself right. His girlfriend, Jenny, suggests he do that the next morning. From the transcript, here’s how it plays out:
I say, “This is serious. Which part of this napkin don’t you understand?”
She says, “I don’t know what to tell you Mike because you’re right, but it’s only hurting you. And I’m just so glad that you’re alive, and I think that we should focus on that.”
She only has to say it once, and I dropped the case and I pay for the guy’s car. And a few months later Jenny and I go to City Hall and get married.
I still didn’t believe in the idea of marriage, and I still don’t. But I believe in her–
That’s where I started crying. The thought of someone else giving up their case, their need to prove something to the world, because of love–it just got to me. I want to believe in someone like that. I want someone to believe in me like that.
So…there’s my sappiness. May your Friday and weekend be joyful and full of smiles. But sometimes I think tears are okay, too, in the midst of all of that. Tears tell me there’s something in me besides just toughing it out and laughing it off.
Running may make you happier–and I definitely think it makes me happier–but days without it have something to say, too.
March 10, 2012 § 1 Comment
I ran today. On a treadmill, being extremely cognizant of my form, in my newest shoes, after about twenty minutes of stretching my hip flexor/piriformis muscle within an inch of their lives and taking two MSM/glucosamine compound vitamins.
It was glorious. And pain-free.
Afterwards, I was thinking about how I came to a tentative diagnosis of my hip pain. Typical runner’s methodology, I’d guess. If you’re a runner, you probably like to do things yourself. You want to get on the roads, get back, do your thing, thanks. Doctor visits take up time that could be better spent running. (Or is that just me?)
I had to laugh at myself this morning. I sort of consulted a doctor. My breakthrough advice did come from an M.D., promise! It just so happened that he was a child psychiatrist my mom met in Boston yesterday at a conference she’s attending. He’s a runner, too, so she told him about my issue. He suggested it might be my piriformis muscle and could need some extra stretching. Mom passed this information on to me, along with a highly scientific article.
I then turned to the real authority: Google. A search on ‘piriformis’ and a second on ‘piriformis pain running’ yielded this Runner’s World article , this Running Times article, some stretching exercise suggestions, as well as the discovery of a Navy SEAL running forum (I didn’t know those guys were human enough to get injured).
Everything I read made sense and seemed to point to the fact that I’d been sitting too much, overpronating, probably overcompensating because of some recent calf pain I’ve had, and skimping on stretching.
I’m not sure I can really give you a rundown of all the stretches I did, but a few were:
- Downward dog: release your heels slowly toward the floor, then, one at a time, release each leg, so all your weight is in the other one and allow it to straighten further into a deeper stretch (good for when you feel like some self-flagellation)
- Deep lunges: let the knee behind you go all the way to the floor and rest there, leaning forward until you feel it deep in your hip flexor (through gritted teeth, just keep telling yourself: “This. Feels. Great.”)
- Opening stretch: one ankle over opposite knee and sit into the air (that creaking noise? My knee.)
- Dynamic flexor stretch: hold on to something, like the hand of a strong man, and swing your leg back and forth as high as it will go (back and forth, back and forth) and then laterally (side to side, side to side) as many times as you can. I made it to 15 on each leg and felt like I’d given it [most of] my best effort.
- Bonus! Hamstring stretch: one foot out in front of you, heel on the ground, toes up, and bend forward (if you’re trying this at the gym, try to pretend you don’t notice that your knee seems frozen at a sharp chicken wing angle. If you pretend hard enough, maybe Lithe Linda over there in a semi-permanent pretzel won’t notice, either).
This is stuff that feels good to me. Be careful with your precious body, though! You only get one.
Any ongoing injuries/discomfort out there?
What’s your stance on stretching before and after you work out?