And in case you're wondering what a labrum is (I know I certainly didn't have the word in my vocabulary until a few weeks ago), this handy picture might help a bit. Funny how such a small little piece of tissue can cause SO MUCH FREAKING PAIN, when it's not perfectly intact and aligned. And in fact, my tear is so small, that despite staring very intently at the computer screen and with my doctor pointing to exactly where the tear was, I still couldn't see it. I finally just agreed that I saw it so we wouldn't have to stare at the screen anymore. I'm glad there are really smart people in this world who become doctors!
As you might imagine, my past few weeks have been filled with ART, PT and MD appointments (and a fair amount of weeping and gnashing of teeth). I've had xrays, lots of physical exams and most recently the MRA. Quick word on the MRA - it's pretty cool to watch the contrast go into your system and through the joint! It's not so cool to be in the actual MRI machine. I wouldn't consider myself claustrophobic but darn it if it didn't take a few tries before the very nice (and patient) nurse was able to get me into the machine without me having a panic attack! My advice to you should you need one? Close your eyes and make up songs to the banging noises. It works.
So, about that torn labrum (and the other stuff too). When you don't see me on the start line in St. Croix or Texas, you know why! BUT, but not all hope is lost. While torn labrums sometimes do require surgery and there is a real possibility that I might end up in that category, there are some more conservative ways to treat them. This includes a steroid injection into the joint, which I got yesterday afternoon. This injection required another big needle but was also super cool to watch on the ultrasound machine! And guess who has one of the biggest femoral arteries that Dr. McLane has ever seen? Yep, THIS GIRL! New party trick! (I just knew I was talented in some way...)
After the injection: instant relief (and that just from the numbing agent they use in conjunction with the steroid, not from the actual steroid itself). AH! I can pull my knee up to my chest without wincing in pain! Instant mood booster! However as I'm sure most of you know, steroid injections don't fix the problem. I am still going to have a torn labrum. But the hope is that if the steroid can reduce all the inflammation surrounding the problem, I can move forward. Best case scenario, the injection, plus ART, plus PT can solve this problem and I never see the inside of an operating suite. Middle case scenario, the conservative approach allows me to race through the summer/fall and I get the surgery at the end of the year. Worst case scenario, this doesn't work at all and I have surgery in 3 or 4 weeks.
As I told Tim (my coach) on the phone this morning, I do love a good challenge. I would much prefer the challenge of hitting X number of watts on the bike or swimming on X interval or running X pace on my long run. But, we don't always get to choose our challenges. And I'm starting to understand that if I can embrace this challenge, just as much as I would my training or racing, I'm going to be okay, no matter which scenario plays out.
Soon I'll write about the psychology of injury from my perspective. One thing is for sure, I suck at being hurt! I'm learning though and I think I might be able to share some tips that have really helped me. Most importantly though, I want to really say thank you to a few people that have gotten me through this last month (without whom, I'd be in some serious trouble). Dr. Herring, Dr. McLane, Brad (best ART guy EVAH!), Linsey and a whole host of other friends and teammates that have checked in on me. My family - they don't really have a choice of putting up with me or not but they sure do a great job of it! Kim, my girl, who is one of the few people in this world that I can tell EVERYTHING to and who can truly understand (and won't think I'm crazy). Tim, my coach, who surely does not get paid enough to deal with the hot mess of a situation that I put us in. He goes above and beyond and without his direction and guidance (and assurance that "I WILL BE OKAY") through this bump in the road, I'm not entirely sure I'd be able to figure my own way. And finally, Oscar. We've been through a lot of ups and downs in the last 16 years together. And although I don't think he can always understand the whys of my sadness, one thing he has NEVER failed at is being there for me. And he's good at dealing with a few (or MANY) tears. And he is the most selfless, loving person I've ever known.
So anyway, I think this blog is sounding way more dramatic than I intended it to be. I'm not dying of cancer, my hip just hurts a little bit! BUT, when someone is down and out, it doesn't really matter the reason. All that matters is that they have people to carry them through. And I couldn't be more thankful for "my" people.
|When not dealing with banged up wife, Oscar runs sub 3 hour marathons on the weekend for fun. :)|