Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Runner not Running

It's probably time for an update on where I'm at. A lot has happened since I posted last.  Not a lot of running though. It's been nearly four weeks since my last run. 

Six days after the half marathon I started experiencing pain both on the outside of my hip, and on the inside (let's all it the groin crease). The pains were not constant but certain movements would set off either side, with sudden stabbing pains that often times had me either pause in my movement, gasp, or even yell. After a long weekend out of town, hobbling around like an old lady and popping pain relief like nobody's business, I made an appointment to see my sports medicine specialist (the same one I'd been seeing for my numb foot). 

Upon examination, he performed a hip quadrant test on both sides and we were both surprised by my reaction when he twisted my left hip inwards (I nearly leapt off the table!). I was sent off for an X-Ray to see if there was anything visible there causing the pain. 

A couple of days later, I was met with the words 'cam deformity' (this is basically a spur or lump on the ball of the ball-and-socket hip joint.  It can mean that there can be inpingement or pinching if it can't move freely) and 'arthritis'. The radiographer reported on both of these but the specialist wasn't convinced they were significant on the films. The next thing to worry about though was any damage to the hip joint cartilage wise. So I was referred for an MRI. 

I was pretty freaked out at this point. I mean, I love running. I never expected to be deformed!! I guess it's always been this way? Why hasn't it been a problem until now? Let alone the actual MRI procedure. I've only ever seen this in movies. It looked a bit claustrophobic and scary. 

Less than a week later I was lying on a gurney being slowly inserted into a tunnel. I'm really thankful how quickly I got an appointment. I'm thankful for a great specialist and a great healthcare system!

The MRI was very noisy, even with earmuffs on. I entertained myself by listening to the noises as a rhythm or even as words. I spent time praying for or thinking of others. It was a great trick because had I been focusing on myself, the anxiety would have taken hold. 

Half an hour passed quickly, check out my tired but happy face afterward. We had the rest of the weekend child free (thanks mum and dad!) which was totally awesome, we really needed it. 

My MRI was at 7am on a Saturday.  There's no filter that can disguise tired eyes and messy hair!

The following week I was met with "the good news is, there's no arthritis and no labral tears present" (yay!!) "but there's bruising on your bone". 

It's somewhat puzzling as this is usually an impact injury (like a bruise to the skin) but I simply cannot think of any injury that may have caused this. 

So, obviously running is out for a bit, while it heals. I've no idea how long this will take. I'm allowed to exercise with pain as my guide, which is good. Thankfully I'm not required to be on crutches or anything as there's no way you could do that as a mum of three!

I've joined up with one of the local gyms. Great timing as they had a no admin fee and 2 week free special running the day I popped in.  I've so far tried out the stationary bike (no good, so sore the next day), cross trainer and treadmill for walking. There's yoga and boxing classes that I'll try out too, for something different. And of course I'll swim once or twice a week as well. 

I'm getting better at being kind to myself, letting a lot of fitness go, resting when I'm in pain, trying not to worry about the future. The exercise aspect for me is mostly to give me an outlet for my stress and anxiety now. It's true for me at least - physical activity really helps with mental health. 

I should have more of an idea next week when I see my physio as to how long things may take to heal. In my head I'm thinking months, because is I'd rather be over prepared for a long layoff. So I'm thinking of a quiet winter fitness wise, focusing on healing and strength. 

In the meantime, I'm seeing the positives of being a gym bunny. No worries about the weather with winter on our doorstep. No worries about running in the dark. Cool classes and different equipment to try out. And an opportunity to use all the weights equipment too!  (I had a program made for me by a Personal Trainer this week. Yeouch is all I can say on Day 3!).  Last but not least, it's an excuse to wear these cool pink tights I bought when indulging in a little retail therapy!

Because everyone knows if you don't 'gram it, it didn't happen!  (haha)

So, watch this space.  I'll update it with news and progress as time goes on.  Hopefully I'll be back to running by the time Spring hits!