It's an Obsession, a Money Sucking Obsession

 A picture of nuts, because I just might be. ...And because after running (and tonight I did 6 miles) everything revolves around food.

After a particularly bad run - read "frustration and pain" - I flipped through the World Wide Web for sports doctors in my city, with every intention of setting up an appointment. I found two docs here, but I didn't make the call. Then. I hate doctors. This has become even more true since I've become a nurse. Speaking of, I'm a nurse, who needs to see a doctor? I got this!

Um, no.

The next really bad run - read "tears and agony" - had me reeking of Bengay and chillin' with ice packs. I revisited the site. I saw the P.A. (Physician's Assistant for those non-medical folks) I used to go to before she switched jobs and I just knew she'd never tell me to stop running! I made the call. I stated I only wanted to see her. We made the appointment. On January 24th, I went to visit her. I've always liked this P.A., this time was no different. She's one of the few - meaning only one of two - that I fully trust.

They x-rayed my knees (six scans!) and the rest is a ton of stuff, I must confess, I truly don't understand. What? I'm a nurse, not an orthopedist. Anyway, I'll spare you the extensive explanation of what I really didn't much understand and give you the highlights:

1) She stated that my x-rays look "pretty good".

2) She said my knees actually "don't track badly", meaning just perhaps I don't have patellar tracking disorder after all.

3) She is a little "concerned" that I could have a "torn ACL", but recommended I do Physical Therapy for a month instead of an MRI because it's not likely.

4) She's blaming the bruised feeling on the outside of my left thigh on my IT Band. (I'm not sure I mentioned that before. When referred to as "bruised feeling" it sounds kinda weak, huh? It hurts like *all blazing hell plus a dozen degrees or so. Just sayin'.)

And last, and utmost importantly, she said:

5) We (the doctors at the sport clinic) will likely never tell you to quit running. We are huge advocates. We have patients that actually run bone on bone."

Now, #5 could just mean they want my moolah, but I'm stoked anyway! As for running bone on bone - so the pain actually CAN get worse?

So here's the deal: Physical Therapy 2x a week for a month. Then, I see the doctor (not my beloved P.A. this time) to see how I'm doing. I agreed. Anything to stop the pain!

Did I mention before that my pain tolerance is, like, ridiculous? Seriously. Ridiculous to a level that I'm not sure is normal (unless I'm puking, then all bets are off). And sometimes this knee pain leaves me wondering if I can even walk. I just wanted to point that out so rumors didn't get started that I'm totally weak or something.

Moving on. Monday, January 28th, I saw the P.T. (Physical Therapist, in case you don't know. But who wouldn't know?) She said and I quote, "your knees track well." (Do you see why I don't trust doctors?!) Hell, they probably do track well, how could I really even know if they're sliding around in there? She gave me a list of exercises, told me my quads are great (rock on, rock on) but my hamstrings not so much ("hamstring" what a gross word). She also told me that a lot of the time it's the contrast in strength between the two that causes all the problems. Not that one is weak, per se, but that it's so much weaker than the other. She also said I have full range of motion and that I'm really flexible (Doctor verified. Mhmm).

The P.T. gave me a list of exercises, 1 rep of 10 each leg, 1x a day. And a list of of stretches to do before and after running. I now know how to stretch in ways I wasn't even aware I could bend.

The moral of this story is that sometimes even I hurt bad enough to throw money at the Medical Machine to get the pain to stop. I'll keep you posted.

I guess we'll see how good my insurance is.

*P.S. "all blazing hell plus a dozen degrees or so" is an ever-so-slight exaggeration.

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