Perspective

My post the other day, about my knee, was a pretty big pity party.  Though I am still very frustrated with the entire situation, I’ve had some changes in my perspective.

I am thankful that structurally, my knee is in tact.

I am thankful to have good, knowledgable doctors, who are committed to finding the root of my issues and helping me fix them.  I am thankful that I have good insurance.

I am thankful that I am otherwise healthy, and able to work toward fixing what is wrong with my back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and knee.  I am ready to put in the work to ensure my muscles and joints are engaging and working as they should be.

I am excited to use this injury as an opportunity for growth and improvement.  I am thankful that things are about to change in an important way.

I am trying to not think too far into the future.  I don’t know what is going to happen with my three half marathons this spring and first full marathon this fall that I’ve signed up for.  I don’t know if I will be able to run them, walk them, or have to downsize them to shorter races.  Those are issues for another time.  I don’t know about my goals for 2016, they may have to change – it’s too soon to tell.  And if they change, so be it; it’s not the end of the world.  For now, I’m going to do the exercises and stretches that my chiropractor prescribed, and when I’m released to run again, I’m not going to worry about miles or speed; I’m going go in inch by inch.

I know the road will be bumpy, and windy, and slow going, but I’m glad I am on the road to begin with.  I’m thankful for an amazing support system of family, friends, readers, and running buddies.  I know that my situation could be much worse, and I’m embracing my opportunities.

I am still frustrated, don’t get me wrong, but I am tired of being sorry for myself about it.  I am ready to get better, to be stronger and happier and healthier than before, and to run again without pain.

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Nothing is Ever Easy

My knee is fine.  But really, it’s not.

I saw the doctor yesterday, to get my MRI results, and see what the next step was.  Fortunately, my meniscus is not torn.  Most unfortunately, the doctor doesn’t really know what is causing my pain.  I ended up getting a cortisone shot for my hamstring tendon, and another one for my popliteus tendon (a tendon that hooks into the meniscus).  It’s been a bit over 24 hours, and the pain is still almost completely there.

I am very frustrated that my on the surface, nothing is “wrong” with my knee, but I am in a lot of pain, so there is obviously something wrong.  I am very frustrated that nothing is ever easy.  I am frustrated that I’m spending lots of money and not figuring anything out.  Most of all, I’m frustrated that I can’t run without a considerable amount of pain.  It’s actually gotten to the point of not being able to do anything without pain.  Even laying down with my leg bent is painful.

I’m also frustrated that the pain in my glute is still there.  I truly believe something is linking the two injuries, and I’m going to work very hard to figure out why, and what I can do to fix things.  Even though I’m resolved to do the work and get my glute and knee happy again, I’m still very frustrated that nothing is ever easy.

I’m tired of sitting in doctors offices and waiting rooms, and having my knee pulled and pushed on.  I’m tired of having needles stuck all over my knee and leg.  I’m tired of being in pain.

I must admit, a part of me wanted my meniscus to be torn, so that it could be fixed, and I could move on.  But it’s not.  And I really am thankful that it is not torn, because, again, nothing is ever easy, and having a torn meniscus, even if it would be fixed, still presents problems down the road.

I believe in Occam’s razor, that the simplest explanation is often the correct one.  That tells me that my left knee and right glute problems are related, and one problem either caused, or exacerbated the other problem, and has turned into a catch 22, where I am somehow compensating for one injury which is making the other injury worse, and so on and so on.

I know, in the grand scheme of life, this is nothing.  I can’t run, and my knee hurts.  Big deal.  People are dying of cancer, and there are wars going on, and people are homeless and starving all over the world, so why should I bother the world with my small problems?  Well, good question.  It is a big deal in my life, and I am not the best me that I can be when I’m in pain.  I have had a couple of days of a pity party with myself, and have complained and cried to friends and family over the last couple days.

Tomorrow is a new day, and I will wake with hope.  I will see the chiropractor again tomorrow for the umpteenth time.  I emailed him a big long woe is me email today, and we’re meeting to discuss everything and to try to get to the bottom of this, once and for all.  I see the orthopedic doctor again in a couple weeks, and it may result in an arthroscopic investigation into my knee to take a look from the inside.  I’m hoping it doesn’t come down to that, but if it does, I will take it head on, one step at a time.

I feel like a Debbie Downer, because I’m jealous of my friends’ runs, I’m sad that they are progressing without me, running miles more than I’m able, and enjoying running.  Pain free.  Without me.  I’m frustrated because I’ve already signed up and paid for 3 half marathons and a full marathon this year, and I don’t have a clue if I’ll be able to do them.  I’m angry that my body is rebelling against me, but I understand that it’s telling me that things need to change.

I’m ready to feel better.  I’m turning over a new leaf, here in February.  The month may have started with some good/bad/frustrating news, but I’m not going to sit here and let it end my drive.  I’m going to focus on what I can do, which is biking, upper body strengthening, core work, and working on my eating.  Like a lot of people, I am an emotional eater, and I cannot let that derail the progress I have previously made with running and exercise, and the progress I plan to continue making.

This post is kind of all over the place, but I wanted to get it out there to share with everyone.  For those struggling with injuries, know that you are not alone.  For those struggling with food, know that you are not alone.  For those who are lacking motivation, know that you are not alone.

I can do hard things, and so can you.

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