About Me

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Austin, Texas, United States
I'll make you laugh, or break my neck trying. This is usually accomplished with daily bouts of swimming, biking and running. A former "chub-a-holic," I got fit and healthy the good old fashioned way and went from a mid-pack athlete to top age group runner and triathlete. I'm a Writer and USAT Level 1 Certified Triathlon Coach. I guess that makes me part Tina Fey and part Jillian Michaels. Visit my coaching site at www.fomotraining.com

Friday, January 29, 2010

I've Taken More Steroids Recently Than Most Major League Baseball Players!

Ahhh....the drugs going into the hip joint!

"Good Lord woman, what the hell is wrong with you????"

If I had a dollar for every time I've heard that in the last six months, I'd be on my own private yacht by now. I promise I'm not making up this injury and secretly training in secret for my breakthrough performance at Oceanside 70.3!! (although my low level of training may be my best plan ever!) Somedays I write that I'm at the doctor or physical therapist. Other days I brag about my 40 mile bike ride and 9 mile run. I'm as schizophrenic as the next person at this injury. I know my diagnosis (or diagnoses) as it were.  I've got a hip labral tear and herniated disk putting pressure on L5 nerves which has been affecting my lower back and leg...both on the right side...since last summer.  
I've been calling this my "little problem child." Somedays, my hip hurts constantly, but never to the point where I can't walk, function or even exercise. In fact, I'm impressed with the level of activity I've been able to maintain. Other days, my leg and sciatic are feeling goofy (or heavy, burning or numb). Still other days, I wake up feeling like I could run a marathon...until I actually start running. Up to this point, I've treated them both medically and beyond. In December, I had an epidural spinal injection in my back which has helped a little bit. Just yesterday, I had a cortisone shot in my right hip.  I've been the most excited about this diagnostic test. It's not a permanent fix. In the long run, a cortisone shot can actually damage and weaken the joint. I just wanted some relief...in a huge way. I want to feel the sensation of running with no hip joint pain. Or, at least see if it's possible again.
I'm becoming buds with the peeps over at Central Park Surgery Center (where Lance had his clavicle operated on last year). They went to take my blood pressure in the pre-op area, but the machine wouldn't even register a blood pressure because my resting heart rate was so low. Yay!! Low 40s... It finally registered a 110/65. Cool. At least that's some good news. You can definitely tell I'm not overtraining. 
The hip injection was a piece of cake. Five minutes tops. Thank goodness for numbing solution! One of the ER takes took photos on my iPhone. I told them I needed them for blogging and twitter posterity. Yes, I'm a dork.
They took my blood pressure afterward and the machine keep giving me the same beeping noise. Finally, it registered at a perfect 120/80. Nurse gave me the gold star of the morning. Amazing what a little positive affirmation can do, especially since I've been feeling less than adequate in the athlete world. At least I've got some good healthy numbers!

Right leg felt heavy and numb for several hours yesterday afternoon, but I followed Doctor's orders and went for a 30 minute run (re: jog) around 3pm. I'm happy to report that my hip joint didn't hurt at all!!! Ah....Actually, I take that back. It hurt where they did the needle injection, but the chronic soreness was NOT there. I'm guessing I was trotting along at 10:00 min miles, so I wasn't trying to force it. Of course, I came home and hopped on the Computrainer for about 45 minutes. There was a little soreness, but it was mostly on my quad and front of my foot/ankle. Could that be my back flaring up and shooting down the L5? Could it be a little tendonitis? This is what we're trying to figure out before moving forward with any surgery.
In the meantime, I'll head back to some PT and traction next week. I'm also going to hit Bikram yoga a couple of times a week along with my regular routine of swimming, riding and a little running.

I've now interviewed three surgeons in Austin and received some great feedback from a local anesthesiologist (not my hubster--although his advice, guidance and support has been amazingly invaluable. I can't even tell you. He listens to ailment complaints all day and then comes home and never forgets to ask about mine). The anesthesiologist said that hip scopes are "notoriously difficult."  Yes, that was his quote. Tables, angles, surgery centers and the surgeon itself are huge factors to consider. Is Austin even the best place? Put it this way, I'd hate to have a hip scope only to find that my back has been giving me the most grief. I'd also hate to pursue a dangerous back surgery if it's my hip. So, in this respect, the muddied waters continue and the diagnostic tests continue. So, do my dorky photos and updates!!
Thumbs Up for the Steroid Injection!

1 comment:

ShirleyPerly said...

YAY for no hip pain while running! And awesome low resting HR. Obviously you're still fit as a fiddle despite not working out as much as you used to.