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Thursday, June 07, 2012

The Not-So-Good First

I really wanted to have some happy posting first, while I was playing catch-up-on-the-blog, but that's not in the cards given the morning's events.  I need to vent blog.

I'll preface this entry with stating this is not a whine-fest.  This is more of a cathartic entry.  I do fully realize there are others out there who experience far worse set-backs than what I will proceed to explain.

It's also not the logic that I have issue with, it's the emotion.  I've essentially been working towards a goal for a while now, and when seemingly things start to come together and just when I get to experience some small victories, I take a blow like this and it just got me emotional.  I guarantee it will only be momentarily, but I have to move through and deal with it, in order to move beyond it.

So I took a fall about 6 weeks ago. It was nasty, right on my knee.  It had me down for a few days, but I was recovering with the help of favorite chiros Dr. T and Dr. C.  I knew I wasn't fully recovered because I didn't have my full range of motion back yet -- bottom of a squat caused pain in the back of the knee.  It just wasn't right yet, however I knew I just had to be patient and just work through it.

I get the new bike, have a great first race on it.  Awesome! Even managed to have a good, pain-free run :)

Fast forward to Memorial Day Weekend.  What triathlete wastes a day off of work to just hang around, right?  Well, certainly not me or any of the peeps I train with!  Sunday of that weekend I rode about 40 miles on the new bike and then on Monday I rode another 44 with a swim in the middle of the ride.  All good.  No pain; everything was fine post-ride.

Tuesday morning... I'm still feeling good all day.  Headed to my track workout and got 3/4 of the way through and something just wasn't right in the knee.  Since it was the knee I fell on and I knew I was still kind of recovering, I stopped.  I just assumed it was related. The next day it was ridiculously painful.  It was inflamed, could hardly walk; had no range of motion whatsoever.  Saw Dr. T. the next day for treatment, and the next day it felt exponentially better... like 75% better!  Yay for improvement, right?!?

I decided to continue with the Tejas Tri knowing I wouldn't be running much, but would swim and bike as was agreeable with my knee, still taking care.  I had a great swim (10:49 - 2nd)  and bike (20.8 mph avg - 4th)!  The run was intentionally slow; my knee didn't feel at all comfortable.  I kept with run/walk intervals, but even the running portion of the interval was s-l-o-w and easy.  In fact, I moved to the street to run, where the incline was more agreeable to my knee, than the path of the course.

I get to the end of the run, just 25 yds from the Finish and my knee pops, clicks and gives out.  I would have gone down to the ground had there not been a lamp-post to grab a hold of.  It was unlike anything I had ever experienced -- I quite literally limped across the line.  I knew it was bad.

Got in to see Dr. T. the next morning and this time I failed the Meniscus test.  I was having so much pain, we were really leaning towards a tear.  We ordered the MRI and got the results back.  Of course Dr. T. wants me to go see a Orthopedist for full review and discussion about how to proceed.

I had to work from home for 2 days because the pain was so bad, I couldn't sit comfortably in the car -- in fact the day of the race I was lucky a friend of mine decided to come with me -- because she wound up driving me home, and she has broken ribs from getting t-boned in her car a couple weeks ago!

In the end the results state Osteoarthritis.  When I was told I was in complete denial.  It had to be post-traumatic; I fell on that knee, right?  Well, evidently I have so many little things wrong, that are more degenerative than a result of trauma.  Crap!  The back of my knee cap is "shredded", there is space between my joints and there is lots of debris. That's just what I remember Dr. T telling me before the "wave" hit me. 

- I did this to myself; I should have taken control of my health much soonerWouldda, Couldda. Shouldda.
- It's degenerative -- what about my ultimate goal (my Ironman dream!)?
- It's degenerative -- that means it's going to get worse as I age; there are no solutions.
- I won't be able to see the doc I want to see, because it's labeled as "Arthritis" and not a sports injury.

I had my pity party.  Cried on the phone with my Coach (recently dubbed CC "Cranky Coach") for nearly 30 minutes while I listened to him rationalize everything and tell me we'll get through it; we just have to get information and come up with the right plan.  Nothing is over until I give up and this is just a bump in the road.  He's been in my shoes with a back injury that's been limiting him and it kills him emotionally as well as physically.  I felt badly about breaking down on the phone, but at the end of the call he said he was glad that I was comfortable with being so emotional.

Then he says, "...this is just another piece of your Kona essay."  LOL  When you put it all together, it will be quite a story.  LOL

No matter the injury, it would have been emotional.  I have had so many good things fall into place the last month.  Really good things that I am wholly grateful for -- and this doesn't change any of those things.

I've been on this road too long to give up now.

When I first started being coached by CC, he wanted to know what my ultimate goal was.  I said I wanted to do an Ironman one day.  He said, "The day you decide you want to do an Ironman, is the very day your training begins."

He wasn't kidding.






2 comments:

Sharla said...

I'm sorry your hurting!
I'm sure others are telling you about their knee issues, but I want to tell you mine anyways :)

I have had at least 8 surgeries on each knee (wrong surgeon did wrong procedures, good surgeon fixed the errors and the problem)

I had that floating stuff and the scoped it and cleaned it up. My good surgeon said that biking is actually very good for this type of problem as it helps smooth the back of the knee. Can you get a second opinion? PT?

You will make it to your goal!

Donna said...

Thanks Sharla. I know there are many factors and hugely different levels of debilitation. I truly think a lot of my issue was caused by that initial fall, when I took the bone bruise, and it had not healed yet. And I suppose the frustrating part is that I really don't have the answers yet. I fall into a gray area -- my issue (apparently) is not "emergent" enough -- it's sure emergent to me, with every step I take! Anyway, thanks for your support! :)

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