Anatomy Lesson.

For the past six months I've been dealing with recurring pain that springs up after a run. It started this summer. Can't remember when exactly. I think I just woke up one morning, stirring in my bed under my blue paisley sheets, and a sharp pain startled me. I ignored it, took a small hiatus in exercise until the pain went away (thinking this was over), and then began jogging again. The pain returned. I poked and prodded and stretched. Nothing helped.

Pattern established: Run. Pain flares up. Run a few more times until I get nervous that I'm doing some serious damage, then lay off for a few days until the pain goes away. Repeat.

Boo. No good.

Commence inner dialogue: Was this my 32 year-old body saying, YOU ARE GETTING OLDER, GET USED TO WEIRD UNEXPLAINABLE PAINS. I refuse to listen. I'm an athlete for christ's sake! I've had four major surgeries, I've broken bones, and I've got permanent hardware holding shit together. I'm an athlete. Tangent: I was a real athlete, now I'm a recreational exerciser. Does that still count as athlete? It's kind of hard to let go of that moniker when it is what solely defined who I was from birth until my early 20s. I'm an athlete dammit. I'm an athlete. Tangent done.

When school started back up this past fall, I spoke to our awesome nurse practitioner, a woman I affectionately refer to as Nurse Ratched (she laughs and actually enjoys the name). I told her that I had pain in my right hip. She said it might be my IT band and that I should just stretch well and take some ibuprofen. I also sought out our resident Ironman triathlete. Yeah, we have one of those at our school. He's the mechanical engineering teacher and he also does marathons and triathlons. Last summer he did an Ironman, something I've always dreamed of doing, but have never committed to the actual training. That's like A LOT of swimming, biking and running. Anyhow, I've got hip pain that needs to get resolved.

Ironman said the same thing, IT band. Okay fine. IT band. I did some research and the symptoms were not matching up. I let it go.

Two weeks ago, I started seriously running again. I've committed to twice a week, 2-3 miles each session. The hip flared up again. SHITE! I realized that this pain was chronic, something is definitely not right, and it needs to be diagnosed and fixed. With my brandy new insurance - que Beyonce's "Upgrade U" - I rang up UPMC Sports Medicine and went in yesterday afternoon to see an orthopedic surgeon. He ordered x-rays and poked and prodded, yanked and pulled, rolled and stretched my right leg. He then ordered another set of x-rays because the pain, of which I'd been complaining had been in my right hip, was not actually in my hip - it was in my right pelvis. Whoops. I guess I'd forgotten my anatomy. With the new x-rays complete (on the spot and ready to view in seconds!), the doc took a closer look and noticed some possible suspicious shadowing in the area of discomfort.

But no clear diagnosis, other than the location which was hurting was my pelvis, and not my hip. The iliac crest, to be specific. He then said that to get a better idea and a more conclusive answer, I'd need to have an MRI done. Done. Appointment made and I'll be going in for my magnetic resonance imaging tomorrow after work. Then it will be back to see Dr. Orthopedic Surgeon, and hopefully, I'll get a better answer and course of treatment. Until then, the doc said that if I can tolerate the pain, keep on keep'n on. So I have. Just got back from a blustery run.

Pain in my RIGHT PELVIS is fresh; nice and hot. Perfect for the MRI tomorrow. Surely they'll see something.

ps: I'm slightly concerned about the MRI. My history doesn't favor the outcomes of MRI scans. I'm four for four. Translation: four MRIs have lead to four surgeries. While I'm pretty confident that this won't result in something that serious, there's always that lingering history to fuel some slight anxiety.


Gabby said...

I'm sorry to hear this. Nothing like a mysterious pain to throw a wrench in the works. I hope it's a minor problem with an easy fix. Keep us updated on the MRI results. Sending some good energy waves your way, Gabs

Gabby said...

I am sorry to hear this. Nothing like a mysterious pain in the pelvis to throw a wrench in the works. I hope it's a minor problem with an easy fix. I'm impressed that you're working through that pain. Roadwork is so unforgiving, every step is a crunch only the body is feeling. Keep us updated on the MRI results. Let's hope #5 starts a new 'no surgery' trend. I'll def be sending some good energy your way, Gabs