Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pain free!

Finally - at long last! Fingers still crossed, however!
Today was the first time since February, no joke, that I've felt normal. WHOOP! Don't get me wrong, it rained, so my left knee ached, but it was the old, familiar ache, not a sharp stabbing pain or throb. This, my friends, is what I call progress and also modern medicine.
Not to complain too much, but I really had a "Fuck My Life" moment last week: The foot injury that nagged me for February and much of March had improved gradually, and then at the end of the month, I could walk quite well - briskly and more or less with a normal gait, putting pressure on the entire foot. However, an unfamiliar pain in the knee came out of nowhere and sent me into a major panic. I knew that it wasn't my ACL, which was a good thing, but I also couldn't figure out what the pain was. I even looked into canceling or postponing my participation in the triathlon at the beginning of May. I also cried at a certain point.
In terms of injuries, I usually like to self-diagnose and then wait and see. However, since I was in full-on panic mode, I called the knee doctor and made an appointment for this past Monday. Once I arrived at the clinic, I felt kind of guilty and silly for making the appointment and taking up his time since I knew that he wouldn't be operating on me. However, we do have a "relationship" established, so it seemed logical. And it WAS the knee that he repaired. After only a 45 minute wait (not bad!), he walked in, rather concerned to see me. He tested out my knee, twisting and prodding it, only to conclude that my knee graft felt GREAT! He was pleased as punch about that. I was about to worry that my visit was all for naught and that he would say, "Come back later when you have a real issue", and then he offered me a steroid shot.
Did I want one? Does a monkey like bananas? Okay, maybe some of them don't, but this monkey will absolutely take a cortisone shot.
He instructed me to not do any exercise for two days and to ice the knee regularly that night. Thank god for that advice because I had totally planned on a spinning class, and I was tempted to attend, despite that warning. For most of the evening, I cursed the cortisone shot which just made my knee hurt like hell. Today, however, I have no weird, sharp, stabbing pain in the back and outside of the knee! I am actually walking like a normal person! I've also become a true believer in the power of cortisone - that shot was AMAZING. Transformational. I heart cortisone.
I also think that I might even RUN and not walk the run portion of the triathlon. Okay, we'll see about that, but hats off to pain-free living!
As much as I'm putting on the happy, positive face, I will say that it's been incredibly frustrating, trying to deal with my emotions and with the injuries. As small and nagging as they've seemed (or been), they also turned into something of a bogeyman, chasing me down. I'm tired of these phantoms, real or not, and would like to return to full strength and full speed ahead.


Anonymous said...

I think cortisone is a magic solution to many problems - it is helping me through a particularly bad case of eczema right now. The only problem is when you stop using it the symptoms come back! And my pharmacist friend tells me it's not good for people long frustrating!

But this is about you and not me! I'm glad that your knee is doing better...full speed ahead for sure.

kilax said...

I am so happy the shot helped! And that your foot is healed.

I hear you on hating injuries and how c-r-a-z-y they make us! We need our own little support group!

Kristina said...

Yeah, I don't plan on making it a habit - not really! But it has helped. I will keep in mind your cautionary advice. And I will say that I'm not sure if it has addressed the problem, maybe just the symptom. However, I did run this weekend (2 miles at a super slow pace) for the first time in MONTHS! So exciting.

Yeah, the injury bandwagon is hard to deal with. I'm so glad that you are healthy and running super fast these days!