Monday, September 23, 2013

Na Na Na Boo Boo?

You know how when you tell someone you love dearly something- like, where you think a lost item is, or that their bike is going to get rusty from being left on the porch because the rain gets there, too or that they can't trust a certain friend, and then it turns out you were completely right and you find the lost item, the bike gets rusty, and the friend commits a blatant act of betrayal, but you don't want to stick out your tongue and gloat about being right because you love the person dearly and you don't like to see them suffering?(Or . That sentence went on so long, I'm not sure whether it ended up being a question or a statement.)  This is like that.  Well, sort-of.  I mean, I don't love Dr. Schmoctor, but I do love running (dur).  I probably don't care that it might hurt his feelings or damage his credibility with his other patients if I limped marched into the office and waved around my MRI results while chanting something like:

You're not a doctor but neither am I
You're not a doctor but neither am I
You didn't want to order an MRI
You didn't want to order an MRI
You said my problem was bur-si-tis
You said my problem was bur-si-tis
That's what we call a swing and a miss
That's what we call a swing and a miss
Sound off!
You were wrong
Wrong Wrong
Sound off!
I was right
Right Right
Na na na na BOO BOO!

I'm not really one to brag, though, about being right.  It is enough to know that I have proof that I told him so.  I told everyone so!  

Since I've been very grumpy whiny busy eating chocolate focused on other things and haven't written a blog post in a while, I'll sum up for you. 
7/4: Flat white flip-flops are the only shoes that match my 4th of July party outfit.  My calves hurt after standing all day in them.

7/8: Marathon training starts, despite my still-hurting calves.
7/9-8/10: Marathon mileage buildup at a totally safe rate.  Seriously.  Calves hurt at the beginning of each run, usually felt better a few miles in.  Around the beginning of August, I took a few days off because my left calf was hurting really bad.  I had a few bad runs because of the pain, but I could still run.
8/10: 12 mile, hilly run.  My left knee started to hurt during the last 3 miles.  Took a couple of days off.

8/21: 1st Chiropractor appointment.  Knee and calf had still been sore, despite only running twice in 11 days. Chiropractor convinced me that the problem was my hips, which makes perfect sense.  She stuck some KT tape under my knee, cracked me from top to bottom, and told me I could run.
8/23: Ran, it hurt.
8/24: Ran, it hurt much, much, much worse, and in a different spot.  My knee felt okay, but my calf and upper shin hurt very badly.
8/27: 2nd Chiropractor appointment.  Same diagnosis, same treatment.  She did check for signs of a clot in my leg since I told her that my left calf was so sore.  Too much pain to run, too much internet reading to ignore the signs of a stress fracture.
9/4: Dr. Schmoctor diagnoses my pain as bursitis, despite the fact that bursitis is usually more knee and less shin.  Injects me with cortisone, says I can run after 2 days, when I should be pain-free.
9/4 (later): Solar Cortisone flare, lots and lots and lots of pain and swelling.
9/6: Pain back to normal level, I run.  It hurts, but I don't care.
9/6-8: Pain much worse
9/10: Pain back to normal level, I run again.  It hurts a lot.  I care a little.
9/13: Second visit to Dr. Schmoctor, he admits that if it had been bursitis, I would be completely without pain.  Orders an MRI.  I don't ask whether or not I can run, because I'm sure that I shouldn't.
9/20: MRI.  It's an even louder "wowd" than I had expected. I fall asleep for 2 minutes at a time, several times throughout the procedure.  Impressive, no?
9/23: Baby's 18-month birthday!  My old friend Will's 34th birthday!  Terrible, awful, frightening migraine!  Phone call on behalf of Dr. Schmoctor with the MRI results.  "Mrs. Knowitall?  You have a stress fracture.  Try to not put any weight on that leg, and come back Wednesday."

Remember my engagement?  It's officially off.  I'm very sad about it, but I'll be alright.  Just like when a relationship ends, it's hard to stop thinking about all the things you're missing.  But then, eventually, you're able to recognize that if the relationship had been perfect, if the other person had been meant for you, you would still be together.  Savannah Rock 'n' Roll and I are not meant to be together.  I'm confident that soon, I'll find my Husband of marathons.  My Race Charming will come along and sweep me off my feet, and those 26.2 miles will feel like I'm riding on a white steed.  

My Prince
Let me ask your advice, for once.  Should I make a big deal about Dr. Schmoctor's misdiagnosis?  

Monday, September 9, 2013

What I'm Reading IV

Wow.  It has been a while since I've shared my current reading list.  How much were you missing it?  Be honest.  Probably, you haven't been able to read a single book, not knowing what that one random blogger/runner gal was reading.  Please accept my apologies.  Since my last entry of mid-way through the book reports, I've read a few books, but not nearly as many as I would have liked.  One significant (to me, only, I'm sure) milestone was when I did not finish the chosen one for book club.  I was the only remaining member of our
group who had completed every selected book for every meeting for nearly 3 years!  This one was interesting, but not in the way that it made me want to get to the end.  I found the topic compelling, and the anecdotes disturbing, but after not very many pages, I got it.  Food giants + Government = Yeah, let's get ourselves some land and grow all our own food.

I'm not technically reading the next book club selection, yet, but I did submit my reservation for a copy from my library.
I think it's going to be good.  I just found out that the author wrote "High Fidelity" which I didn't even know was a book, I just thought it was a John Cusack film.  I found it when I was at the library, trying my best to be a good book clubber, and instead checking out 3 books that were not chosen for club discussion.  "High Fidelity" was one, but I haven't technically started reading it yet, either.  Nor have I begun The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler.  You may have done this before, too:  I walked up and down the New Releases section in the library, simply looking for something to strike my fancy.  Judging all the books by their covers, basically.  I recognized the author's name (Names?-Lars Kepler is a pseudonym adopted by a married couple, so I never know whether to refer to the author in the singular or plural, masculine or feminine.  Annoying.), and realized that I had read "The Hypnotist" a year or so ago.  I almost remembered what I needed to remember before checking out, but the thought was still just a quiet little buzz.  Finally, after a while, the buzzing grew louder.  "The Hypnotist" had been suspenseful, but really awful, plotwise.  There were like, hundreds of pages about a point which, in the end, didn't matter a single bit.  So, I probably won't be reading "The Fire Witness."  I can't put myself through the worry about whether or not the Pokemon characters are relevant.  (Seriously.  There were Pokemon.)

Um.  So, now, after all that about the books I'm not reading, which could be considered a Lars Kepler-ish way to annoy blog readers...

I love this series of culinary mystery novels.
Love, love, love.  That might be one too many 'love's, considering all the murders poor Goldy the Caterer has to deal with, and how the timing of the events in each story is way, way, way off.  However, the latest book in this series has been fun, so far, and I don't yet have figured out whodunit.  The best part of these Culinary Mysteries is that the author includes recipes for all the dishes the caterer prepares.  You can bet I'll be baking Crunch Time Cookies soon- they have toasted pecans and toffee chips!

Just tonight, I finished reading:
Long ago, in my Freshman year of college, I was required to read this book for my World Religions class.  I wish I could remember what 17-years-ago me thought of the story, and compare it to what I think now.  I was surprised (again, I think) at how quick of a read this deep, meaningful, filled-with-ancient-African-names-I-couldn't-pronounce book is.  I definitely recommend it.  If nobody actually requires you to read, these days, consider my recommendation a forceful one.  You know what else?  Take notes, while you read, and afterward.  You'll want to remember the story and how you felt about it.  Psst!  That was the advice for this post.  Don't look for it at the end.

There's something very special, almost sacred, about classic novels.  After a page or two of my eyes glazing over from trying to figure out the unfamiliar words and spellings, I get swept up and start enjoying myself.

Pretty sure "Public Domain" means they're not going to need me to add a link, here.
I don't care for Fanny, the "heroine" of this novel.  She's a whiny, prissy, crybaby, sissypants.  I also don't much care for Edmund, her love interest/cousin.  He's too smart and proper for his own good, and he's one of those who can't see his nose past the end of his face (Confession-I'm not entirely sure I know what that saying means, or that I used it in the right context.)  Despite my annoyance at Fanny's actions and Edmund's silliness, I am enjoying this book.  I'm 3/4 through it, and every time I start reading again, it's like I'm transported to another time and a whole other world.  Plus, the characters frequently use one of my favorite phrases: by the by.  Only, they spell the second 'by' with an 'e', so now I will, too.  I'm proper, like that.

Classic or modern?

Read anything good, lately?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Doctor Schmoctor

So, I'll admit it.  I kinda glossed over an important detail in my previous post- that I hadn't visited anyone with the letters M.D. after his/her name, or even visited someone who clocked in to an office with "Orthopaedics" on the door.  My stress fracture was diagnosed by the person who knows me better than anyone-me.  I'm really good at reading, you see, and I read a lot about stress fractures, patellofemoral syndrome, stress reactions, etc.  Also, I do all my work pro bono, which is the right price for a client like me.  The thing is, though, that I am also somewhat  of a stickler for rules.  Don't get me wrong, I'm really cool and chill and down for whatever, but... okay, that's not true.  I'm not cool, chill, or down for whatever.  I like doing the right things.  I like being held accountable.  I like paying for goods and services that I get.  I don't cheat at Solitaire or at any of the Scrabblish word games I play on my phone.  As John Goodman's character put it in "The Big Lebowski":

"This is not 'nam.  This is bowling.  There are RULES!"
I could only go for so long without following the rule that had been niggling at my brain since the pain in my leg got really bad.  When you're hurt, you go to the doctor.  I do believe that the chiropractor I saw was correct in her assessment and treatment of my injury.  I am certain that my hips were/are out of alignment, which caused extra strain on the muscles, tendons, and joints in my legs, which led to pain.  She also did this spasm relief thing which I haven't exactly been able to describe, yet.  It was weird and amazing and a little frightening, but in a good way.  I plan to visit her regularly once I hit the road again, hoping that adjustments will keep me in line (har har) to prevent further injury.  I knew she couldn't treat a stress fracture, though, so I canceled my latest appointment with her and started calling Orthopaedic clinics.

Call #1:
"_________ Orthopaedic."
"Hello!  I am a new patient and I would like to make an appointment, please."
Blah blah blah name address insurance nature of injury blah blah blah
"Okay, I'm going to put you with Dr. C____.  Next Monday at 12:45"
"Oh.  That won't work."
"Or you can come in as a walk-in.  We're here until 8."
"But I wouldn't see Dr. C____?  Do you think I need to?"
"Ma'am, all our nurse practitioners and physician's assistants are highly qualified.  And, if they think you need to see Dr. C____, then we can make an appointment for you at that time."
"We're here until 8."

Call #2:
"Thank you for calling _________ Orthopaedic __________.  We are unable to take your call at this time..."

Me to Husband: 
"Well, I guess I'll go to the walk-in clinic."
"What?  Right now?"
"Yeah, that's what I was thinking. Is that not okay"
"It's just, I was hoping to go for a run."
See, I've been in a pretty nasty mood, lately.  My amazingly supportive Husband was the one who insisted I go see a doctor, as he knows how much running and the marathon-to-be mean to me.  Let us pause then, for a moment, and admire my restraint. My undying love for my husband.  My ability to talk myself out of reacting with violence in certain situations.  My remarkable skill at NOT using sarcasm as a weapon.  He doesn't deserve those things.  But seeing strangers wearing running shoes makes me angry, these days, so Husband running when I can't is a little bit of a mental challenge to overcome.
"Oh.  Kay.  Please do that now, so I can still have time to make it to the doctor before you go to work."
"Do you think I have time to go?"
"Yeah, sure.  I mean, how long do you think it will take?  Not more than an hour and a half, right?"

Clinic Visit #1:
"Hi!  I'm here as a walk-in.  Could you tell me how long the wait is, please?"
"Hm.  About an hour and a half."
"Oh.  I guess I'll have to come back."
"Okay.  We're here until 8."

Call #3:
"Thank you for calling __________ Orthopaedic ___________.  We are unable to take your call at this time..."

Call #4:
"Thank you for calling __________ Orthopaedic _________.  We are unable to take your call at this time, but if you stay on the line, someone will be with you shortly."
8 minutes later...
"__________ Orthopaedic ___________."
"Hello, I'm a new patient and I would like to make an appointment, please."
"Slip and fall?  Auto accident?"
"No, I'm a runner and I believe I have a tibial stress fracture."
"Okay... I'm not going to be able to get you in for a while."
"What you should do is go to urgent care and get an x-ray."
"Yeah.  Just have them x-ray it."
"But a stress fracture doesn't show up on an x-ray."SourceSource. Source.
Heavy sigh. "A fracture is in your bone.  An x-ray looks at your bone.  So if there's a fracture of your bone they could see it on an x-ray.  Just go to urgent care and have them x-ray it for you.  'Cause I won't be able to get you an appointment until, like, next Wednesday."

Clinic Visit #2: 

I won't go through all the dialog, this time.  The receptionists were very pleasant, the wait was very short, the nurse was funny and kind and had just started running, the x-ray tech knew left from right, and the "doctor" (actually an A.R.N.P) was a good listener.  I actually like getting x-rayed.  I think the technology (although quite old, now) is amazing, and I like the way my bones look.  (I understand that insurance companies and doctors need to see the x-ray images, even if what they think they're looking for doesn't usually show up.  I also really hate being talked down to by strangers.) It turns out they don't take a person at their word when they come in with a self-diagnosis, and they like to run tests.  The "doc" and I took a look at the images, and yes, I desperately wanted to take a picture of my bones on the screen in order to share it here.  But, that's against the rules, I'm sure.  

I can't believe I've made it this far without sharing what the "doctor" concluded:  "YOU CAN RUN AGAIN IN A DAY OR TWO."  Not 4 weeks.  Not 90 days.  Not a stress fracture, he believes.  A tibial stress fracture typically occurs about 6 inches lower and 1/2 an inch to the left of where my swelling and pain are centered.  He diagnosed my problem as Pes Anserine Bursitis of the knee.  He preached for a good long while about the benefits of stretching 2x/day, even when I'm not running.  He first said I could resume running in a week, but when I asked him again, he said to just give it a couple of days.  He shot my sore spot with cortisone, and said the two words I most wanted to hear, "Don't despair!"  I do have a back burner kind of fear that he's wrong, but I should know in a week if that's the case.  If I'm still in pain then, I'm to come back.   "God bless" the "doctor" said as I left.  Not "good luck."  I knew it!

Post Clinic Visit

After the music to my ears and the needle to my knee, I knew it would be difficult to wipe the smile off my face.  However, after a few hours, the pain in my leg was increasing, not decreasing, and I was frowning.  Okay, grimacing.  My entire leg swelled, and I was relieved to remember the words I had heard so often during the past 36 hours- "We're here until 8."  At 4:30, I called.

"Thank you for calling ___________ Orthopaedic.  We are unable to take your call at this time, but if you'll leave a message, we will get back to you as soon as possible."

I left a message, politely detailing the problem of my giant leg that hurt much worse than it had hurt before.  They didn't call back.  Eventually, Husband and I figured out that it is likely a cortisone flare, which I keep thinking of as a solar flare, since it sounds so much more important.  It should clear up in a day or two, just in time for me to start running again!

Follow the rules.  It's advice that you've been given before, I'm sure, but that's because it's the good stuff.

Would you pay for someone to make unpleasant phone calls on your behalf?  I would.

Wanna guess what ink color I used to write out my back-to-running mileage plans?  Yeah, I said 'ink.'  Because I'm going to run again.