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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Making progress, making choices

The last three weeks have been really encouraging to me. Since being allowed to return to activity, I felt like my hip was stuck in a pattern - wake up stiff, feel ok with movement, but then start aching in the afternoon or evening. I was worried that this was as good as it was going to get, and I actually considered making an appointment with my doctor. I didn't, though, because ....


I started to feel better. I started having days when I almost didn't notice my hip. I had a few runs that felt good - really good. I'm so used to nagging pain and aching that it wasn't until after a run a few Sundays ago (five miles on the soft dirt loop around Audubon Park) that I realized I hadn't felt any pain. I couldn't even remember the last time that happened - I always have some kind of hip, groin, thigh, or osteitis pubis pain. Later in the week, when I kicked a root and hurt my hip (this is still the most painful thing for me - kicking an obstruction or a stair step and knocking my leg back in my socket. Ouch), it definitely hurt. But then it felt better, and quickly. It's starting to feel better all the time, and when it does hurt, I recover quickly.

I think I turned another corner, and I'm really excited about that.

But. It's time to make a tough choice. I've mentioned before that my RIGHT hip has felt mildly off ever since I returned to running. I saw my doctor at the hospital the other day, and he asked if I ever felt that my right hip was symptomatic, since it has the same impingement pattern as the left. Well, I said sort of. And he recommended that I follow up on that NOW, for two important reasons: for one, I've maxed out on my insurance, so everything here on out is free of charge until the end of the year. For another, he's strongly considering entering into his own practice out of state. He wants to make sure he takes care of everyone before he goes.

So I actually made an appointment for this week - after all! One one hand, I know that everything he says makes sense. At least I should get an MRI before my new deductible takes effect! But on the other hand, I JUST went through all this, and it wasn't fun. And I was enjoying running again!

I'm going to see where this appointment takes me. I've been off running a few days (post-race, plus we were traveling to see friends this weekend), so it's hard to assess how I feel, but a thorough exam and some imaging might guide me. I guess the choice I might have to make is - do I have surgery if my right labrum is torn, even if it is mild or close to asymptomatic? Or do I wait it out until I have severe pain? I'll know more in a few days, so I will keep you posted.

8 comments:

  1. Oh, Gracie--awful decision to have to face! I don't envy you that. I hope the right answers come your way.

    I need to email you sometime about this b/c I know I have FAI on the right side (at least) and sometimes worry if my iliac crest pain isn't caused by it.

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    1. Maybe it's nothing :) gracethacker at gmail

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  2. Yikes!! Much tougher decision than me buying season tickets for the soccer team. I feel for you. Take care, sweetie.

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  3. Ugh, tough choice. Maybe not a bad idea to at least get the MRI while it's free, even if you decide you don't want to do another surgery right now? And hey, maybe you find out it's nothing?

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  4. Good news and bad news. I guess you just wait to find out how it's looking in there and make your decision. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this so soon after your last one.

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  5. I think you are smart to go in and have it looked at ASAP since you've already maxed out your out of pocket for the year. I hope you get good news!!

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  6. I know the thought of another surgery probably bums you out, since the other one took so long to recover from. But you're young and if you get them out of the way now, maybe it's for the best - especially if it means you can live pain free. Running isn't everything - but living without pain has to rank right up there.

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  7. Hopefully the hip pain is nothing (wishful thinking...), but otherwise best wishes with what would certainly be a tough decision. Maybe some rest will help...

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