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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Injury status: It hurts and I hate the world

Way back 100 years ago I got injured. It was mild: very, very mild. It was just a sort of achy feeling in the hip and groin after a long run. I ignored it for months and ran five marathons on it. But it didn't go away, so I went to a doctor.
It was a 1 on the pain scale.
He said it was osteitis pubis, and prescribed PT.
The PT said I was strong and healthy and should be better in a matter of weeks.
I wasn't. I got worse.

It was a 2 on the pain scale.
I went to another doctor. He wanted an Xray.
He said I had amazing bones, I just needed a little steroid.
He told me after the steroid I'd be better in a matter of weeks.
I wasn't. All my hair fell out, I gained some 5 lbs, and my face broke out. Frickin' steroids.

It was a 3 on the pain scale now, with less pain in the bone and more pain in the tendons.
I called my doctor back and he said I needed another steroid shot and try running more, maybe I was just stiff and out of shape.

Now it's a 4 on the pain scale at rest, a 3 while running, and a 5 after running. My tendons are screaming. My hamstrings are tight. My quads are bearing the entire force. My bones feel better, but my tendons are yanking on them. Was I misdiagnosed? Was the problem tendons, not bone? Was the osteitis just a result of tendinopathy? If it's an inflammatory process, why does ice make it worse and meloxicam have no effect? If it's tendinosis, why are we messing with steroids anyway?

So, thanks to my appalling work schedule (don't even ask, I've been on so many business trips lately I forgot I was a pharmacist), I can't even go in for follow up for another two weeks. I've run a little, but the pain is clearly worse than before I got the steroid injection and took another break from running! Insane!

The inability to run coupled with the psychosis* that accompanies steroids has made me a mean and horrible angry person, which coincides with my teaching several classes. I actually told a medical resident to shut up and get over himself if he wanted to learn anything. Not exactly making friends here. I can't wait to get over this injury and remember what it feels like to run without pain!

Until then I might be kind of quiet over here. No one wants to read a blog about a slow runner whining about an injury. So until I have something nice to say it might just be the occasional post about the banana jam I made (I did) or the art opening I attended. Sorry folks.

*Psychosis is a real side effect of steroids but I'm just being dramatic here.


  1. I'm really, really sorry to hear this! What a nightmare. I hope you find answers and a fix asap. I know how hard it is to be sidelined and I won't even tell you "chin up" because you'd just want to punch me, and I understand that!

    Good luck.

    1. LOL I won't punch you, I'm not that psychotic yet!

  2. Ugggh, I get this Gracie. Oh, do I. Maybe not in the same way but you're so not alone and if I were you I'm not sure I would have stopped at telling off just one student. I might have flipped a desk or two in the process. Grrr. I wish in these cases that there was a prescription for a runner's high/endorphin pill that we could take temporarily. Thinking of you Gracie. wish I could fly to you and make you laugh or do something to help you heal quicker. NOTHING replaces running though. You vent away on here...we'll still read....Start a blog called Diary of an INjured Runner....It would have a HUGE readership in no time. and an outlet for you until you got better.

  3. Okay, sorry if that made no sense. That was my first comment of the day...probably only. And I haven't had coffee yet...yikes.

    1. Made perfect sense, thank you! I do miss the runner's high and it's tempting me to run anyway - I'd rather deal with the pain than not run! And this is why we stay injured...

  4. I'm sorry, Grace! Ok, so you may be whiny right now (understandably so), but you're far from SLOW. I hope time heals... Don't punch me for that! Feel better soon.

  5. Gracie! ARGH. This makes me want to come down there, take you to the doctor, and yell at people until they figure out what is really up and then fix it. SHEESH. I am so sorry.

    Steroids ARE evil (I had a baby who had to be on steroid injections for seizures for 8 weeks and it was a total nightmare) and while your psychosis may not be from the steroids, it is a very real side effect of not running!!!

    Two things -

    1. You are NOT a slow runner.

    2. I really want banana jam.

    Hugs my friend!

  6. Ugh, that really blows...I am not going to sugar coat it because that will probably make you more pyschotic, lol. I do hope you heal quickly so you can get back to your running and feel better about things. You can whine as much as you can btw. :)

  7. Sorry about your injuries, that is a huge bummer. I've been battling injuries for 1.5 years so I know how you feel. I'd say I'm just now finally feeling close to normal again. I still avoid running on hard surfaces, so that is a drag only being able to run on trails. Hopefully I'll be able to get back to running on pavement again sometime, that way I have way more choices of where to run.

    I will say that it seemed like when you were healthy earlier this year, did you do any PT at that time? I don't know if PT exercises contributed to your injuries? Seems backwards, but I don't remember you talking about doing any PT a while back. I really had no injuries forever, and I think trail/hill running had a lot to do with it. It engages a variety of muscles. I did only minimal core work in the past too.

    Anyways, it probably isn't right that PT caused your injuries, but just something I noticed with you.

    Bottom line is injuries suck, and nothing people can say can make it better. I guess now that I've been injured I know how much it sucks. And people who have never been injured are lucky.

  8. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the main reason I got injured in the first place was doing squats wrong (runners knee) and right ankle stress fracture (soccer ankle sprains and doing too much too soon). So I think my injuries were mainly caused by non-running related things.

  9. That sucks. But when you are ready to tell us about the banana jam, I am all ears!

  10. That really sucks... I was hoping you'd start to notice a positive change by now. Injuries are incredibly frustrating... I had to take a good 6-8 weeks off from running completely about 2 years ago and it was a tough time for me. Hang in there. And share the banana jam recipe!

  11. Oh my goodness:(:( makes me so sad for you and I can't imagine how mentally difficult to not run! I am almost certain a friend of mine has what you have - severe pain in the hip/groin that will not go away and is only getting worse, even with a ton of rest. She is going in for an MRI this week because the X-rays obviously showed nothing. I REALLY hope this gets figured out for you and starts to take a major turn for the better!!! Keep posting anything though, I love reading about jam;-)

  12. Hey, sidelined here for like 3 weeks wish shin splints that I ignored and ignored...Truth is, pain is so tough to diagnose and treat mostly because we can't see pain like we can see other conditions, except I suppose when we deal with a stress fracture (thank God you do not have that!). Have you considered running on the elliptical if that does not hurt. I have been doing all my workouts on the elliptical - speed, tempo, long runs, keeping similar heart rates, and I am almost ready to run again. I know how frustrating this is. In fact, I have such a hard time blogging about injury bc like you I don't like whining about injury! But, you write very matter of factly and I don't sense any whining, just frustration. Running injuries are tough but they do go away! Yours will too! XOXO

  13. I think it's safe to say we've all been there and being in that place truly SUCKS. It does. I'm sorry. I haven't dealt with that exact injury but whenever something sidelines you like that it takes its toll physically but even more emotionally.

    My advice (sorry- I know you didn't ask for it) would be take another break (2-4 weeks?) and swim and/or bike. I had to cross train a lot this summer and take 3 different 2 week breaks. It was NOT how I wanted to spend most of my late spring/ summer but it needed done if I was going to start fall marathon training.

    Personally, I like reading about how runners deal with injuries and how they cross train. I know it might not be as exciting as running a PR race but we ALL get injured at some point and I learn a lot about how to handle injuries, cross train ,etc. from reading how others do it. And if you just want to complain- go for it. It's your blog! We can all relate with you.

    Hang in there!! This too shall pass.

  14. Nobody wants to be around me when I am not running either. The blog world is where it is OK to vent, and everyone likes comments.

  15. That sounds incredibly frustrating. Time, money, breaks from running and you're worse? That sucks. So sorry. I hope you can get an answer, or relief, soon.

  16. I know how it is. 99% of my people abandoned me since it's been over a year since I really ran. And I'm still not better (injuring myself no less) and I'm still slow and yet I can't manage the occasional MS paint masterpiece. That could be why readership is down. Anyway this is your blog and not my space to dwell on mine eh? I feel your frustration and will pray for healing!

  17. Oh hmmm. Sounds familiar. I am out with hamstring tendinitis and it's only been three weeks and I am ready to snap. Trying to take deep breaths when I give presentations or deal with people because I am too new to start making enemies. Maybe in a year or two I can.
    Injuries are awful!!!!no fun. I'd tell you to hang in there, but if someone said that to me now...well it wouldn't be pretty. I do hope someone can figure out what's going on with you soon. You need a new doctor though. That one sounds like a dud. I enjoy your blogs so even if you aren't posting about running or are whining about injury, I'd read them.

  18. oh boy...I think we all want to hug you or make you a good drink!!

    I have pain in the same area...and it is not going away. It is not probably as sharp as what you have but it is enough that I cannot ignore it. My PT said it was tendonisis. I asked if it was the bone and he said no. He pushed really hard on my bone at the first exam. It was not pleasant but it was not where the pain came from. So I have tubes here to do just 1 exercise 2x per day. it has to be at no pain level if no adding tension if I feel the pain. all I do is put the band around the ankle (other end attached to a pole or table leg) and I lift my leg up to the side (lateral quick not frontal) 3x 40 times.
    other advices:
    run 1 mile, walk 1 min (I hate this but I do it)
    add bike
    reduce mileage and pace but dont stop running.
    NO HILLS, no speedwork
    shorter steps and aim for 180 steps/min (well that was for me because I heel strike a lot)

    add jumping rope (I have not done that)

    Add CORE work and KEEP this in the training schedule. I actually can feel the pain when I do clearly he is right about that one.

    hang in there Grace
    I think you should use YOUR blog as you need. if you need to vent or anything else. I am not going anywhere and I am sure all the others who commented before me would say the same thing!

    slow runner and Gracie does not go together missy..

  19. Hi - I don't really think I should ever give you advice, you're a much better runner than me - but I can tell you that making my core stronger has really kept me from some potential injuries. As far as why your arms get tired before your abs during planks, I would say that your hips (since you're fast I'm assuming you have strong hips) and arms are carrying most of the work. If your abs are not strong enough, your arms will keep you from falling over and get tired faster. Maybe focus on keeping your abs as tight as possible. Or conversely, maybe your arms are a little weaker in comparison to your core? But I'm obviously no expert ... hope you're better soon! Thanks for reading and always commenting - I value comments from runners of your caliber!!!

  20. Grace, I can't remember the stats on injured runners but I do know there are two types of runners - those who are injured, and those who are about to be injured. You might be underestimating the number of injured and frustrated runners out there which could swell your readership!

    Jokes aside I know from reading your blog that you are strong and resilient - mentally and physically - and so you will bounce back from this soon.

  21. I was just looking around the web for answers or advice to help my injury and also because I remembered my PT asking if I had pain while coughing...I did not think anything of it at the time but...this week I had sneezing and it did hurt in the groin...and also during sit I googled that of course...cuz who needs Dr right?

    and I saw this Gilmore's Groin
    could you have that?

  22. I was out for the first three months of this year (skiing injury made all the more frustrating because of my "perfect" MRI) followed by surgery in May (not for the knee). I was cleared to run ten days after the surgery, but look at me, here in August, having taken more than a few weeks off to deal with surgery fallout and the result (probably) of running too soon after surgery (with doctor permission and everything!). Thanks for confirming for me that people feel pissy when they don't run. I have been intolerably cranky throughout most of 2012. :) I hope you get to the bottom of your injury soon.

  23. Don't waste any time getting an MRI (MRA preferably)
    to check for a hip joint cartilage tear (labrum). This is
    how it presents. It can also, due to resulting imbalances,
    cause tendon issues to arise. Stay away from further
    steroids as they can worsen tendon issues and also
    slow their healing.

    1. Meaning don't delay getting one. If you have groin/adductor pain and hip/groin pain you may have a labrum tear. The faster you know the better you can deal with it. It does not have to mean surgery or the end of running if it's handled properly asap. Good examples are Camille Herron and a few other elite marathoners who share their stories on the Duke Chiropractic (NYC). I was recently diagnosed with one and at first it devastated me...then I was sent to PT and my therapist has a labrum tear herself! She is a marathoner currently training for her next marathon.

    2. Thank you for the advice. I will bring it up at my next appointment.