Thursday, May 27, 2010

Is There a Docter in the House?

As I get ready to head to yet another doctor to try to help me figure out what is causing this...this...F-ing injury (for lack of a better word), my frustration level is rising.  This will be my third Dr. to look at the mystery leg since February.

The first doctor I went to told me with a shrug to "just stop running".  Didn't tell me why, didn't tell me what she thought it was, and shook her head when I asked for an MRI, saying, "you probably have tendinitis, just stay off of it. Probably you shouldn't bike either."

Right.  You all know how far I took that crappy piece of medical advice.  The fact that she acted so blase about it really bugged me - she didn't realized she was practically asking me to give up my soul.

So I went elsewhere.  With a similar response, saying, "Must be tendinitis somewhere in there." I asked where exactly (posterior tibial? Achillies? I wanted details!), and how could he tell from across the room without even looking at my calf. I was told, "Umm, it could be in a few spots". 

Huh.  That was not helpful at all, thanks.  Apparently all the doctors who got a D in medical school choose to work in Somerset County, Maine.  This Dr. was happy to send me to physical therapy at least.  I was joyous - thinking I was getting a chance to go to someone who would actually help.  

The PT took some flexibility, strength, and balance measurements.  I was pretty sure we were going to get somewhere.  She told me that very first day, and I quote:
"Tendinitis is often a crap diagnosis, it is often what Dr.'s say when they are not sure what it is." 
I thought, sweet, lets figure this thing out - this is a chick I can work with!  By the 15th PT session in about 3 weeks without a clear idea of what was causing my pain, without any measurement of anything since the first day I was there, the leg was getting worse.  I asked her what she thought it was, she said (and again, I quote):
"Ummm.  Probably some form of tendinitis."  
Great.  Another specific medical professional.  Running was becoming tough, and so I did what any tried and true bullheaded endurance person would do.  I waited a few weeks and ran a marathon on it.

Guess what?  It still hurts. Weird, right?  Who knew that running 26.2 on an injured leg wouldn't make it miraculously heal. 

Self massage with The Stick, Advil, tennis ball, Advil, and foam roller help, but now the pain is moving to different parts of my lower leg and calf, making the issue really hard to describe.  Yesterday on my ride, I decided that I was going to not worry so much about the run for a while, and just become the best damn hill climber I can be.  That was just before my knee started getting this sharp, stabbing pain just under the knee cap (for the first time ever on my bike). 

What the hell is going on?

So having switched Dr.'s again (do we have a winner folks?), I called a different doctor in a new county.  I am getting ready to make the drive to see the new guy who specializes in "preventative medicine, fitness, exercise and family medicine".  I picked him partially because of his claim to be a fitness/exercise guy, but mostly because he looks a bit like Amby Burfoot in his picture, so I am pretty sure he is a runner (how about that logic?)

This place is about 75 minutes away.  When you live in Caratunk, everything is an hour and 15 minutes away, except the bar.  If this thing doesn't get better soon, I am going to be frequenting that bar a bit more often. 


Aimee said...

Oh...I am so sorry! I can't believe those doctors..I would be really frustrated too! I think finding a dr. that has some background in exercise and fitness is key. Hopefully this new doc. will help you!

DRog said...

Ugh..feel your "pain" ...kind of, mine is a little more recent - and I am going to PT stating next week. This is the worst thing - when we want to train mentally, and physically cannot. I hope this new DR. is the fix for you!!! LOL@ all the DR.'s who got a "D" ...

Jon said...

That is ridiculous with those other doctors! If this new guy doesn't work out, I'd say go to Portland or even down to Boston to get seen by someone who passed Med School and actually cares about your plight.

Hope this new guy works out and finds whats wrong. I can just hear the frustration in your post.

Ron said...

as a PT I am bummed. I would like to say that we are not all like this gal you went to. I think PT is the only discipline that will help except, the PT has to know running. You should research other PT's in your area and find one that runs and takes continuing education in running. There are some endurance experts out there who can size you very fast. If the PT does not say bring your shoes lets watch you run in the first visit, they may not be for you. You need a biomechanical evaluation to find out what is not working for you. Sorry about your frustration. Hope you find what you are looking for.

Big Daddy Diesel said...

well, that just sucks, I feel your pain, I went in AND mine SAID THE EXACT SAME THING, Achilles Tenditous, he said no running for 6-8 weeks, ok I can *gulp* sorta live with that, I asked about the bike, holding my breath, starting to turn blue because he took so long to answer and finally "I dont see why you cant" *PHEW*.

Well, I have two words that might, sorta, kinda, make it feel better


Just an idea.

Patrick Mahoney said...

I know its a trek but can you get down to a sports specialist in Boston or wherever the closest one is, maybe Portland?

I have found there is a HUGE difference between docs who regularly deal with athletes and those who don't.

Regina said...

That sucks! Sorry you are having so much trouble getting it figured out. FWIW, I have a deep mistrust of PT's. I always feel worse after seeing them and they all say the same thing, "you are imbalanced; much tighter on this side." or some bullshit like that. I went for a lower disc herniation and a labral tear in my hip. I felt worse getting PT than training on my own. A year later and my training has made my hip pain nonexistent. I still struggle with my back, but that does not surprise me.

I hope this Dr. can figure you all out and help you on your way to feeling better.

Another thing not too far from nowhere seems to be sex shops. I guess they stick them in the middle of nowhere too (not that I have visited them, of course), right next to the bar...a lovely combination in my book.

misszippy said...

So frustrating! Sorry about that--docs/PTs can get to you, I know. I hope you find an answer asap!!

Unknown said...

Ok, did you try the HEMS physiotherapy treatment? Be honest, once is not enough.

A few other ideas:

Do you use a barefoot running style? If not give serious thought to Chi Running and different shoes.

Behind the knee cap...not tendonitis them. Possibly a ganglion or inflamation of the knee joint. Take anti-inflammatories, ibruprofen (medicine) or Bryonia 6 (homeopathy).

If it started on the bike...what have you done to your seat height or saddle lately?


I think I have it figured out.... it's tendinitis... and you should stay off it for a while... ;) (sorry, couldn't resist). Hope it all works out for you.

ShirleyPerly said...

UGH, that's just awful. I hope you have much better luck with the new doc. And JudyMac's idea about changing your running style may be worth looking into. My sister was having a couple different annoying leg pains (PF, knee, shins) and was on the verge of giving up running until she switched to Chi running. Whatever, I wish you luck!

AM! said...

ugh! i hear you. not being the doc that i am, but i'm wondering if these new pains are from new stressed muscles that are now compensating for the original injury. there's actually a blogger who seems like a pretty Kick booty pt...i'll find her blog and send it to you.

sending good vibes for a good doc visit!!!

Unknown said...

Good luck Mandy!

Maria said...

Third times a charm...right?...RIGHT?!
I guess doctors aren't a common thing where you live, you truly are toughing it out up there in the north!

RockStarTri said...

I'm still searching myself. Keep looking until you find the right doctor to help you get better. You care about it much more than they do.

Claire said...

Don't they have anyone around there that is actual 'sports medicine'?

Ugg...I hope you find something soon!

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