In treatment

I had session 2 of myotherapy this morning. My next one is on Thursday to be followed by a fourth on Saturday. Sandra leaves town after that so I hope this gets me well enough to run since she’s not back until early September.

Since I did session 1 without any pain relief whatsoever, I decided to take a painkiller before this round. She’d said that was probably a good idea as she needs to get deep into the muscles and that’s difficult when I’m screaming and attempting to squirm off the massage table.

Today I revised my opinion of Percocet (Oxycodone), which I previously thought was the bee’s knees. This morning it made me feel like warmed over dogshit. While I know it killed some of the pain, it also made me nauseous and drowsy (sensations that don’t go well with driving), and, eight hours after taking it, I’m still incredibly fatigued even after an hour nap. Not just tired, but also dimwitted and hopeless. It reminds me of my occasional bouts with moderate depression, with a touch of flu thrown in.

Much as I’m tempted to take it again before Thursday’s mauling, I’d rather experience pain than lose the entire day to feeling like this again. I think these sessions are supposed to get easier anyway, since I’m getting used to it and with each one the knots and scar tissue are broken up a little more. In my next one I get heat and ultrasound.

It’s only been a week since my hip implosion, but this issue feels intractable. Part of the problem is that I still can’t even walk without pain. Every morning, I get faked out — I get out of bed and for the first few minutes I think everything’s fine. Then the pain comes back and settles over me for the rest of the day. If I try to do anything that puts significant weight on my right leg, the problem flares up and I’m screwed for hours, meaning I limp and grimace. On Saturday, after a few pain-free hours, it happened when I did just one dynamic stretch on the right side. Yesterday, again feeling relatively pain-free and hopeful, I took a few exploratory jog steps — meaning I just hopped across the dining room to assess if I could go for a short run. My hip complained bitterly about this latest transgression and there went the afternoon and evening.

I am walking like my dad did right before he had total knee replacement surgery. I list to one side and grab onto any available item for support. It’s pathetic and infuriating. How did I go from running an 82 second 400m repeat on the track to not being able to walk just a few days later?

The good news is that both Jonathan and I got into the Houston Marathon, which is using a lottery system this year. Houston in late January is my goal marathon. Even though I’m prepared to travel there alone, I registered Jonathan just in case he wants to train for it (assuming his fall plans are blown due to his own injury, which it looks like they are), or just run it for whatever reason. He is running again, with some pain. But, hell, he’s running. That’s after two months of not running — so he’s lost a lot of fitness despite having biked like a fiend.

The idea of running a marathon seems entirely theoretical now, for both of us.

One other piece of hopeful news is that I can ride our stationary bike without it making things worse. I did 90 minutes yesterday. If I can manage to tear myself off the couch, I’ll probably do 2 hours later on today. If I still can’t run this week I’ll also look into pool running somewhere. I can feel my fitness ebbing away. I’m glad my motivation is still there, at least.

Fuck. I really miss running.

I’ve used the word “hope” in this post several times in both positive (“hopeful”) and negative (“hopeless”) forms. Sandra said something to me this morning that made an impression on me, and which in an unintended way gave me hope: “You’ll never run faster if you don’t fix these problems.” That got me thinking about the possibility that one reason I may not have been able to run faster so far has been because of tight muscles. I like to think that all this painful work will lead to not only being able to run again, but perhaps — as a bonus — also running faster than I could have otherwise.

9 Responses

  1. I like your (and Sandra’s) thinking.

  2. Soooo, have you actually had an x-ray to rule out anything bone-related? The whole “can’t bear weight without pain” thing is gnawing at me.Ok, I said it and won’t mention it again. :) I can’t turn off my inner-PT.
    Oh,and I’m sorry you feel like ass from the drugs. :(

  3. Bummer about the hip, JT. Sandra sounds very wise, and I very much like her perspective. I vote for pool running. Seems like a good way to exercise in the heat. Good for you knocking out the bike workouts. That’s not easy. And, I too am curious about Amy’s question. Many moons ago, I had hip soreness to the point where I couldn’t put weight on my leg. It wasn’t a muscle or tendon problem like I thought and x-rays helped diagnose.

  4. Yes, I agree with your last paragraph. Tightness leads to a short stride which has been holding you back from running as well as you could have. Get that fixed and you can run better than ever.

  5. I’m almost afraid to type this, since I’ve been fooled before, but the weight-bearing issue has dissipated considerably today. If anything, most of the pain I have now seems related to the fact that I look like someone has beaten my right hip, ass and top of pelvis with a baseball bat.

    I’m going to try another long bike ride later today. If I’m more improved tomorrow, I’ll attempt alternating walking and jogging on grass.

    But I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.

  6. I know it’s frustrating to be unable to run due to an injury. It seems you’re keeping things in good perspective though.

    I was injured just recently too and re-reading this helped. I hope the link works.

    • Thanks, Herb. That’s a good reminder. One reason I’m trying to remember to ask the elites I interview about injuries is that I so rarely hear them talk about it. But I think it’s important to realize that they are par for the course for any runner who’s really training, and having a healthy attitude about setbacks is almost as important as the other aspects one uses to cope with a treat them.

      I admit I am a terrible patient and need to remember that I’ve been very lucky when it comes to injuries in that they have typically run their course in 1-2 weeks tops.

      • FWIW, I think that if you’re not injured at some point, you’re not training effectively.

        You have to push yourself to the edge in order to stimulate improvement, and that edge is constantly shifting. Better to risk occasionally going over that edge, than to never come near it and never improve.

  7. This is a particularly inspiring blog entry and set of comments.

    Your also-injured pal,
    Ellen

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