Diagnosis, prognosis and status

“Oy, my bursitis!” Listening to people talk about their medical ailments is about as much fun as walking up a broken escalator. So I’ll make this brief (brief for me, that is). I’ve seen two orthopedists (whom I’ll call Ortho 1 and Ortho 2 in the Seussian tradition). Ortho 1 is my primary giver of treatment, Ortho 2 is…well…I’ll get into that.

Diagnosis: Make that diagnoses: stress fracture of the right sacrum; osteistis pubis. The first item is a bone crack. The second one is inflammation of the tendon that attaches one of my adductor muscles to the area of bone that is cracked.

Prognosis: Good to excellent. I will run again, even if I’ll never play the violin again. The fracture is healing up nicely and the tendon problem is getting better, although it’s taking its own sweet time in calming down.

Status: Ortho 1 says I can start running for 30 minutes every other day, but they must be very easy runs. And no hills. Coach Sandra says the plan will be for 1 day running with 2 days no running for two weeks, then every other day running for the following two weeks. She’s being conservative and that’s fine with me. I also need to do strengthening work on hips/glutes/core and stretch the hell out of the adductors going forward. I started that yesterday. I haven’t done lunges or leg presses since July. They were easier — my legs have gotten quite strong from all the other stuff.

I may also be getting a steroid shot to the tendon if its pokey recovery continues. That was a source of major confusion. Ortho 1 said last week, “I’m sending you to Ortho 2 for the injection since it’s in such a specific place and may require special equipment to pinpoint.” For weeks and weeks, “injection” has meant “platelet rich plasma injection.” So I went to Ortho 2 and said, “I’m here for a PRP injection.” He said that wasn’t what I needed (because that’s for the bone, not the tendon). So I felt like an idiot.

It turns out that communication between Ortho 1 and Ortho 2 was garbled (or perhaps non-existent) and I’m just the dumb patient trundling between their Manhattan offices brandishing my MRI images, my checkbook, and lots of misinformation. The upshot is that Monday’s 10 minutes with Ortho 2 were a total waste of time and money. When I told all this to Ortho 1 yesterday, he was a little dismayed and said he’d clear things up.

But, quite honestly, I’m disinclined to go back and get the stupid shot. I have run with adductor pain much worse than this (for 10 weeks about two years ago), and as long as I know it’s not harmful to do so, I can live with it. Also, Ortho 2 (and his facility) does not take our insurance and he is Expensive with a capital e. Monday’s adventure cost me $300 plus parking. This is on top of the $517.23 I pay per month for my Totally Fucking Useless health insurance policy from HIP. Did I mention that Ortho 1 does not take our insurance either? But these are supposed to be two of the best sports orthos in the country. So I pay. And laugh at everyone who gushes about how great a hobby running is, because it’s so inexpensive.

Ortho 1 mentioned that he used me and my MRI in a lecture he gave over the weekend. So if any of you were at a talk about running injuries and a “45-year-old woman with a sacral fracture and osteitis pubis” was mentioned, that was my hoohaa up there on the big screen.

In the meantime, I’m borrowing an Exogen 400 bone stimulator machine from my stepmother. I’m to use that for 20 minutes a day for two months. I’m getting a new training plan this week which will incorporate road miles, but all my hard running workouts will stay in the pool. I ran into Sandra at the gym yesterday and asked if I could possibly run the Joe Kleinerman 10K early next month. She looked doubtful — and wondered again how I can enjoy running in sub-freezing temps so much; but her blood’s Caribbean and mine’s Norwegian — and would only offer that we’d see how things go.

Coaches are there, in part, to keep you from doing stupid things. Racing a road 10K on hills in a month is a stupid idea. Still, it’s an appealing one…

NYC Marathon 2010: Racing Verité

Rinus from Holland put together this “runner’s eye view” of the marathon. He’s compressed his 4:17:19 run into 00:07:11 of footage. I think we refer to that sort of timing as a “New York Minute.”