Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Diagnosis Is... (the grammatically correct version)

I know you have all been dying in suspense (oh no wait, that was me) but on Thursday I finally found out what's wrong with me. Like I mentioned in this post, the doctor was 99% sure that I had stress fracture in the neck of femur aka a hip fracture. I had the MRI and then had to wait 2 weeks to get the results.

My appointment was for 9:30 am Thursday morning. All day Wednesday my mind was in a fog and I couldn't focus. I guess I didn't make the best choice by going out and getting a bit tipsy that night, but I thought it would help me sleep. Erg, WRONG. I fell asleep immediately upon crawling into bed, but was wide awake 3 hours later with my mind running a thousand miles an hour.

I think I managed to dose off around 6:30 a.m., only to be waken by my alarm at 8:15. I jumped out of bed, took a quick shower, and got dressed. I felt like a bipolar person. MY mind was all over the place, vacillating from good to bad back to good and then to awful. At 9, I walked out the door and made the 4 block walk to the doctors office. Within minutes I was called into the room and I sat there-on the crisp white paper- in the cotton hospital shorts, my legs so white they blended in with the paper, my heart racing. Dr. M knocked on the door and came in. He heartily shook my hand and asked how I was feeling. I told that I was feeling slightly better, but that the pain was still there.

Silence....God I hate that!

He logged into the computer and pulled up my MRI. He spent a minute trying to orient me to my anatomy but all I heard was "blah blah blah blah....bone should be black....blah blah blah....all this is white, that's inflammation"
Okay, now I needed to focus. I put my best listening ears on (ouy, I've been babysitting too much lately, haha) and then he said, "So much to my surprise your femur is okay...."

Wahwhoooooo! Horray! Yes, sweet! Oh yeah baby!

"But see this here..."

wait, is he still talking? was that a "but"

"That's your pubic ramus and that's a mighty big fracture."

My stomach came up my throat and my heart sank.

"What this tell us is that you are one tough cookie. Most people with this injury can barely walk, let alone continue to train."

I had to compose myself and fight back tears. The conversation that followed left me so upset. Basically I'm on activity restriction for another 4 weeks, my September marathon is out, and this upcoming week I have to go have a DEXA scan done.

This battle is just beginning. Now that we have a diagnosis, we need to figure out why it happened. My PT evaluation already revealed a substantially weakened left side, but it's more a chicken or the egg question. Is it weak because it's injured, or did the weakness lead to the injury. The bone scan will show the condition of my bones, yet another test I'm dreading. Once I get those results, I'll have a better idea of where I stand.

However, it's odd that I find myself in this predicament. I've known for over 7 years that I have low bone density. One of the treatments for LBD is weight bearing activity (strength training and impact activities) but I already do those. I also take a calcium supplement. I'm sure you have all seen the commercials for the osteoporosis medications like Act0nel, B0niva, F0smax, but they aren't approved for women of childbearing age because they have uncertain teratogenic effect on fetuses.

And let's be honest, I don't want to decide, at the ripe old age of 23, that I want to forgo having kid for the sake of a medication that could be obsolete in 10 years.

So where does that leave me? I don't know.

What I do know is that my PT regimen is grueling. I hurt so much afterwards, I want to cry. I also know that this injury has forced me back into the pool, something that I never though would happen. I swam competitively for 12 years but gave it up college; I haven't set foot in lane lined pool since high school. My reasons for leaving swimming behind are for another post, but I found myself in tears yesterday when I went to the store to buy a cap and goggles.

Today I made the emotional plunge back into the pool. After PT I made my way to the locker room, suited up, walked out onto the deck, and then stood at the edge of the pool. I grabbed a kick board, pull buoy, paddles, and fins. I jumped in and just started to swim. After less than 25 yards, it felt like I had never left the pool. My upper body still carried my stoke, I still preferred breathing to my left side, I still stroked with my left hand right preceding a flip turn...

My body didn't ache like when I'd be out of swimming shape in between seasons, but I felt sore, from using different muscles. I swam for about an hour and by the end I was tired; however, I didn't want to stop. Something in me wanted to keep going, keep pushing. I was tired and sore, but not in agony. Wait, something is wrong with that mentality. I'm never going to get better if I keep pushing to injury. I'm an addict, an endorphin junkie. Working out, the endorphin high, and the stress release is like crack to an addict.


Now, off to work, and let the waiting begin (again)


O said...

Oh, Kelly, my heart sinks for you. But I love how you describe the pool. You make me want to swim! R, by the way, is an awesome tadpole so you can show him a few tricks nest time we see each other.
Seriously, recover so you get better for the marathon here. Don't you want to hear little voices screaming your name as you hit the wall? :-)
Hang in there and good luck!

Anjali said...

So sorry Kelly, but if you want one, Brian would be happy to look over your studies and give you a second opinion. Email me if you're interested.

I hope the pain subsides substantially and quickly.