Gurney to Finish Line Journey – 3
For this Gurney to Finish Line Journey post I’m going to give a brief history of the events that brought me to the gurney.
In May, I was feeling great and very happy with my overall conditioning. I thought it would be a good idea to test my fitness at a 5k. I went through my pre-workout ritual, and even went a little bit into “beast” mode. I felt strong at the start and the first 1.5 miles went as I hoped. Then somewhere before mile 2 my right hip started to feel a little funny. I slowed down but finished race – feeling a little let-down and a little sore. I did yard work for the rest of the day and went to bed that night thinking that I’d be fine in the morning. The next morning, I ran for about an hour, and my hip still did not feel right. On Monday, running was off the table, so I picked up my sandbag and went to the “playground” for a typical workout. Well, somewhere in that routine, I really aggravated my hip and I knew I’d need a few days of rest. I don’t know if this is when the labral tear started, but this was my first sign that something was wrong with my hip.
I stopped running for a couple of weeks, reduced the intensity of other workouts and soon felt like I was ready to start anew. I used my favorite Rx running plan (starting with 6 x [walk 4 min/run 1 min]) and scaled other workouts accordingly. I found and tried new stretching and yoga routines and thought I was on the road to recovery. As you’d guess knowing the end result, I kept returning to a place where my hip was very uncomfortable and I’d have to take some time off and start the Rx plan over again.
In September, I admitted my hip issue had only gone sideways since May. I committed to no running for the rest of the year and to find activities that would restore the integrity of my hip. I talked to my chiropractor about the issue and made a series of appointments with a sports massage therapist.
In early October, I moved a certain way one night and had a sensation like two pieces of sandpaper rubbing against each other deep in my hip. An instant later I had searing pain and it seemed like every muscle from my lower back to right knee went into spasm. I’m going to skip a lot of details here and just say it was bad. Even with the help I received from my chiropractor, primary care physician and massage therapist, from this point to my surgery on 21 November, I had discomfort in the “3” range with regular spikes to 8+,* and I could not sit for more than a minute or two.
After a week or two of misery, I had an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon at a sports medicine practice. I was looking forward to getting answers, or at least start eliminating some of the possibilities that were running through my mind. After the first x-ray I was relieved, no noticeable fracture, no arthritis, and no signs of bone cancer (huge sigh of relief), and the hip joint looked good. Next was an MRI – this is when the labral tear was identified. The surgeon discussed options and after a little consultation with others I quickly decided I wanted surgery. The described surgery was an arthroscopic outpatient procedure. The surgeon would repair the cartilage, reattach it to the hip bone, and fix the part of the femur that caused the problem. After some physical therapy I’d be able to return to running and the hip would be as good as new (or at least better than before).
Finally, after learning to live with this discomfort for six plus weeks, November 21starrived and my Beautiful Wife took me the surgery center. This is where my Gurney to Finish Line Journey begins.
*My interpretation of the 10-point pain scale is: 1 = no pain, 2 to 4 = discomfort, 5 to 7 = hurting, 8 to 10 = pain.