From MRIs to Margaritaville

30 Apr

Yesterday was the big day. Well, I guess big when you’re someone who went from panting after running one mile to feeling mildly winded after running nine. From someone who owned crappy running shoes to heading out to Fleet Feet to get fitted, buying the fancy wicking exercise clothes, a hydration belt, goos and beans to stay energized.

Good News: No stress fracture. My shock absorption in my left knee is “beautiful,” and I have great tendons and ligaments.

The Not So Great News: I have patellafemoral malalignment and maltracking with some sublaxation. In normal English this means that my knee cap is off kilter to the tune of 25 degrees, causing it to pull the tendons more than it should, over work itself and creating friction against my thigh bone. Lovely, right? While I’m ecstatic this is not a stress fracture, from what the doc can tell this is not an injury I sustained from running but just how I’m built. He said a lot of people have it, they just don’t run upwards of 15 miles a week or 9 miles at a time so they don’t know it’s there.

What’s next? Physical therapy to make the area stronger which may (or may not) help to push my knee cap back to front and center, or at least take the angulation degree down and the friction slightly less painful. If that goes well, I can keep doing my PT exercises and with permission from the PT resume a normal exercise program. I will be able to run again but no more than 6 mile races to keep from aggravating the patellofemoral situation I’ve got going on or advance early onset arthritis.

As to the race in May, the doc says it’s up to me. Ultimately I can do it, it’s just a question of pain tolerance/being aware that I’ll piss my knee off in the process. I’m probably going to be the stubborn Italian woman that I am and go out for a run this weekend, just to see how it feels.  In the off chance the PT doesn’t go well and my symptoms don’t lessen, then surgery is an option but one I’m pushing to the back of mind.

What got me through the day: YOU. All of you. The texts, tweets, emails, BBMs, phone calls, and support. Of course being able to get a huge hug from my dad when I got home as I collasped into a fit of tears of frustration helped. As did receiving a text from my awesome Uncle (that’s you, Uncle B!). Not to mention hanging out with 10,000 of my closest friends at the Jimmy Buffet concert last night, sipping on rum punch and dancing on the lawn with one of my dear friends and her family, singing “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” at the top of our lungs. Doesn’t get much better than that.


24 Responses to “From MRIs to Margaritaville”

  1. Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks April 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    At least you don’t have to worry about knee replacement any time soon. I say go easy on your knees and begin to focus on activities that are less strenuous. I’m thinking water aerobics? =) Heart you, girl!

  2. mandy April 30, 2010 at 1:18 pm #

    Sending you big hugs. Love you!!

  3. Amanda April 30, 2010 at 2:42 pm #

    I was thinking about you! I’m glad there was no fracture, even though the “good” news wasn’t probably what you wanted to hear.

  4. Lisa from Lisa's Yarns April 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    Le Sigh. I am glad it’s not anything that requires immediate surgery, but it’s uber frustrating. I hope that the PT helps. You have a similar diagnosis to mine except my knee cap wasn’t like that because of how I am built – it got that way because I was stupid and didn’t cross train.

    There will be other options for you, though. I think combining cardio & strength training will be great – you’ll probably get a 6 pack faster than you would if you just focused on running (I certainly am not even close to having a 6 pack). Or you can be one of those yogi’s with an amazing body and can like support your entire body while balancing on your pinkie or something like that. ;)

    Bottom line – there are other options for you. I think getting past this is like morning any other kind of loss, thoughk, so give yourself time to be down about it. it sucks. :( And maybe eat some ice cream. Or french fries. Maybe both.

    Sending hugs your way!

  5. Jennifer April 30, 2010 at 4:38 pm #

    So it was sorta mixed news? I’m going to bet that you just run through it because you seem really determined. But be careful!

    Aaron was at the Buffet concert last night with his brother. I actually bought him a ticket as part of an early birthday present. He said it was a great concert and he had fun people watching!

  6. Suburban Sweetheart April 30, 2010 at 8:48 pm #

    Oh, yuck, I’m sorry to hear that this is what’s up, though of course thrilled it’s not a stress fracture or something. But… blurgh. TAKE IT EASY. I know everyone’s telling you this, & you know it, but BE GOOD, don’t eff your body. <3

  7. Elizabeth April 30, 2010 at 11:37 pm #

    I’m glad you’re taking care of yourself–that’s obviously so, so important, and you deserve it.

    When you get a chance, check out this book:

    I haven’t read it, but my husband loved it and is adapting some of it to his own running.

    I’m thinking of you, and I’m glad it’s not the worst news, and I’m hoping that it only gets better from here.

  8. Ben May 1, 2010 at 8:14 am #

    Yay…ish? I struggle with a knee when I run too but I’ve punked out and just resigned myself to ellipticals. Way to truck onward.

  9. Ashley D May 1, 2010 at 10:04 am #

    I’m so glad you didn’t get the worst news and will still be able to run! And hooray for drunkenly fun times with friends and good music!

  10. Margarita May 1, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    I’m just glad it’s nothing worse, seriously! Do some physical therapy, perhaps some yoga, and you’ll be good as new!

  11. Akirah May 1, 2010 at 7:46 pm #

    Yay! You can run! But I have a question: the 6 mile limit? Is that forever or just for now as you do PT?

  12. oh May 2, 2010 at 8:10 am #

    Unlimited hugs available, anytime.

  13. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair May 2, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    Oh no! Well, it’s better then we thought and that’s definitely a good thing! I think you should give the running\walking intervals a try! Even when I go out for LONG runs I usually do 9 and 1 (9 running, 1 walking) it’s sooo much easier on your joints! You could maybe do 4 and 1’s?

    Keep your chin up! XO

  14. Kyla Roma May 2, 2010 at 2:17 pm #

    I’m glad that you have the answers you’ve been waiting for, but that’s rough! I’m with Amber- even when I was running without problems I always did intervals.

    Good luck deciding on how to move forward, this must be a frustrating time!

  15. Erin May 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm #

    Well, I’m glad you got some answers. Knees are such tricky business. Ted has knee issues too, and I know they are such a pain, in more ways than one.

  16. Jessica May 2, 2010 at 7:29 pm #

    First, I am glad that it wasn’t awful news but I’m sorry that it put the race in jeopardy. But at least it’s up to you, and you know what your body can/can’t handle. Either way, if you do it, I’ll be there cheering! Take it one step at a time :) Big hug.

  17. kilax May 3, 2010 at 7:17 am #

    Thank heavens it is not a stress fracture! That would mean a ton of time off. Now, you just get to spend all of that great time with the PT. It’s interesting that they say many people have this and just don’t know. I hope it pushes back to where it is supposed to be. I would be hesitant about surgery too, but it is nice to know there are options!

  18. Ally May 3, 2010 at 9:18 am #

    Thank goodness it’s not a stress fracture. Whew. That would’ve been no good at all.

    It’s not an ideal situation, but I’m so glad you don’t have to give running up completely. We’re rooting for you!!

  19. Kim May 3, 2010 at 9:23 am #

    That’s great that it’s not broken, but it sucks that you have that deformity. I know you’ll get through it with hard work in PT. You’re unstoppable.

  20. alliecakes May 3, 2010 at 10:45 am #

    Well, this is a little bittersweet.. I’m happy you got some good news but that still sucks that you have to limit how much you can run. I’m sorry you have to deal with this.. it can be so frustrating when your body is not up for doing what you know you can do. I really hope the PT is successful! Sending you lots and lots of hugs!! xo

  21. ria May 3, 2010 at 11:08 am #

    i’m so glad you will be able to run and not have to give it up completely. *hugs

  22. Veronica May 4, 2010 at 5:43 am #

    Glad to hear everything is not a total loss! Oh and Parrotheads FTW :)

  23. Michelle May 14, 2010 at 11:03 pm #

    Oooh, I feel your pain. Literally. I have the same thing, on top of another knee ailment. Speaking of, it flared up real bad today and I nearly fell down the stairs because the muscle was all crapped out.

    The physiotherapy is hard, and it didn’t work for me but it doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. I hope that yours can be fixed! Good luck!


  1. 6.2 Miles Later… « Walking with Nora - October 19, 2010

    […] The reason I signed up for this 10k in the first place was to prove to myself that I could run races after the doctors told me earlier this year it may not be a possibility. […]

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