Friday, October 15, 2010

Coming Clean

I've been keeping a secret. Back in June, I went to see a doctor for my knee. Some of you may remember that this doctor was a complete idiot and told me I was "too old to be running and you should take up cycling..." Hmm that didn't go over very well...any way, long story short, he diagnosed me with ITBS. I still took a DNS for the Utah Valley marathon, even though he told me I could probably run it, "but I would pay for it." 8 weeks later I ran the Missoula marathon with relatively no pain, but after that race I was really sore. I was supposed to run the Deseret News marathon that month as well, but with the pain in my knee, I wasn't sure how it was going to happen. Since I was going to be in SLC anyway, I made an appointment with my REAL sports medicine doctor...Dr. Toronto...let me just say, I love Dr. Toronto! 
Of course I told him what the other guy said, and the diagnosis he gave me. This was our conversation:
Dr T: He said it was ITBS?
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Did he take X-rays?
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Do you have them with you?
Me: No (I have since acquired them, and they look very similar to the ones Dr. Toronto took).
Dr T: And he said it was ITBS??
Me: Yep
Dr. T: Hmmm, he said it was ITBS..? Wow, that is surprising, let me show you why. (as he put my x-rays up to the light)

Those are my knees. Can you see the difference? I sat on the exam table while Dr. Toronto explained that my right meniscus is shrinking and it is half of what it should be. I have degenerative joint disease. He sat down next to me and looked me in the eyes and said, "I am really sorry, if I could change it I would." That is why I love Dr. Toronto. He gets it. He is an athlete. He runs marathons. He has treated every one of my sports injuries over the past 15 years and each time he says something like, "give it a rest for a few days, then on Wednesday run 3-4 miles and call me and let me know how it goes." Then he gives his advice for the next run... etc. He is very pro-active. But the best news was that he said I don't have to stop running! My 40 by 40 goal will have to be tweaked, it is going to take me a little longer, but I can still run! He gave me a cortisone shot, which wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it would be, and it helped a lot. 

Over the past few months he has been treating me over the phone. I have been on prednisone a couple of times, but things seem to be going well. I am learning how to adjust my running/training/racing  schedule. The elliptical machine has become my best friend. I will eventually have to have surgery, but for now we will take care of it like this. I am really grateful that Dr. Toronto was the one to give me the bad news. It really could have been ugly for me getting this news from that first doc. My knee has slowed my goals down a little bit, but I am definitely not giving up! So that is my secret.

Keep running!

Oh, and go check out Beth's $100 giveaway for fitness at Shut Up And Run!


Karen said...

great news! Isn't it funny how doctors can give 2 completely different diagnosis? So nice to have a doctor that "gets" the training plan!

Jo Lynn said...

I was told last year that I wouldn't run again because of "bone on bone" arthritis. Where there's a will, there's a way. I'm not running as much but I AM running and I love every step I take out there.
By the way, if YOU are "too old" to be running then they should just dig my grave for me already! ;)

Ruthie said...

Makes me wanna give Dr T a HUG! I have had the same experience with a Dr who looked straight and me and asked "why would you want to lift weights????" (what?)

anyway... so happy you can keep up with the running! Its so much more than what most non-runners think isnt it???

take care!

Meg said...

I think you're very, very fortunate to have such an awesome doctor!!

Kerrie T. said...

Wow. Sounds like you have a great doc. :)

Denise said...

i'm sorry. no one wants to hear news like that. make sure you take care of yourself and don't push have a lot more running in you!

Jenn said...

Yes, a good doctor is definitely a treasure. I am just returning from a stress fracture in the neck of my femur which was misdiagnosed by my first doc who cared NOTHING about my running! I'm sure the diagnosis was not exactly wonderful news but so reassuring to know you can still get back out on the road! Best of Luck!

Iron Mike said...

That's a pretty impressive x-ray, really tells the story. With that diagnosis, I like your attitude, and I'm interested in what your "tweaking" will involve, because you've got a killer goal and you deserve to reach it.

lindsay said...

thank goodness you have a doctor with a brain and not just mr. itbs!

Sherri said...

I am sorry that you knee is giving you so much trouble, but I am glad that you were able to find the real problem! I am always impressed with your strength to beat the odds! Keep Running!!! Take Care of yourself! =)

Tom said...

It's amazing how two different doctors can arrive at completely different conclusions. It sounds like you have a good doctor. That's great news that you can still continue to run.

Leah B. said...

Wow, I know this has been rough for you but at least you can keep running! I just found your blog and look foward to following you and your progress. :)

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Glad you have a great doctor and can keep up the running. Maybe change the 40 by 40 goal to 45 by 45? : )