Monday, June 06, 2011

Back from the doctor and I feel encouraged, excited and ready to move forward!!

The visit went very well. The short of it in basic terms....

I have a small meniscus tear, arthritis all throughout my knee, I have my ITB problems, a bone spur and a bakers cyst. There you have it! We will start with the good news.  I can still run, YEA!! The bad news, lay off the multiple marathons. Maybe one a year or if I want to do more than I will need to walk more. He was very honest with me about the arthritis in my knee. He said if I want to be a "Marathoner" my knee will not make it. The short distance races and ideally triathlons would be best. That was music to my ears!!!! He said that I can by all means continue doing my HM's but I need to watch the amount of distance I am putting on my knee right now. In other words - still run but less and focus more of cycling, weight training, swimming and other means of non-weight bearing, pounding activity like running, plyo which would include P90X, insanity...things like know the FUN stuff! :)

We talked about my ultimate dream of an IM and he understood, but it would need to be a one shot thing, not something I would do every year. Basically, if I want to run for the rest of my life I need to tapper and not overdo things now. Can the arthritis be fixed? Yes and no. The yes is that there are options for me but I will never be 100% cured without a total knee replacement. The good news is that there are so many dietary things I can do to help with my arthritis.

So the plan as of now is as follows. Today I received a cortisone injection to help with my ITBS. This along with my physical therapy exercises and foam rolling should help so that will deal with the ITB part of the problem. The meniscus tear he said will heal over time and as it is small, there is no need for surgery, which was wonderful. I just need to be smart and do not do something stupid to make the tear worse.  As far as the bakers cyst, he said it will be helped by the treatment which he is giving me for my arthritis. I am going to go in for a series of 3 injections to start of Hyaluronic Acid. I will have one injection each week for 3 weeks. After this we will see how it helps. I may need more and if so I can get them as frequent as 6 months, though he said that may not be needed.  He told me that at some point I am going to need to "clean up" my knee through surgery but now is not the time. I was VERY happy about this. I need to be up and active not recovering from any form of surgery no matter how small. I will need to take a small break from running during the injections but  it will not be too long. He wants to start the first injection after my next race, which is in 2 weeks ( oy!) Once I allow a week or so to heal from the race and allow any swelling to go down, he will do the first injection.

I am really hoping this will provide relief in some way. I have NEVER seen results like I have with running both on the scale and in my measurements. I need to run, my body reacts very well to it, well at least in weight loss, not my joints! Ha! I felt like I wanted to cry when we told me I could still run, just to scale things back a bit. When I was telling him about the goals and dreams I have someday, I got very emotional. I am so passionate about this journey I am on, it is hard for me to explain sometimes. Yes, as vocal as I am, sometimes I cannot put into words how important this is to me, but I think he understands. He was VERY willing to do whatever is necessary to help me in any way. I also think the fact that he works with athletes helps. He was one of the team doctors for Texas A&M for 9 years, that makes me feel good knowing his background.

So there you have it! My right knee is just a mess but we are going to do what needs to be done to take care of it and I WILL reach my goals, it may take me a bit longer than I would like but I will get there!!!!

Happy Days are here again, Jen will be back to running SOON! : ) And yes, there is still that big announcement I never made after my knee issues came up but after discussing everything with my doctor, I am ready to proceed with my previous plans.  Do not worry, I will be writing a big, big blog soon! Here is a hint..........



The Mrs said...

I am very glad to hear that you are still able to cautiously persue your goals. I know how important those are to you. You WILL be an IronMan and if that bad boy is in Hawaii, I may just make sure we're there to cheer you across the finish line if we can.

It sounds like you have the right doctor looking after you. Did you happen to ask his opinion about the chiropractor that someone else suggested? Might be a good idea to see what his philosophy is on that for the future or maybe to help aid healing after races.

Be good to yourself mama!

Jen's Journey said...

Thank you my sweet friend!

You know I did not get around to asking about the chiropractor as I was so focused on what my MRI said and what He was going to do about it. Tunnel vision I guess. I know for a fact that a chiropractor could help me with my ITB. Need to look into that ASAP.

Thanks for all your support my dear friend! And YES, if Kona is in my future, girl, I will fly you there myself!!! You truly are a HUGE inspiration to me and a VERY, VERY dear ya!

Christy said...

Thats good news Jen! I know you will be able to reach your goals no matter what you have to change. I see triathlons in your future girl!!! You will have to come up here and tri a few with me!!!

TX Runner Mom said...

I just catching up on my blog reading. Sorry to hear about your knee issues, but glad to know you can still work toward your goals! Love the pic of you at IMTX - it was inspiring, wasn't it?