A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

A blog about my life, fitness and fun! (...and maybe a few cat pictures...)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

All the things I'm thinking/doing in the wake of my NEW diagnosis.

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If you missed yesterday's post you simply must go back and read about the second opinion I got! My new diagnosis: I have the knees of a 20 year old and I am supposed to go out and do ALL THE THINGS. There is nothing wrong with my knee other than I have pain.

WTF!!!??? I am still digesting the information and my outlook/plan for my fitness future is still sloshing around in my head. I had resigned myself to the fact that I didn't have a healthy body and would probably never squat or run a marathon again. And now... well apparently the opposite is true! I am trying to think everything through carefully and not make any rash decisions. 


Here is what I am THINKING:

1. I'm thinking... I WANT TO DO EVERYTHING!!!!! This list includes: lifting lower body, sprinting, Zumba, hill repeats, plyometrics, long runs, and running "often" instead of two times a week. I can't wait to do these things with CONFIDENCE that I will not be hurting my body!

2. I'm thinking... How can two different doctors give me COMPLETELY OPPOSITE diagnosis? I cannot stop picturing Doctor #1 pulling up a chair, looking me square in the eye, and saying, "You do not have a NORMAL knee. You may NEVER be able to do the things you want to do." I get very angry when I think about it. I tried to give the guy the benefit of the doubt, but I can't. It's not like he said, "You may have arthritis. You may not be able to do certain things. Your knee might not be completely normal." He told me in no uncertain terms that I have arthritis and that I should get an injection. I AM LIVID!

3. I'm thinking... Why did I blindly trust my Doctor #1 and get surgery a year and a half ago? Why didn't I get a second opinion then? Of course hindsight is 20/20, ya live ya learn (oh that Alanis was so smart wasn't she?), c'est la vie and all that jazz... but still. There are things you look back on in life and kick yourself for. Trusting Doctor #1 is one of those things.

4. I'm thinking... Doctor #2 must think I'm looney! I mean, there I was telling him about how my knee has either hurt or felt very weak for almost two years and he's analyzing an MRI of a woman with a perfectly good knee. He outright told me, "You don't have a knee problem, you have a pain problem." So does this mean it's all in my head?

5. I'm thinking... How am I going to change my mindset? For the past year and a half I have operated under the assumption that:


Pain = bad. 
Pain = stop. 
Pain = there's something wrong

But in my case there is nothing wrong. Which leads me to...

6. I'm thinking... If there's nothing wrong with me, WHY DO I HAVE CHRONIC PAIN AND WEAKNESS? This will be researched. Oh, it will be researched.

Here is what I am DOING:

1. Buying new shoes! Running Warehouse has MY SHOES (Mizuno Wave Rider 17s) for only $54!! Plus, I found a coupon code online that gave me 15% off. Three pairs of running shoes for $138??? YES PLEASE! Now I won't have to buy shoes for almost another year!



My last two pairs of Mizunos were this crazy orange color. Looks like that is going to be the color of my next three pairs!


I got this code yesterday and it worked perfectly for 15% off. Try it!

2. Researching the SHIT out of chronic pain and how our brain "decides" to feel pain. Lisa @ Running Out of Wine sent me an EXCELLENT article to get me started. The article also had some other links I found interesting. I would like to share them with you.


Pain Education <---- This page has a million links I want to explore!!!
TED Talk - Why Things Hurt <---- Hilarious and informative!


3. Buying stuff. Yup. Stuff.
Wouldn't it be cool if I had a mindbody disorder!?

I tried this stuff yesterday and the first application worked!
The second application, no.

Would you believe it if I told you I never take NSAIDS or other pain relievers?

4. RUNNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Nothing crazy. Just 4 miles yesterday with a proper warm up and cool down. It felt great!

23 comments:

  1. Reading about your new-found health good news makes me excited!!! I had 4 pairs of the exact same shoe over the past year so I totally can relate. My new ones are blue and orange...I'm adusting, lol.

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    1. You will rock those blue and orange shoes. Actually, you are so fast they will just be a blur!

      It is hard for me to wrap my head around that I have the green light to be as active as I want! Obviously I am going to take baby steps... It' definitely going to be a humbling experience when I get back to the gym and start lifting lower body and realize I am not where I used to be.

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  2. I did read your post yesterday but did not comment because just as I was finished I got interupted! Anyway, I think that is crazy about the 2 complete diagnosis. Just for my own minds sake, I think I would go back to dr #1 and ask him on what basis he thought your knees were shot. Ugg, so sorry you had to go through all that surgery and recovery for nothing!

    On the other hand, I am starting to run pain free (only a few miles) but I am still having knee pain when squating or going down steps. My friend who is a PT (but not my dr), told me that if I have any pain (even if it's not there when I run) that there is indeed an underlying problem and I should not run. So now I don't know what to do.

    My mom wears those same orange wave rider 17's. I tried them on at a shoe store once but they weren't quite my size, but if they were I think I would have really liked them. They were more cushiony than I expected! On another note. I know you don't want to hear this, but could it be your shoes that are causing you pain? Perhaps they aren't the right ones for your body. I went through that scenario this year. I absolutely Loved the shoes I was wearing and they felt amazing when I ran in them, but they did not love me back and caused all sorts of problems.

    Ok, sorry for the novel of a response!

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    1. I am happy for a novel response!

      I am scared to go back to Dr. #1. I don't want to tell him "well someone else told me this". I don't want him to think I'm shopping around for an answer I like. My mom pointed out, "What if you want to #2 first and still had pain, then went to #1 and he said you have arthritis you need an injection. Who would you pick?" It is dumb, I know I COULD go back to #1 but I am intimidated.

      I definitely understand what your friend who is a PT says. That mindset is exactly what I have been going by for the past 2 years. We need to talk. I'm going to FB msg you today so we can set something up CONCRETE okay? We have a lot to talk about!

      I have been wearing Wave Riders for about 8 years. Each model changes a tiny bit. My problems started when I was wearing 15s, which are actually very similar to the models before it. Then I skipped the 16s and went right to the 17s- which I don't like a TON but got used to. I had them fitted at a shoe store. I suppose it is POSSIBLE they are bothering me but how do I find out for sure? I guess I would have to buy a totally new shoe and test them out. I am stubborn and don't want to change. I should research the shoe thing though because what if a different shoe helped?

      Thanks for all your info! Going msg you after my piano lesson :)

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  3. I can't wait to hear what you find out about pain. I will also read those links you sent. I find it fascinating that our minds control so much. Looking forward to hearing what you are able to get back to again! I know you have been missing out on so much!!

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    1. Thank you Susan! Watch the TED talk- short and funny but very informative!

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  4. Glad you are doing so much research!! Interested to see how you progress. Hopefully you can get back to doing all the things you want to do!

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    1. Thanks Lisa! And thanks again for the wonderful start to my research. I really appreciate it.

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  5. SO many questions...pain is real. Especially since you note weakness. I have a lot of aches and pains over the years and some did get better, and some are chronic. Which leads me to ask do you take Chondroitin glucosamine? I started this supplement in my late thirties because my grip was getting weak, I would pick up a gallon jug and feel pain to my elbow. I was irritated at first when my doctor told me to take the $29 supplement for a few months and see what happens...my friend Debbie who is nurse agreed and said she had a similar issue and the stuff was great. SO I did and it slowly got better. After several months, I stopped taking it and the weakness creeped back in and I realized I just needed to take this stuff forever.
    Debbie still takes it too.
    Another idea is keep a pain journal, I did when my knees first started acting up. I remember how scared I was over it, but here I am lots of years later and I am limited but active.
    It's a great thing to know you aren't doing any damage!
    I love a deal on running shoes :)
    Oh and I was reading Meranda's comment, I agree it's a challenge. MY PT says the same thing, pain is usually an indicator to stop, or at least wait...and life experience tells me that is so. I have tried to lift with a headache and it felt all wrong, I had to stop. I was so irritated by my lack of pain when I was injured, but I guess that tightness in my calves was masking it?? IDK...but I feel that spot now and I wonder how much can I push?
    Sorry for the book! Just so many random thoughts as I read your post! I feeel for you, I know it great news to know you are healthy, but now you have to weed through why do I hurt?

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    1. I will add Chondroitin glucosamine in my list of research! Thank you for the suggestion. I also think keeping a pain journal is a REALLY good idea. I sort of keep a mental journal, but face it that's not the same as actually writing it out. I appreciate the "book" of a comment! I love to hear what my fellow runners think and about their experiences. That is how we learn and that is how we keep an OPEN mind. :)

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  6. I am glad you are easing back into things...I had 4 pairs in a row of Brooks Adrenalines, after a while I had a hard time knowing which ones were still in the running rotation. I had to sharpie the ones that were "flat".
    THe mind body connection is quite powerful...

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    1. Thanks Cheryl! I know it sounds weird but I don't rotate, I will just wear one pair until they are done and then start using another pair. I am pretty sure I would forget which were which too!

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  7. Nice to see that through all this you clearly haven't lost your speed....8:32 average WITH a w/u and c/d? Damn!

    Interested to see what you dig up in your pain research!

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    1. My warm up and cool down were not part of my avg pace! I am sorry if it seemed to insinuate it was. Today I ran 4 miles at 8:58 pace... it was SLOW!

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  8. Maybe it's time to think outside the box? When I couldn't find answers for my foot pain, after lots of research and missteps, I ended up in the hands of a CrossFit coach who is also a corrective exercise specialist. Turns out it was all in my hips and glutes. Two years later, I am running faster and stronger than ever. Knock on wood running injury free too. I do have some aches and pains, but the strength work she has me do has been nothing short of remarkable for my running. I'm not saying CrossFit is the answer, but maybe being evaluated by a PT or Corrective Exercise specialist? Just my 2 cents...

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    1. I definitely appreciate your two sense! I am not into cross fit but I do love weight lifting. It has really made me a stronger/faster runner... until this. I have been evaluated by PTs before and had my gait analyzed. It was cool, they hooked you up to a computer and everything. I have never heard of a corrective exercise specialist. I will have to look into that. Thank you for sharing your story with me!

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  9. It sounds like everything is going your way! A great knee diagnosis, a great deal on running shoes and a great celebratory run!

    I never take pain relievers either and it drives Adam crazy. I will complain and complain about having a headache but I don't take the pills. I have no idea why because on the rare occasion that he gets me to take a pain reliever I feel better almost instantly! I hope that the pain relievers work for you like a charm and that you can do ALL THE THINGS that you want to do! Squats! Sprints! Exciting!

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    1. Thanks Kristina!! We will see how my first LOWER BODY LIFTING DAY goes!!! :) Heading to PF in a few...

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  10. I swear, you could do an entire case study on the situation with your knee. That has got to be SO frustrating to receive completely different diagnoses from two doctors. Maybe you should seek out a third opinion? Physical therapy?

    I would probably take the same route that you are taking right now – experiment with a number of different things (new shoes, different exercises, creams, etc.) and see what works. The mind definitely plays an interesting role in the perception and handling of pain management. While physical pain is a very REAL thing, the mind can alter what that pain means. Crazy. I can’t wait to watch the TED talk.

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    1. The TED talk is great I hope you enjoy it.

      I am thinking about a third opinion but going to try the whole "there's nothing wrong with my knee" approach first because honestly I don't WANT there to be something wrong with my knee.

      I am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that my brain is what decides how to interpret if something is painful or not. It's hard to believe that the true pain/weakness I have been feeling for such a long time is just my brain playing a trick on me? I don't get it. But there is actual scientific research out there that supports it. So I guess the question is, this the case for my particular situation or not?

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  11. I'm trying to catch up on all I missed while on vacation, so I'm just now seeing all this. That is SO weird that the doctors' diagnoses were so opposite. Did the second doctor have any insight into where the pain was coming from?

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    1. It is weird and infuriating! He did not say where the pain was coming from, but from what I researched, it looks like it is coming from my damn brain! We will see. I'm still processing and trying to make some decisions right now. Karen suggested starting a pain journal, which I think is a good idea.

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