Sunday, May 27, 2012

You can't nap during an MRI (and other tales from the sidelines)

I'm a newbie to the whole magnetic resonance imaging thing so I didn't understand why the radiologist laughed at me when I told her I planned to doze off as the machine took high tech pictures of my right leg.  I slipped the required headphones over my ears (another clue) and had just shut my eyes when the sound of a landing helicopter filled the room.  Seriously.  I have flown in helicopters (ok, a helicopter) and the two noises are indistinguishable.  When it would stop briefly, a loud clicking noise that resembled a monotonous techno beat would fill the void.  I actually am not sure if that noise came from the machine or if the radiologist just had really bad taste in music. 

I am still hurt, and worse yet, no one in the community of people who are supposed to determine what is wrong seem to know what's wrong.  There has been little to no improvement.  My right quad remains constantly numb and my knee locks up after about a mile rendering the entire leg useless.  My orthopedist, who works on Olympic runners said to me, "your case is sort of a mystery."  My massage therapist (the best of the best in NYC), says my quad is extremely tight.  My physical therapist agrees.  This has gone from an IT band injury to potential tendinitis, pinched nerve, herniated disc, piriformis or any combination of the aforementioned afflictions.  I plan to add an acupuncturist to my team of specialists this week.

I was reminded yesterday of something Alberto Salazar said.  I'm paraphrasing here, but it was along the lines of "It's harder to not run than to run."  He's right.  Despite that, I am trying to exude positivity.  Negativity doesn't help injuries heal.  There are a million and two things about being sidelined that suck, but I am making a conscious effort to only dwell on those things for a finite amount of time each day.  A very wise runner we'll call "Nathan" encouraged me to take advantage of a life that isn't possible when you are a competitive runner on the side.  I'm doing that by taking a different approach to cross-training.  Instead of trying to replace running with mind-numbing hours on the elliptical and stationary bike, I am swimming when I have time, eating right (minus the ice cream), getting lots of sleep and focusing on stretching and flexibility.  It leaves me with much more time to spend with Lauren and Pepper, read a good book and watch a good movie.

That said, it was in part, bad movies that ended the days of two hour elliptical rides.  I had just finished "All About Steve" and was 25 minutes into "Click" when either my knee legitimately started to hurt or Adam Sandler was so terrible that my brain started sending pain signals to it in an attempt to get me off the machine.  I haven't been on since.

I'm going to try and share the funny, anecdotal side of being hurt on the blog.  There is one.  Look no further than the pool locker room at the Chelsea Rec Center for proof of that.  I'll have to learn Korean to pick up on some of the hilarity but since that's where I'll be centering the majority of my athletic energy until I get this figured out, it might just be possible.  And once I do get this figured out, I have something harder than learning a foreign language to work on -- a marathon PR.

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