Thursday, January 21, 2010

MRI Results

Good news.  I just got my results from my MRI, and I have no "acute bony, meniscal, or ligamentous" injuries.  Instead, I was diagnosed with iliotibial band syndrome.  What does that mean to me?  No surgery, no permanent damage, and no discouragement from being a lifelong runner.  Woo hoo!  It also means, according to my doctor, that I need to do even more stretching and icing than I have been doing, and I may need to start physical therapy.

I have no formal training reading MRIs as a Writing Program Administrator (big surprise, I know), but I did order the images from the lab and thought I would post a couple of them here.

Isn't this cool?  This is a picture of my knee.  (I could be a doctor...)  From this picture (and others like it), the specialists decided that I do not have bone damage.

This picture is a cross section of my knee.  The bright white stuff below my knee cap and along the side is fluid that shouldn't be there.  The report states, "There is abnormal fluid signal deep to the iliotibial band at the level of the proximal fibular collateral ligament."  Bad fluid. :(

Even though I am not pain-free when I run, I am glad that the mystery is solved and that I have some direction for recovery.  I plan to follow my doctor's advice and that of trusted websites.  My dad and step-mom also bought me a new pair of Adrenalines for Christmas, so I should be good in terms of foot support.  I'll be running that half marathon before you know it.  See you out there!


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Next Step

I went to the doctor yesterday, and she (a marathon runner) recommended that I get an MRI to see what is going on with my knee.  It is scheduled for Friday.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Snow Jog

I am going to be patient.  I am going to listen to my body.  I am going to be patient...

Before I started running, I would stay indoors for the entire winter, longing for the sun on my shoulders and cursing the biting cold.  This winter started differently, though.  Of course, I still got bummed when Moscow Mountain got too muddy to run, and the vain part of me was sad that my tanned legs would soon turn pale and be covered by pants.  But, with this new season and new sport came new possibilities and experiences.  I covered my whitening flesh with Brooks running tights and long-sleeved shirts.  I tested my Cascadias on snow and ice and mud.  I raced the darkness after work and saw the golf course glow by moonlight.  I shared the fifteen degree paths, railroad tracks, and dirt roads with only the most committed of runners and nodded silently to them before each disappeared into the night.

Winter doesn't feel as miserable when I am running, even if my face stings with cold and the fronts of my thighs are numb.

But, as my previous postings have mentioned, I have been having knee troubles, and my runs have been limited to every other day walks and jogs between 1 and 3.5 miles long.  I've been fairly disciplined about taking it easy, and I have followed experts' advice about icing, stretching, resting, and massaging my knee for weeks.  I've even tried running in my Adrenalines only, since they provide more support than the Cascadias.  So far, I have had limited success.  On Tuesday, though, I am going to a doctor so that I can get on the track (pun intended - ha ha) to recovery.  I am motivated to start training for my first half marathon, and I look forward to running again without pain.

Until then, I am going to take it easy and be patient with my body.  After all, running is something I want to do for a lifetime, so a few weeks of resting and following a doctor's advice is nothing.