Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Give it to me straight doc, plus Capital Peak 50 Miler

Well, whoever said that a doctor has to have good bedside manners? 

I'd like to preference this post by saying, I do not have a life or death situation here and I am aware enough to have such perspective, but I thought the conversation I had with this doctor had to be posted here.
When I went to see the Naturopathic Dr to receive my MRI results, she told me that the results were inconclusive.  Inconclusive?  Hum, well at least I do not have a bulging disc that is pinching a nerve, arthritis, tendinitis, something that makes me never able to be active again, etc.  Yes, it's good nothing bad was found.  As a catch 22, I was hoping to get some answers that were more suggestive as to how to treat these symptoms of mine.  The ND was stumped as well and suggested I see an orthopedic sports medicine dr.  The doctor she wanted me to see was on vacation but in the office of this doctor on vacation was another doctor that had an appointment that same week.  I thought ok, well maybe a sports medical doctor might have a different perspective on how to interpret the MRI. Well, he did have a different perspective.  The conversation went like this;
Him; 'I don't know what's going on with your leg, I don't really see anything.  Maybe you have a bruised muscle or maybe you have a hemangioma.  I don't think it is a bruised or strained muscle because the area that seems unusual in the MRI is in the middle of your muscle and we generally see bruises and strains on either end of the muscle. If it is a hemangioma, then there is nothing you can do about it.  You just have to decided to run in pain or not to run.'
Me; 'So, you are saying that if it is a hemangioma, there is nothing I can do.  Why is that, what is a hemangioma?'
Him; 'A hemangioma is a benign tumor.  It's a birth mark.  Most people have them on their skin, few have them in their muscle.  If it is in your muscle, there is nothing that can be done.  You have had this since birth.'
Me; 'Well, if I've had this since birth, why did I just start feeling it last year?  I've been active my whole life and I never had this problem before.'
Him; 'I don't know.  I don't know why you are so upset, it is not like I'm telling you that you have cancer.'
Me; blank stare
Him; 'Have you ever considered that fact that you might be just too old to run?  I see a lot of people out running and it's rare I see someone as old as you."
Me; blank stare
Him; 'Listen, you have 4 muscles in your quad and 4 in your abductor region.  Only one of those muscles is effected, can't you find a way to run without using that muscle?
Me; blank stare
Him; 'Good luck with that' and off he went out the door. 
For the record, I did respond a few times, but I was taken back by his....his....insensitivity.  For crying out loud, this guys is a sports medicine doctor, of all people I would think that he values one's desire for pain free activity.  Anyway, I left there feeling lousy. 

I hymned and hawed for 2 days wondering if I should run Capital Peak 50 Miler on Saturday, let alone Big Horn 100 in June.  Ultimately, John and I decided to go.  He had rolled his ankle and had not been running much.  We decided that we can always opt for the 55k if we were really in bad shape. Owen drove us and was going to volunteer.  When I was getting my number, I saw some friends and a few of them said, man, I can't believe we're about to run a 50 miler, that's a far way.  It dawned on me I hadn't even thought about the logistics of the race at all.  I had been so consumed with whether or not I would run but hadn't thought about the distance.  That sometimes works in a persons favor though....

We started and immediately I was walking.  I saw everyone and their brother pass me by.  Literally, I believe I was the last person.  I walked and walked and tried to keep a good mental attitude.  After about 10 minutes, I was able to start to run.  I started off slowly and tried not to be discouraged.  I thought, no way am I going to be able to run 50 miles let alone 100.  Why did I start?  Then I reeled it in...I thought to myself, you don't know this course so just enjoy the new scenery and if it takes you 12 or 13 hours to finish, well, then that's that.  Mindset adjustment....complete. 

I started feeling better and was able to run some more.  I started catching some people, seeing some friends, Owen was at the first real aid station so I was happy to check in wit him.  I kept going and when the time came to go on for the 50M or drop down to the 55K, I decided to keep going. I was having fun just sort of being out there and enjoying the trails, my music, etc.  I got to the next aid station and Owen was there again, that was nice to see him there.  The next section was an out and back and I got to see lots of people.  It is always inspiring to see the lead peeps running.  I saw Sara Malcom and Eric Barnes out there and they were looking good. I saw Candice and Linda and Matt.  I saw John and was glad to see that he had decided to continue on the 50M.  Every one seemed to be in good spirits, it is so fun to see everyone on those parts.  I did notice that the boxing has been helping as there were parts that I probably would have been more inclined to walk but ran those parts, at the ultra-shuffle pace, but ran them none-the-less.  I saw Owen one last time and took off for the last 14-15 miles.  When I got to mile ~46, I looked at my watch, 9:19.  I thought, hum,,,maybe I could break 10 hours....so I just continued on with an ok pace and squeaked in at 9:55.  Pain level throughout the race was between a 3 and an 8.  But there were times when I was running without much discomfort and that was a sign that maybe this "thing" will go away with the right treatment and I can get back to the regular scheduled program. 

I won a pair of shoes for being 1st Womens Master and also won a pair of shoes in the raffle.  It was my lucky day.  John and I were ultimately glad that we had decided to go and run and finish the 50.  It was a very well organised event.  John Pearch is one of the nicest guys and Heidi Perry is so supportive.  The course was well marked and very beautiful in many sections.  The aid stations and volunteers were great and the sponsers were very generous with theirs donations.  The Balanced Athlete for one....There was more single track than I expected which I was grateful for.  I had fun seeing my friends and catching up with people I haven't seen in a while.
The best quote of the day came from Steve Stoyles and really sums up WHY I run.  I asked him what he was training for with all the running and racing he's been doing and his reply was, "LIFE".  I love it!


olga said...

You, old woman, should be sitting on the couch, and NOT running 50 miles in the mountains on a single track in 10 hrs flat! Who let you do that? Crazy? Can's you allow some other old farts to beat you once a century? :) Great job, tell that doctor to go screw himself, and find someone who can use his brain for its real reason - to think. Hope it'll resolve by Bighorn!

Candice said...

Beautiful! Love the realness of it all. Life is tough sometimes, or oftentimes. Thank you for sharing. You are inspiring as usual.