Friday, May 6, 2011

Time to update

Hi all - I haven't updated my blog for a helluva long time so I thought I'd try to get a blog post out tonight while Erik's watching the Stanley Cup playoffs.  The Canucks aren't playing tonight so I don't really care what happens. :)

At lot has happened in the past 6 weeks or so since my race. I went through another 'minor injury' period after the race, as per usual, when my shins were tender and sore.  I took about a week off running, did some elliptical, and focused on biking for a while. Meanwhile, I was going to chiro for ART and the physio for IMS for my stupid ongoing groin pain once a week and getting some results but not enough.  My chiro, Melanie, again encouraged me to get an xray to 'rule stuff out' and when I went in to the doctor to get a referral, he also set up an appt with a sport med doctor as well. 

Meanwhile, I got back to running and took is slow and easy for a few weeks.  Naturally, I had to start all over again to build up my long run - what a pain in the ass.  At the same time, Melanie also suggested that I phase out my orthotics and see if that would help my shin issues.  I began to run the last part of my run without them and felt ok but had some mild pain in the metatarsal pad of my right foot. Melanie, and others, said this was well within the norm so I persevered. I managed to get my long run up to 90 minutes, 50 minutes of which was without orthotics. Then last weekend I did a big brick, running 30 minutes after an 80 km hard bike ride on the half iron course. I felt ok during the run but my mid week run on Wednesday was crappy - my legs were sore, tired and heavy.  I am doing to try a long run tomorrow morning and hopefully it will go well.  Crossing my fingers.  I plan to do 60 minutes without orthotics and the remaining time with them in. We shall see.

The Xray and Sports Specialist Appointment

A few weeks ago, I finally had my hip xray and it came back showing mild degenerative osteoarthritis with some small osteophytes (bone spurs). This wasn't a great thing to hear but it was well within norms for someone my age and given that my mom has arthritis in her hands and back, not too surprising.  Although some of the literature I read online suggested that the osteophytes could be causing the snapping/impingement pain I get in the groin, I was still anxious to hear what the sports specialist had to say.

I had my appt with him yesterday and after hearing my story, checking my xray report, and  moving my hip/leg around to test for pain, he was fairly certain of a diagnosis. 

Labral tear at the hip. (No, not labial...  the tear is in the labrum, or lining around the hip socket.)  The photo above shows the labrum, and the video below explains it pretty well.

A few of the links I found, showed a connection between osteoarthritis and labral tears.  Here are a few links with more information.

Mayo Clinic

Orthopedic Specialist Website

Other info

So, now the crappy part.  The only way to confirm the diagnosis is by having an MRi with dye injected.  At this time, the BC Medical is extremely underfunded for MRI's and the wait list is about 8 months.  If I want, I can get an MRI privately and pay $1100 out of my own pocket, I doubt I will do that.

And part two of the crap - assuming the MRI does show a labral tear, nobody in Kelowna does arthroscopic surgery on the hip as it is relatively new procedure, and the waitlist in Vancouver is 3 freaking years.  Yes, I said years, not months. Oy vey.  There is a possibility that I could get it done in about 18 months if Alberta will allow me to come across the border for the surgery. At any rate, that is a decision that will have to be made after I get the MRI.

We got into a lively debate about the Canadian medical system on my Facebook page today and I'd like to cut and paste a rant by Trevor who summed up the problem quite succinctly.

"Unfortunately our wonderful Canadian Healthcare is being manipulated by right wing politicians who have an agenda to privatise healthcare, in BC there was no wait for MRI's up to the last election, immediately after the election funding was withdrawn, and once again we were being told that "public healthcare wasn't working", and now our new federal govt will be conducting a "review" of public healthcare.....sad, but true, we are heading for private healthcare, where coverage can be taken away overnight leaving people with no healthcare ala the U.S.....Tommy Douglas's legacy to all Canadians will be gone......rant over :)"

Thanks for that, Trevor, I couldn't put it better myself.  

So now it is Friday night, and I should have run today but my hip and groin have been really sore and tender for the past 24+ hours since the doctor manipulated the hip to test the pain points.  Argh.

I asked him what would happen if I didn't the surgery and he said, I could continue running, biking, and swimming but over time, I'd have more and more pain, exacerbated by the arthritis in my hip. Eventually, I would no longer be able to do triathlon.  I am continuing to research and look for more information.

On a brighter note, Erik's duathlon is tomorrow and I am looking forward to being his sherpa and watching him kick butt! 

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