Feeling Knee-dy

So, I had an orthopedic appointment this morning. Remarkably, I got in right on time, and didn’t have to wait to see the doctor. He was nice, his resident was nice. I got to wear some HOTT little blue elastic shorts.

What I came away with:

An MRI appointment for next Tuesday evening.

A follow-up orthopedic appointment for Aug 20 (and the possibility of getting in sooner if there’s a cancellation).

The strong, strong possibility that I have torn my medial meniscus. Badly enough that it is likely that I will need arthroscopic surgery. Which, from what I understand, isn’t the worst surgery in the world. (Those are the only kind I have: a laparoscopy, a Cholecystectomy [gall bladder removal], and now: arthroscopy.)

However, there are a number of bone fragments at the top of the tibia. They may have been there for years – I’ve been really hard on this knee – but they may be from my fall in April. Due to the tenderness at the top of the tibia, just below the patella, they are concerned that the bone fragments are inflamed & causing problems. If they are inflamed (the MRI should tell us), then they will have to be removed. From what I understand, that’s a little less “you’ll be walking un-aided a couple of days after surgery.”

The doc confirmed the no running & no cycling. He frowned upon my sole exercise at this point: the elliptical (not low impact enough, apparently). When prodded, conceded that swimming should be fine. He did not forbid yoga. I did not ask. He did forbid stairs. Which, honestly? I was okay with (I hate running stairs – although maybe I hate it in the “I love it” kinda way – I’m so conflicted). He didn’t seem enthusiastic about walking, but maybe it’s okay if there aren’t hills.

So, I’ve been confined to the one exercise I really don’t enjoy. The gym I belong to has a lap pool. There is also a mysterious & hidden pool near where I work that I can use. Anyone wanna go swimming with me?

So, the next race I had planned was a 10K in early September. That’s probably out. The earliest I will get the go ahead to run at this point is 8/20/08 – and I’m guessing that I’m not going to get the go ahead.

I was hoping, since I’ve already uncommitted to the Portland Marathon, that I could do the Run Like Hell half marathon on October 19 (or something like that). Maybe I should downgrade & hope that I can do the 5K that day.

I think this is the suckiest thing. When I don’t run, I crave sugar. I am eating cookies & candy like they’re going out of style. I am about one piece of chocolate cake (I don’t even like chocolate – what’s wrong with me?) from saying “fuck it” and going for a run anyways. I miss the way I feel when I get back from a run where I’ve really pushed myself. I miss the middle of the run when I know that I’m going to make it the whole way without having to slow to a walk. I even miss the first crappy couple of miles when I occasionally ask myself why I would do such a horrible thing to my body. I say, “but Amy, you ran on it for over 2 months after the injury – what’s one more run?” (The doctor did suggest that I not wait over 3 months before seeking medical attention should I injure myself again. He also suggested that I stop wearing high heels, so obviously he is a silly crack smoker.)

The only thing keeping me from going for a run is hope that this can be fixed and then I can run (and bike and climb the stairs and yoga) without pain.

The only thing I know for sure is that I’m going to have to go back on the Diet Coke. I’ve been (fairly) successful with my no Diet Coke stance. We keep a 2-liter bottle in the fridge at home for emergencies (those emergencies almost always involve rum, of course). When I have a stressful day at work, I’ll go get a soda. However, I am now at a point where it’s Diet Coke or a handful of cookies. I don’t care what the artificial sweeteners might do to me in the future – I know what the cookies will do to me now, and I’d rather risk the future than the present.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to stay sane without exercise? (I’m not saying that I’m insane without it, just that it’s been my stress reliever for awhile now, and if I can’t find something else, I may have to go back to smoking. Also, if I can’t exercise by the end of November, we can talk about insane a little more then.)

Please send Diet Coke. And gin.

12 responses to “Feeling Knee-dy

  1. the DC & Gin is ONE option 🙂

    have you read eat pray love?

    perhaps focus on the meditation right now (and the swimming. Id love to join you as I ‘want’ to start and yet havent found the motivation yet)

    I would love to chat about this at misfit if youd want (the how to stay sane sans exercise)—let me know.

    • I think gin is an EXCELLENT option! I have read eat, pray, love – and although I loved it, I always kinda thought I’d be better at the ‘eating’ part. Meditation (hee – I mis-typed that as medication the first time) would be a good place to start, I think.

      And I would love to have this addressed on your site. That would be hella cool.

  2. ugh….I SO feel your pain. If you’ve read my blog, you know I’ve just gone through a neck injury (MRIs are FUN!) and was only allowed to walk. Walk. Blah. Not enough for someone who is used to working up a crazy sweat on the Gauntlet, to lifting weights, to jogging. To be honest, I went a bit crazy. But I forced myself to go slow and not push because I didn’t want to hurt myself even more. I am being totally honest and not pandering here – martinis helped me. I drank them all the time, primarily because they relaxed my muscles and eased the pain. MEditation worked a bit – just lying in bed or outside and thinking happy, healthy thoughts. I’m not gonna say it’ll be easy but I do know you’ll get thru it. If I did, anyone can. PS can you walk? I found taking hour-long walks was actually very nice.

    • I have been reading your blog (gotta know what my favorite martini-soaked body-image expert is up to!), and am just glad that my MRI will be on the knee, not the neck.

      Also, totally appreciate the martini wisdom.

  3. Ouch! The knee doesn’t sound good at all.

    At least you have an excuse for not running…me I just can’t get my a** out of bed. I could, I guess, blame the dog for keeping me up half the night.

    You’ll get back in the game. Maybe we’ll fall in love with Bikram, I’ve heard it sweats out like 2 lbs a session =).

  4. Oh girlie. I don’t envy you. I got supa supa crazy with no excericse -even on just my rest days. But I’m a little crazy already.

    I say try Bikram anyways. Really. Like I said, just let your teacher know your problems. Just being in the room sweating will burn some calories. I really think the heat is healing too – it gets your blood flowing to your body. Fresh blood = heals. (Please remember I am not a doctor, although I play one on television)

    And martinis help the world go around, so I’m sure they will help in this situation too.

    • I love that everyone is so supportive of my martini-therapy! I will let you know how the Bikram goes. Thanks, Dr. POM!

  5. What to do when you can’t excercise? Now we’re talking. The only time I feel the need to run is when I’m running away from something so this is right up my alley. First of all, don’t feel guilty – embrace the sweet goodness of junk food. Pretend you’re on a mini vacay – pretend you’re in Bradleyworld and enjoy the goodness. You’ll be back to healthy and working out before you know so enjoy the time off. Stop at the 711 and buy yourself a frickin Little Debbie snack cake or two, go home and pour yourself an enormous cocktail – the kind that makes you feel the booze in your veins at first sip – turn up those Billy Joel songs and sing your little heart out and don’t worry about dinner, you’ve got booze to keep your stomach full – keep on drinking and singing. And remember sex is the best workout ever – who cares if it’s sloppy drunken sex, after all you’ll be the sloppy drunk… and since you’re so petite in stature I know you won’t be putting extra pressure on your poor knee. Then the next day, nurse your hangover with mimosas in your back yard until you can do the whole process over – only replace Billy Joel songs with Swivek. Now aren’t you glad you have a pal like me at such a times like these?

    • I miss you! Why can’t you move to Portland & dispense your words of wisdom in person?

      Also, I love your advice, but there is no way I’m eating Little Debbie. The booze & sloppy sex, sure – but if I’m going to get crazy, it’s going to be with cheese.

  6. I will have to second every last word that Bradley said, er, typed. Nice.

    So should I just air mail a big ol’ container of diet coke to the Portland area? Or can you wait until I maybeprobably come to Portland in October?? 🙂

    Again, what Bradley said… golden, especially the ‘lots o’ sex’ part!

    • Brad is a wise, wise friend.

      I think I can wait until October for the Diet Coke – although if you’re coming all the way here, then a martini is probably in order!