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.

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