Last Wednesday evening, I was struck with horrible hip and radiating back pain. At work the next morning, I winced, hunched over, and cried a few times from the combination of pain and utter frustration. So during my lunch break, I decided to call and schedule an appointment to see Dr. Mares. Today was the earliest option, and I jumped on the chance. I needed an answer. For the remainder of the week/weekend, I went back and forth between the possibility of a stress fracture or a pinched sciatic nerve given the symptoms I’ve been dealing with - pain with prolonged sitting/standing, periodic calf numbness (likely from irritated nerves), and some hip bursitis. Talk about a random mishmosh of symptoms. However, most of my pain was and still is in my mid and left lower back. My body has turned into a battlefield, and I’m still fighting every single day to feel normal again.
Over the weekend, I felt pretty restless (oxymoron?) from resting. I hate not being physically active. More so, I hate not having the choice to be physically active. But I didn’t want to take any chances and make the situation worse before I allowed myself to be examined. Besides, I was too uncomfortable to do anything more than stretch or foam roll anyway. The rest seemed to help because on Monday, I wasn’t in as much pain as I had been. Today was a different story.
I woke up this morning with a ton of back pain and was very eager to head to my 11:30 appointment. I was a bundle of nerves, but like I said, I needed an answer. After driving and sitting in traffic for nearly an entire hour, I barely made it to my appointment on time.
Don’t worry Brooks. I only wear these Nike shoes to work. My Brooks are solely used for creating run happy moments (when able, of course).
When Dr. Mares first opened the door and greeted me, he assumed that I was still having IT band issues. I explained in as much detail as possible my new problem. First, he wanted to see where I stood with my IT band. He could sincerely tell that I’ve been working diligently on my leg strength and flexibility and was very please with my progress. My knee actually feels great! I mean that’s wonderful and all, but I now have a new set back. He did some additional tests that involved a lot of poking, manipulation, and movement. Ouch, ouch, and ouch.
Sacral stress fracture.
Let me repeat that…
A sacral STRESS FRACTURE. My biggest fear has almost been confirmed, but I truly have no other choice than to face it, chase it, and conquer it.
He gave me 2 options:
1.) Rest for 2 weeks, follow up, then determine if I need a MRI.
2.) Get the MRI, then follow up after he reads the results.
I chose the 2nd option because I just need a definite answer and plan of attack.
Dr. Mares was very understanding of my decision. I remained composed until he offered his apologies and walked out of the room. I’m sure that he could see the devastation in my eyes.
Trying to throw some humor in this post. An Emma Stone gif helps a smidgen.
I sobbed briefly, feeling like a failure as both a runner and a coach. That feeling faded quickly as I gathered my wits, wiped my eyes, and stepped out into the hallway. I pleaded with total desperation and asked if there were any possible openings for a MRI today. They didn’t have any in their location, but luckily, there was an opening within another UPMC imaging office. With my health insurance, I didn’t have to worry about getting the MRI preauthorized, so that saved a lot of time and hassle. I headed straight to their facility immediately after my pelvic X-ray and the scheduling of my follow up appointment for this Friday.
I’ve never had a MRI, but I’ve heard time and time again that they are noisy. The noise didn’t really bother me. What bothered me was laying flat on my back in a tube for 40 minutes. That did my back absolute wonders (but not really). Plus, my bladder decided that it was party time a few minutes into it. It was the longest 40 minutes of my life. I’m pretty uncomfortable at the moment after having to go through all of these tests. Unfortunately, I won’t know the final diagnosis until Friday afternoon, so the next 2 days will proceed to go very slowly as I try not to drive myself insane with wondering and worrying.
Once I find out the diagnosis and recovery plan, I will write a follow up post.
I’ve been a ball of emotions all day. And I know that some of you may be wondering how on earth this even happened in the first place. My thoughts? Let me travel back to September 1, 2012 when I participated in the Run For Your Lives zombie infected obstacle course race as both a zombie and a runner.
My tailbone (sacrum) took a pretty nasty hit as I not-so-happily slid down a man-made slide and right over a huge rock.
I honestly don’t even know how I finished the race that day. I’m cringing in pain.
For a couple of days following the race, I could barely walk. I was even forced to sit ever-so-gracefully on a child’s inner tube to be partially comfortable. I wrote 2 posts on the subject, which you can look back upon by clicking HERE and HERE. The only testing that I had done at the time was a X-ray of my pelvis, which showed zero signs of an obvious break. X-rays don’t always pick up stress fractures. And ever since that time, I do recall several instances in which I felt some slight discomfort near my tailbone. It wasn’t anything alarming, so I never mentioned it. The problem turned off just as quickly as it turned on. Recently, however, the pain has become constant and increasingly unbearable.
No matter what the cause, it happened, and I can’t turn back time. But what I can do is move onward. The most important thing is to stay positive and surround myself with positive, supportive people.
I have read, and people have told me about their success stories with stress fractures. Many of them have since then run not only one but multiple marathons, and that leaves me with a glimmer of hope in this not-so-bright moment.
I hope that all of you will continue to follow along as I begin my journey to rise anew. 26.2?
We will meet again.
- lundaylove said: Have you ever thought about getting seen and adjusted by a chiropractor? I have had sacral issues since hurting my tailbone as a kid and just recently i was rear ended, but after being adjusted, no pain and i rain my fastest race yet! it would help..
- shrinkingwallflower likes this
- rachaelfightsback said: You’ve got this!! Just one more stupid hassle that you have to make your b**** errr I mean, you know. You CAN and WILL do it. You’re still a runner even if you can’t tackle a full marathon right now. I just know you’ll do more once you’re healed.
- rachaelfightsback likes this
- ibikealaska likes this
- alexieileen said: Of course we’ll stick by you! My fiance just got back into triathlon 2.5 years after his injury from an Ironman. IT band release via surgery, sports massage therapy, insoles for his shoes. He’s good as new after the healing time! Wishing you the best
- amandagetsfit said: Sending good thoughts in hopes that it isn’t a fracture!!!
- amandagetsfit likes this
- michellecanrun likes this
- shorelyknot likes this
- keeprunninggwhere said: I am sorry to hear about your trouble :(. You can recover fully from a sacral stress fracture - my identical twin had one and with proper rest and therapy I have no doubt in my mind you’ll be running at full force once again.
- trinoosafofoosa likes this
- risaellen said: *clings with hug*
- chasefear posted this