I know I said that I was all like, “Eff weather, I’ll train in the cold now!” However, the blast of more ice and single-digit windchills at the beginning of last week, coupled with a feeling of impending doom from my “we’re gonna shoot you up with giant needles” doctor’s visit on Monday put a little bit of a damper on my enthusiasm. I did, however, manage a short hike to get a big leaner off the trail. Unfortunately, my gloves’ ability to keep my fingers warm ended before I could make a couple more cuts into the big piece that wedged itself in between the ground and the two trees where it was resting. It’s not threatening the heads of those who ride under it any more, so I’m mostly satisfied…
As I said in my previous post, my anxiety level going in to the injection procedure was really high. Tuesday, I managed to convince myself to ride the trainer for my prescribed interval workout, but the numbers were somewhat uninspiring. I did find some comfort in lifting and going to MMA class. It turns out, when I’m sparring, there’s not much else I can think about… unless I want to get punched in the face or leg-kicked more than I already do. Nevertheless, by the time I was driving home from class on Thursday night, I was in tears about going to the doctor the next morning.
Friday morning, this is what I walked into at the doctor’s office…
I’m pretty sure that, based off of heart rate, I did a couple more intervals while I was waiting for the doctor.
He came in and pretty quickly got to work. While I laid in the fetal position, he first found my inflamed left ischial bursa via ultrasound and shot it with what felt like a large quantity of cortisone. After that, I rolled over, and he used the ultrasound to look at my hamstring in the area where I’d been experiencing pain. To his surprise, he found a mass of irregularly shaped muscle fibers surrounding the sciatic nerve in the area.
I say “to his surprise,” because the first time I visited him, he’d only looked at my seatbone-area before with the ultrasound machine, found the inflammation, then sent me to get 3 different MRIs to look for any other issues. He didn’t see anything abnormal in the hamstring in the previous week’s MRI. Nothing like going through the time and money of getting 3 separate MRIs when the other half of my problem could have been diagnosed the first time I came to his office.
According to him, it looked as if I’d sustained some sort of an injury to the area in the past, and that it didn’t heal correctly. I have no idea when that could have happened. I don’t ever remember having a hamstring injury, though I’m guessing it could be something minor I did that was masked by other general soreness from hard training. He marked the area and injected it with a solution of dextrose and two different anesthetics.
It all hurt really badly, but at least it was over quickly.
Now, I’m waiting. Because the cortisone temporarily weakens the area into which it’s injected, I can’t do anything strenuous until a week from today. I had to keep activity minimal until today, and now I’m basically limited to walking and easy rides until next Monday.
I hate doctors, and, to be honest, I don’t even really trust this guy now. If he’d listened to me and looked at my hamstring on the first visit, I could have been looking for solutions for my hamstring back in January rather than spending a ton of money and valuable training time with the MRIs. I have to go back for two more sets of injections into just my hamstring (no extensive time off for those like this time), but I don’t even know how effective those are supposed to be at treating that sort of problem, because the doc also mentioned something called PRP Therapy to treat the old injury. Upon further research, it looks waaaaay too experimental to even consider. My general distrust leads me to feeling that he just wants to use me as his own personal guinea pig for PRP therapy.
Ryan asked me if I’m hopeful, but, at this point, after trying so many things, I’m just indifferent. I am confident that getting the injections isn’t making anything worse, pain/injury-wise. The only harm is really taking up more time and forcing me out of training during a period in which I need to be training pretty damn hard. It’s just been an arduous process of elimination. I get the feeling it’s not over yet, but at least it’s narrowed down to “things that are view-able via ultrasound.”
As a more positive post script… here’s Marley. He loves blankets more than he loves the couch.