Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A time for honesty . . .

My hip doesn't appear to really be getting any better.

There . . . I've said it.

Some days are pretty good.  Other days . . . well . . . it's almost like before my surgery.  Not quite as bad but very similar.  And I'm not feeling improvement.  Things are not getting worse but they certainly are not improving.  The 'tightness' I had been feeling has gotten somewhat better, but the tightness is now being replaced with pain.

I will go back and see my doctor real soon.  He gave me a 2 week supply of Celebrex to try . . . and that did make a significant positive difference.  So I got a prescription and had it filled at my local pharmacy.  When they told me my cost was $237 for a 30 day supply. I just about had a heart attack right there on the spot!  Holy crap!

I didn't get pills.

That cost is just plain obscene and I couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money!  So I started taking Aleve and that helped too . . . just not as much.  BUT I DON'T LIKE TAKING NSAIDS LONG-TERM!  My personal opinion is they are simply masking the pain . . . the very pain that is telling you there is a problem!  Plus, these pain pills carry a risk to your kidneys.  I'm okay taking NSAIDS for a short duration but not over an extended period of time.

At my last visit to my doctor he suggested that if the Celebrex worked he was thinking maybe we would inject my hip with something!!  Okay . . . HE would do the injection and I'm not exactly sure what medicine he was considering.  He did x-ray my hip and didn't see any issue so he suggested this just may be "scar tissue" causing the problem.

The other thing I keep thinking about is something the doctor told me just after surgery.  He said he saw arthritis in my hip.  That was not good news because there really nothing to do if the arthritis gets worse . . . except a hip replacement.  So I'm wondering if this pain is really simply the arthritis spreading (or whatever it does!).  But I believe arthritis does show up in a normal x-ray and I'm thinking my doctor would have said if he thought the ultimate issue was a progression of the arthritis.

I'm not sure just how far I should go in "chasing this rabbit."  Would the injection stop the pain permanently?  Or is this just another step to isolate the underlying problem?    If it is scar tissue what do we do?  Keep injecting or more surgery?  Is this really arthritis getting worse instead of scar tissue?  Is there REALLY an ultimate solution?  Or do we just say enough is enough.

While I'm "whining" about this hip pain, realistically it's not terrible.  I CAN deal with it.  It's just that this hip pain is causing a continuance to the downward spiral I'm finding my physical condition in.  Less running yields less calories burned, which yields increased body weight, which yields both increased joint stress AND a steeper uphill battle to gain back conditioning.  Both of these yield less running . . .

In recent weeks I have been seeing my conditioning improve some.  Kind of hard to tell with all this hot weather, but I do believe I'm  seeing some gains in strength and endurance.  I feel like if I could do some interval / speed workouts they would make a positive difference but every time I've tried to add speed, I pay the price with significantly increased hip pain later.

I've bought a bike and have roughly been alternating days running and riding.  I'm guessing this is the major reason I'm feeling like my fitness has improved some.  The biking seems to be a good compliment to running even though the muscles used are quite different!  The bike is kicking my ass!  But in a good way.

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Littleton, North Carolina
World's Slowest Runner . . . well, at least in contention for the honor. Just your average "below average" runner.