I’ve waited to share this post for a little while partly because I didn’t want my blog to become too Negative-Nancy and partly because I wanted to wait until I had more information to share. My sports medicine doctor informed me of the MRI results. It didn’t take long. I got the call on Wednesday the 17th in the morning. Then huddled in an empty office talking to Michael on the phone and trying not to cry. Then my parents.
There’s good news and I’m trying to focus on THAT. Nothing is torn. I don’t require surgery. That’s good. The original diagnosis: A sprain in the inner ligament of my knee and mild swelling of the joint between the knee cap and the thigh bone. I was referred to a specialist.
I was most definitely an emotional wreck about this. While it’s not worse-case-scenario bad, and I recognize that it could be much worse, it still felt like a pretty bad diagnosis. Maybe I was foolishly hoping that my doctor would call and say I was fine and I’d be magically cured. Who knows.
There are a lot of other issues that swirling around in my psyche as I digest this diagnosis and news. Yes, I am a confident person and successful in my weight loss and have kept the weight off for 5 years now. But that doesn’t mean I still don’t have the occasional fear in the back of my mind that at any moment I could gain all the weight back. It’s an incredibly difficult toll on my emotional state at the moment. Exercise is also something I love to do. I don’t feel good physically, or mentally, if I take a bunch of time off.
That being said, I have followed all of my doctor’s and physical therapist’s instructions and restrictions. I’ve done all the PT exercises they recommended diligently (and recorded it in my journal). I asked every provider I saw along the way what activities I COULD do, what I couldn’t do, and what timelines I was looking at. I was responsible. I listened to their instructions and I also take 2 rest days a week no matter what. And yet, I still got injured. It’s frustrating for sure.
The specialist I saw was an orthopedic surgery who specializes in sports injuries and knees. I had 7 days of waiting, anticipating, dreading and stressing about the appointment. I had butterflies in my stomach when the day finally arrived. At least it was a sunny day. I was the youngest person in the lobby. 😛 Discouraging.
The specialist was nice. He liked that I had typed up a timeline with details to my injury, what treatment I’d done so far, what worked, what hadn’t, what I thought were the triggering episodes along the way. He did a bunch of tests on my knees and announced that structurally I was sound.
He went over my MRI results, which was kind of cool to see, and explained everything. He disagreed with the radiologist and said my knees were NOT sprained. Good news. He said my cartilage was good; my joints were great; no tears. All good news.
So what’s the verdict? Mixed. He said basically it was runner’s knee (which is overuse) and ordered me to rest my lower body for 6 weeks. He said he was going to treat it like a stress fracture (even though it’s not) and that’s pretty much it. He said if I had horrible pain walking, I’d be leaving in a wheelchair or crutches. I said I had discomfort but that that was a stretch in my opinion.
NO LOWER BODY ACTIVITY. Beyond walking around, obviously. But no walking for fitness. No squats. No running. No biking. No stairs. No elliptical. You get the point. What can I do? He said I can do yoga, I can swim (no breaststroke), I can do upper body exercises like weight lifting.
After 6 weeks of rest and no pain, I can start slowly introducing things back into my routine. The plan is to do an activity in SHORT DURATION and MILD INTENSITY. Basically, starting over. I am to increase the activity and duration by 10% each week and if there’s one week I have any pain, I have to rest the remainder of the week and go back to the previous week’s duration and intensity.
It’s not all bad news. At least I have a plan. At least I can do some activities to keep me sane and not spiral into depression.
That night Michael took me out for dinner because I was home moping (and watching Upstairs, Downstairs). We went to Cartlandia, the food cart area right off the Springwater trail. I’m glad he made me get out of the house and enjoy the sunny evening.
We got an appetizer to share from Kesone Asian — the jalapeno and cream cheese wontons. Holy smokes were they spicy! They were also bigger than we were expecting but oh so good. I loved how spicy they were.
There were so many choices. I love the carts because if you can’t agree with your mate on what kind of food to get, you each can get whatever you want. There was Mexican, Asian, Russian, burgers, gyros, pizza…You name it, it was there. We ended up going to the Good and Evil Wrap Company and that might be my #1 favorite food cart. While we were looking at the menu, another couple came and apparently they eat there a few times a week and were gushing about how delicious the wraps were.
Their menu was creative and divided by “good and evil” (healthier and not as healthy).
Michael got the Pepper Jack Steak wrap but got it as a salad instead. I had a bite of his salad and it was spectacular. The creamy dressing was flavorful, the fresh avocado went perfectly with the pepper jack and steak.
I ordered the Buffalo Tempeh bowl. Next time I want to try their wraps! Originally I wanted the chicken buffalo salad but he was out of chicken. I went with tempeh instead. I realized that I have never eaten tempeh before. I thought I had but it was definitely a new thing for me. It was kind of weird–like flavorless rice baked into a stick. Sometimes there was a nutty flavor but overall it was pretty bland. Can’t say I’m a fan of tempeh!
Doesn’t my salad look divine? It was SO GOOD. I’m going to be craving it for awhile, I can tell. It had lettuce, tomato, blue cheese, bacon, onions and celery in it. The dressing was buffalo sauce flavored and tangy and delicious. I want to go back NOW!
I’m glad we went. It was a nice evening. I needed to get out of the house. Like I said before, I was kind of moping and crying that I was defective. Michael assured me I wasn’t and he still loved me. Awww, kudos for saying the right things. 🙂 I’m going to be looking into other activities I can do that I previous dismissed because I wasn’t interested. Maybe I will find something else I really like to do besides biking and running!
QUESTION: Tell me some good news from your world and describe your favorite wrap!
I want that salad again!
I do too!!!
Ugh…having just dealt with a sports injury, I totally understand! It takes so much work to transition from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one, the moment the doctor gives the “rest ” order, the fear of not only slipping into bad habits, but also missing out on the mental and physical clarity and well-being is very real. Think of it as a positive thing, though. There was a time in your life that your body wouldn’t be craving the exercise, so look at is a reaffirmation of all your hard work!
As for my good news, this is a sign of what my life has come to, but my good news is that to celebrate 5 weeks post-surgery, today is my first day off crutches! We’ll see if I’m as excited about that tonight, but right now, I’m thrilled 😉
Take care of yourself!! 6 weeks will pass before you know it.
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Thanks for your kind words. It does help hearing from other people who have healed from an injury, or simply just understand how I feel. Sometimes I don’t think the people in my life understand that “Fear”.
Glad to hear you are off crutches. I hope it goes well!
I’m sorry you have to face 6 weeks off lower body exercises. That sucks. BUT you can do all the upper body stuff, and I bet you will have even more rockin’ arms by the end of the 6 weeks. 🙂
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Thanks! YES! Trying to look at the positives!
Big Big hug Lisa!!! Yay for yoga and swimming, and hoping these few weeks soar by, and the pain stops!
Roz@weightingfor50 recently posted..Dark N’ Stormy Sunday
I hope they go fast too!
Dude, that blows. I know it feels demoralizing to know you have to take 6 weeks off, but you have a clear diagnosis and a solid plan and most importantly, you’re smart and you’re DOIN IT RIGHT.
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I’m trying my best! I hope this rest period works. I JUST WANT TO RUN!
While I know it sucks, I am glad that you have a plan to get well in six weeks. Hang in there!! OMG, food truck envy here!! My husband and I are going to Austin next month, and I already have downloaded food truck apps, I’ve never been to a food truck before!
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Have a great time in Austin! It’s such a fun city! We checked out a few of their food carts but didn’t get to spend nearly enough time experimenting. Can’t wait to read about your trip!
Bummer about your knee but at least you have a plan and if you keep a positive attitude that will definitely help!
You pretty much hit the nail on the head about tempeh, it is “meh”, but with flavorful sauces or cooked just right it can be somewhat good. I wish we had food trucks like that in MN, we don’t have anything like that!
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I find it so odd that I thought I’d eaten tempeh but really hadn’t!
We have so many food carts here in Portland. It’s super popular.
I’m so sorry about your knee. I completely understand. I’m a runner too, and am dealing with a hamstring injury right now. I haven’t run in over two weeks and it’s such a bummer!
I do silks, which is great for shoulders and abs. If you haven’t yet, you should look into taking aerial classes, like trapeze or silks. Portland is a big city, so I’m sure there are classes being offered. Good luck!
Thanks for your comment and suggestion, Grace. I haven’t heard of that class but I’ll see if it’s anywhere here in Portland. Do you have to be okay with heights to be able to do it? Yikes! Hope your hamstring injury heals fast.
I did a google search and there are a couple places offering aerial classes — http://pendulumaerialarts.org/classes.htm and http://nightflightaerial.com/. I think as long as you tell the instructors about your knee, they’ll help you work around that.
If you have a fear of heights, you might have a problem with flying trapeze, where you’d have to be about 20-30 feet above the ground. But with other circus arts, it’s just several feet above the ground.
Thanks! I hope my injury heals soon, too! It’s “runner’s butt.” It’s a pain in the ass! Ah ha ha ha!
The ones that aren’t too high up sound fun. Thanks for the links! I’ll check it out! Runner’s Butt? Is that like a strained sacrum? (I’ve had that before.) 🙂
Matt @ The Athlete's Plate
Bummer about the knee 🙁 At least nothing is torn!
Lisa, I do work for an orthopedic clinic and the diagnosis you got is probably one of the best possible ones to have. Overuse is the easiest thing to fix, as long as you follow the protocol. That means no cheating with sneaking in a run or doing any spin classes or anything like that. You can always work on upper body strength, too. You won’t gain a bunch of weight as long as you be mindful of what you eat, which you certainly are already doing.
When I was laid up with my back, I took that time to do things like puzzles and a lot more reading. Exercised my mind instead 😀
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That is good news, thank you! It does make me feel better. I will most definitely not cheat. I’m committed to doing this right. I’m trying to watch what I eat and that will definitely be the hard part.
I have a ton of books to pick up at the library, so I’m good on that! 🙂
Michelle @ Eat Move Balance
Oh, Lisa, I’m sorry to hear about your diagnosis. That is definitely no fun at all. I know it’s hard, but try and keep a positive attitude, and focus on what you CAN do. Work on upper body strength training, and focus on toning your arms (that’s my favorite to work out–my biceps and triceps). Embrace yoga . . . and maybe try a few different style classes. Some can turn out to be a great workout. Hang in there! You’ll be back to doing what you love sooner than you think.
P.S. Your salad does look amazing. Nice!!
Michelle @ Eat Move Balance recently posted..Have You Had a Feijoa?
The positive attitude will definitely be difficult. I’m trying though!
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats
So sorry to hear that. Injuries stink. I hope you recover quicker than they expect. 🙁 The food truck looks awesome! I love how they divided the menu- cute!
Melanie @ Nutritious Eats recently posted..What I Ate This Month & Meal Planning
I hope it’s quick too!
I ❤ 2 Eat
My favorite wrap is a tuna-guacamole wrap I make at home. I love avocados, and enjoy them in almost every wrap I can. Good news on my end is that we are going on a quick weekend trip to Puerto Rico this Friday. 🙂
Here’s wishing you a speedy six week road to rest and recovery, Lisa! Best to listen to doctor’s orders as you’ve been doing. Lots of good vibes.
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Oooh your wrap sounds delicious! And that’s fun that you are going to Puerto Rico. Can’t wait to hear about it!
Total bummer on the knees. 🙁
My favorite wraps all involve lettuce. With good bases like a well seasoned protein, something spicy -salsa or jalapeños, and some guacamole , who needs bread? Keeps carbs low and yummy to boot. I tried a local Paleo food truck last weekend. It was fab.
Take care with your knee. I find I can switch the carbs lower, the satiating fats like avocado and olive oil higher and in the end eat lower calories and still feel full on less active days. That and keeping my mind occupied. Lower on the inflammatory scale and keeps the weight in check. Good luck and rest up.
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Good tip on the avocado. I am often hungrier on rest days and I don’t want to overeat.