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Who has dealt with a long injury cycle?

gdionelli

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I'm starting to think I should get the prize for the longest injury. Here's my timetable:

November 2015 - pikermi PR

January 2016 - hyper colleague insisted on helping me move stage equipment that he didn't know how to move (I was accustomed to moving it by myself and didn't need anyone being a "gentleman.") Result - sprained ankle.

March 2016 - Sprained ankle healed. Feral cat momma and kittens acquired and moved indoors, necessitating many trips up and down stairs. Ran a bit, but sinus infection prevented full return.

May 2016 - began running again in earnest, but very slowly and gradually.

June 2016 - peroneal tendons began popping painfully, the week before a long-planned anniversary hiking trip. Usual podiatrist not available, so cold-called and got an appointment with another. There may have been a reason this one had an opening. I was diagnosed (correctly) with peroneal subluxation. Prescribed "conservative treatment" (incorrectly.) That meant one month in a cast, one month of PT, and one more month of rest and prescription NSAID. The more medical journal articles I read, the more I saw the phrases "high failure rate" and "rarely successful" in relation to conservative treatment of peroneal subluxation. But I think insurance requires trying it before an MRI is allowed. I'd happily have paid for an MRI myself.

September 2016 - finally allowed to have MRI, which of course showed that I'd had a tear of a peroneal tendon all this time. Wasted summer.

October 13 2016 - surgery to repair tendon. Surgeon blithely said I'd be back to running in 6-8 weeks. 

End of November 2016 - finally started PT - still on crutches. PT lasted till...

End of April 2017 - when my insurance benefit ran out. I could walk fine, and run a little. PTs had watched me run, analyzed my gait, and given me exercises to correct imbalances in my hips and strengthen my toes and the other ankle. Ankle still bigger than the other one, and stiff, but perfectly trustworthy. I was the owner of two pairs of custom orthotics. 

May 2017 - began a return to running. Very slowly and gradually - starting with intervals of one minute running, one minute walking. 

June 2017 - pulled out my Newtons and did an interval run. After about the 4th interval I realized my big toe was hurting. I thought it was just a fleeting pain, but it has hurt off and on ever since when weightbearing. Two of my podiatrists have moved away, and a third one is not in my current medical practice, so I need a new one. My primary physician knew of my problem, so I thought I could get a referral by phone, but no - I have to go for a referral to the walk-in (no pun intended) clinic - which has very limited hours, all of which are times I teach. I'm planning to cancel teaching next week to get there, and hopefully I won't have to wait a month for the appointment.  I suspect sesamoiditis. My chiropractor suspects a bunion, my massage therapist turf toe. I wonder how fixable it will be since the main problem is that the ankle is still swollen and stiff.

Over the course of the last year and a half  I've gained a good bit of weight. For months my husband was doing all the shopping, and while I was in the cast and also after the surgery friends brought high-calorie meals, plus there might have been some comfort eating, too. I can walk and do the elliptical - but not for very long. I do ride a stationary bike, but even that starts to bother me after half an hour. Swimming is not my choice of exercise because I don't like soaking my violin callouses.  But I know the extra weight is not helping the injury.

I've tried not to post about this - really, it's no fun posting about non-running. I'd love to hear some happy stories about folks who have survived long injuries and returned successfully to running! I know it's going to be a long way back.

 

 

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I noticed your injury cycle started after the last time I was in WV. Maybe it's all due to Moose withdrawal?

Jokes aside, this truly sucks. I hope you see the end of it! Fingers crossed...

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Wow, sorry to hear that.

I've had an injury this year, but nothing like what you've gone through.

I am very new to running, only a couple of years of 3 or so miles every other day.  Last June I ran walked the Mt Washington auto road race.  It was a ton of fun.  Then in August 2016 I did the hill climb on my bike, also amazing, but really hard.  I had so much fun at both events that I decided to give them an honest go again this year.  I hired a coach in September last year to get me up the hill (both the run and ride) in 2017 in much faster times than 2016.  I was slowly increasing my miles both on the bike and on foot.  By February of 2017 I ran my longest run ever, 10 miles.  After that I started having knee pain.  Went to the ortho doc, they did an MRI, sprained my hamstring which I was feeling in my knee where it attached.  Fired the coach since I couldn't ride or run.  Did almost nothing for months, got pretty depressed about my up coming summer.

I had been seeing a PT for a while (since Feb 2017), he said I could start back on the treadmill at an incline.  He told me the type of injury I had would not like the pounding / stopping sensation from running, but that would be reduced if at an incline.  I slowly started adding the time on the treadmill at 12% and was able to do the hill climb again this year.  He also gave me exercises to help stabilize my hips, I had never done any of those.  If I had, I probably never would have been injured at all.

I made it to the top, that's the best I can say about the walk.  I ran almost none of it this year.  I have already started training for next June.  I was not able to do the hill ride this year, not sure if I want to try to do it again.  I can always say I did it, that was 2 hours of pure, unrelenting torture.

At this point I feel I am mostly healed.  The knee still hurts at times, but it's a lot better.  I'm maybe 75% as fit as I was this winter.  I am being cautious about starting back to fast.  I'm finally up to 3 miles every other day.  Next month (tomorrow) I will go to 4 miles every other day.  I will make it up that hill again.

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Good for you. Sounds like you're coming back sensibly.

I think we all should do hip exercises. My PTs gave me some really good ones and I felt like my hips were working much better than before when the toe thibg sidelined me.

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I think I have you beat on both length of injiury as well as the number of custom inserts. My running started to gradually reduce late 2014 and by February 2015 I had to tap out. Three podiatrists, three sets of custom inserts. Not a contest that I particularly like to know I'm leading, but you haven't given up and neither will I!!!! And don't even get me started on weight gain - GAH! I seemed to be doing okay until around this time last year and WHAMO!! I wake up one morning and could barely button any of my pants :| and my arms - well, let's just say that even after I stop waving, they have a mind of their and just keep on jiggling 'till long after you are around the corner and out of sight. It's been very hard on me mentally - I had struggled with weight my entire life and running finally helped me find my way back from a long-term prison of eating disorders and what not. I can't say that I haven't thought about going back there in times of considerable panic, it really would be all too easy, but remembering those dark days and what it took to walk away from it all - if I can get through that I can get through this.

If it helps any, just keep Catchowder's (Lynsey Bray in Loopville) scenario in the back of your mind. Debilitating back pain for the past several years, then back fusion surgery in July if I'm not mistaken, and she is now up to walking 2 miles non-stop, is off pain meds, and is noticing continued improvement. 

Sadly, it comes down to finding a doctor who is on the same page and thinks in terms of finding the cause - not just treating the symptoms. It's sad that we have to claw and fight the very people whom we pay (and are supposed to trust) to help us get better! 

Hang in there lady - someday you, me, and Lynsey will cross the finish line - maybe even all together in person and not just in spirit!

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Sorry about the injuries.

I've never been injured for that long - my cycle was get injured, start training, get close to big race and get injured again (repeat over and over).  

Have you tried a rowing machine?  Might be able get a decent workout that way.  I would have said swimming but I can understand the need to preserve beneficial calluses. 

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That's a long time gdionelli!  Fingers crossed you'll be back to running some time soon.  I've been more or less injured for close to a year now.  PF is almost in my rear view mirror.  I'll bloop about it when I get a chance.  Good luck to both of us!

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I had to google peroneal tendon to know what you were struggling with. I have had difficulty in the same area but it turned numb rather than painful. Strangely, both outside edges of my feet are numb, but I haven't mentioned it to any doctor since no feeling is better than no pain. Sounds like a sad love song.

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4 hours ago, running_eng said:

 

Have you tried a rowing machine?  Might be able get a decent workout that way.  

I haven't tried a rowing machine recently - early on in the ankle rehab it bothered me. But maybe I'll try it next time I'm at the Y - the stationary bike really bores me!

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5 hours ago, meowmom said:

I think I have you beat on both length of injiury as well as the number of custom inserts. My running started to gradually reduce late 2014 and by February 2015 I had to tap out. Three podiatrists, three sets of custom inserts. Not a contest that I particularly like to know I'm leading, but you haven't given up and neither will I!!!! And don't even get me started on weight gain - GAH! I seemed to be doing okay until around this time last year and WHAMO!! I wake up one morning and could barely button any of my pants :| and my arms - well, let's just say that even after I stop waving, they have a mind of their and just keep on jiggling 'till long after you are around the corner and out of sight. It's been very hard on me mentally - I had struggled with weight my entire life and running finally helped me find my way back from a long-term prison of eating disorders and what not. I can't say that I haven't thought about going back there in times of considerable panic, it really would be all too easy, but remembering those dark days and what it took to walk away from it all - if I can get through that I can get through this.

If it helps any, just keep Catchowder's (Lynsey Bray in Loopville) scenario in the back of your mind. Debilitating back pain for the past several years, then back fusion surgery in July if I'm not mistaken, and she is now up to walking 2 miles non-stop, is off pain meds, and is noticing continued improvement. 

Sadly, it comes down to finding a doctor who is on the same page and thinks in terms of finding the cause - not just treating the symptoms. It's sad that we have to claw and fight the very people whom we pay (and are supposed to trust) to help us get better! 

Hang in there lady - someday you, me, and Lynsey will cross the finish line - maybe even all together in person and not just in spirit!

I thought after I posted this, "well, duh, of course Meowmom and Catchowder have me beat!"  I do think the weight gain is adding insult to injury. I lost 40 pounds about 10 years ago (a year or so before I started running), gained about 10 back after hitting menopause, but then kept the rest off...until this. I, too, had struggled with weight my whole life and thought I had mastered it.  You're right about finding the right doctor - it's hard to believe I will, but I have to try! 

No, we're not giving up!

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1 hour ago, Apple Pie said:

That's a long time gdionelli!  Fingers crossed you'll be back to running some time soon.  I've been more or less injured for close to a year now.  PF is almost in my rear view mirror.  I'll bloop about it when I get a chance.  Good luck to both of us!

I hope that nasty PF is stuck way back in traffic, never to reappear!! Good luck to you, too!

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1 hour ago, Brian said:

I had to google peroneal tendon to know what you were struggling with. I have had difficulty in the same area but it turned numb rather than painful. Strangely, both outside edges of my feet are numb, but I haven't mentioned it to any doctor since no feeling is better than no pain. Sounds like a sad love song.

How odd! I hadn't heard about numbness there. And yes, what a great line for a song lyric!

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Well, what do you know: the site seems to be working!  Anyway, this is my inaugural comment, and boy, do you need one!

I'm currently trying to break free of my own 14-month injury cycle--in my case, an inflamed piriformis/sciatica combo, with a possible touch of arthritic hip on the left side.  During that time, I've run only two races, and only one of them at an all-out effort.  I've been unable to do speedwork (a mixed blessing, in my opinion), because it causes me to relapse.  And I'm running about 45 seconds/mile slower than I was in 2015.  But I'm making progress, doing what I can safely do and adjusting my expectations.  I'm back up to about 25 miles/week, with hill repeats and careful tempo runs to add some safe intensity to the easy runs.  I do a lot more icing and ibuprofen, plus some additional stretching and core work as a preventative.  And next Sunday I'm running a half marathon--my first since March of 2016.  I doubt that I'll ever get back to where I was, but that's due partly to the aging process.  And it's actually made me grateful: grateful that I was able to run some big events, like Loopfests and other destination races when I was healthier.  And I still have a lot of hope, because I had similar problems around 2010 (which almost prevented me from running in the original Loopsterfest), but recovered completely.  In fact, at one point (2013-2016) I had no injuries at all and did my best running since college.  Over time, I think I've been better able to recognize the limits of what I could do, training-wise, and make adjustments.  But the learning curve is still underway.  I wish you the best, because I'd like to be able to read more of your adventures!

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Thanks, AB. I hope you're able to enjoy your pikermi, regardless of speed. And it gives me hope that you got back from your 2010 problems. That damn "aging process" - I was planning to nip it in the bud by staying in shape - and then the stage accident changed everything.  Now I'm really concerned about it.

I'll expect a big race report from you after next week's race!!!

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Is this where I join the long injury club? I've had PF on and off since mid-2015. Every time I start trying to run again it comes back. I just started up again and I'm taking it real slow (like 1min run, 4 min walk slow) and lots of stretching and exercises. I'm hoping this time it'll work. I haven't ran anything more than a not-all-out 5K since Bandera in January 2015. I miss it.

 

I hope you can find a good doctor and heal from this stuff once and for all!!

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Dang! I'm sorry you're going through this stuff, too. I hope the rehab works for you this time. Wish we lived closer to each other - we could run-walk together!

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I've had some small calf tears that healed fairly quickly but then a months long bout of shin splints and PF on and off again for now over a year has kept me out of any serious running. It's gotten ok enough that I can walk a lot and do some shorter runs but I always feel the stiffness the next day. Last "real" race was a half marathon three Aprils ago. :(

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Maybe those planks and the resulting core strength once the new arrival has arrived will help your other problems! 

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I knew you'd been struggling for a long time, but didn't pay attention to the fact that it's been almost 2 years. How depressing. And navigating the referral process can feel so defeating. I'm glad you're ready to start fighting back again - hope you get some relief this time.  

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1 minute ago, ComplusiveRunner said:

I knew you'd been struggling for a long time, but didn't pay attention to the fact that it's been almost 2 years. How depressing. And navigating the referral process can feel so defeating. I'm glad you're ready to start fighting back again - hope you get some relief this time.  

Thanks, Carol!

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Developed peroneal tendinitis around 10 months ago- first in one leg and then in the other.  Just starting to come out on the other side.  Its never ending or at least feels that way.  Good luck!

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1 hour ago, Running Nutz said:

Developed peroneal tendinitis around 10 months ago- first in one leg and then in the other.  Just starting to come out on the other side.  Its never ending or at least feels that way.  Good luck!

So sorry. I had had twinges in my peroneal tendons in the past, but it was apparently the sprain that caused the subluxation and tear.  PT seemed to indicate that calf stretches would be the most important thing to protect peroneal tendons from injury. Hope you stay out on the other side!

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Stupid bodies...Hang in there. There's got to be some light at the end of this tunnel.

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49 minutes ago, BANGLE said:

Stupid bodies...Hang in there. There's got to be some light at the end of this tunnel.

Thanks, Bangle. Just got a referral for a new podiatrist - I'm looking for light!

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That's a serious rough patch, hope you're nearing the end of it. 

Worst I had was stubborn runner's knee on and off cor a couple years, but nothing like this. Once I finally got the right PT and strength regimen, beat it and have been running steadily since. Hang on, you'll get back there too. 

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