One girl's blog about living and running in NYC with BOB

Leave a comment

Time on my hands Part Two: D-Day

For those of you gracious enough to read my blog, I’d like to take the time to share with you my biggest vice in life and in this endeavor – procrastination.  Over the years, I’ve learned to accept this aspect of my personality.  Rather than trying to overcome it or address it directly, I’ve developed a habit of making lists, replying to voicemail and emails immediately and completing assignments as soon as they hit my desk. At work, this has helped establish my work ethic, as well as a reputation for being responsive and proactive – which I find kind of funny, considering. In life and in general, I’m not always so successful (see unfinished walls in paneled basement I swore to my husband I’d finish so my little girl could play there all winter).

I really wanted to start my story from the beginning – at the beginning. I wanted to share the trials and tribulations that come with living with an injury that strangely hurts more when you sit than when you run, that limits your ability to set physical goals and an injury that I have had to live with for a year simply because my preferred surgeon didn’t take my insurance and I was too jaded to seek out medical care that did fall under my plan.  But I didn’t. I procrastinated. And I am sorry for it. However, I appreciate the opportunity to redeem myself.

What kept me coming back to doing this blog was remembering the frustration I felt when I was injured, seeing doctor after doctor and numerous physical therapists, with no improvement and no real answers.  I was discouraged from getting an MRI and other tests (told I was too young or it was probably a nerve issue). I was told I had a weak hip flexor and administered a cortizone shot that left a hideous dimple in my leg that did nothing to help my discomfort. I saw a PT for almost two years, twice a week, for $45 a pop – in the end, resulting in unnecessary damage to my injury. When I looked up my symptoms online, I found nothing. Asked other runners, coaches, etc. – nothing. One day in PT, I asked for a bit of extra but-kicking. She had me doing single leg squats with a ball on the wall. My right leg – perfect. My left leg – zero stability. How could I work so hard and yet my leg was so off? This was when I decided to go for the MRI with or without a doctor’s advice. It was the right choice at the time and helped me to be more decisive and proactive in my own care years later when I became injured again. While I had some less than stellar experiences, I also had some very good ones – all of which I think can be valuable information for anyone who may also be at the mercy of an injury.

On January 9, 2013, I had my second hip labaral tear surgery, this time on my (no longer perfect) right leg. Good bye mobility, good bye driving, good bye control. Did I mention that I have an off the wall toddler and a three story home? It was a surprisingly tough decision, deciding to do this again, especially now. But I did it and so here I am, with tons of time on my hands and nowhere to go. Yesterday was a beautiful day here in NYC – 50 degrees and sunny. Sigh. Today, one of my besties (and running buddies) chatted with me about her race plans for the next few months (please note, while we have “race plans”, we are very much middle of the pack-ers and don’t take it all too seriously). It felt good thinking about what can be again, once I’m better. Although I procrastinate about most things in life, running is not one of them. I told my friend that I’ll be seeing her at the start line of the Brooklyn 1/2 in May. Now we just have to figure out how to manage child care for that day. I can’t wait!!!

Here are some specifics regarding my D-Day:

Recovery for hip laproscopy surgery varies based on the patient (e.g. age, physical condition, etc.), severity of the injury and other factors (e.g. bone abnormalities, cysts, arthritis, etc.). For me, the surgery was ambulatory/out patient. I was in at 10am, allowing an hour and a half for check in and prep (lots of paperwork, scrubbing yourself down with sterile wipes, putting on scrubs and nifty hospital socks, etc.). Surgery was from 11:30-1pm, which included time for positioning me and the cameras, as well as stitches, then dismantling the positioning. Regarding anesthesia, I opted for a spinal.  Other options include an epidural (same results, but different risks than a spinal) and general anesthesia. I was able to leave the hospital at 8pm when I finally got feeling back in my legs and feet. Those who go for general anesthesia can expect to leave within 3 hours of the surgery (with no complications). My post-op appointment with my doctor is in two weeks. The appointment will include taking out my stitches (3 tiny incisions on the front of my quad), checking my mobility and writing a prescription for physical therapy. I am expected to be out of work for 4-6 weeks and am currently using crutches, but am allowed to be partial weight bearing. I have no pain and did not fill my prescription for meds and don’t plan to. I have very limited rotation in my hip, making simple tasks very difficult (i.e. getting into and out of bed, putting on socks, pants, etc.). In the days since my surgery (now 6), I am gradually getting back some mobility. In the meantime, it’s nice to know I’m not alone:

Leave a comment

Time on my hands Part One: Lightening Strikes Twice

I promised to fill you in as to why I suddenly have so much time on my hands – so here goes part one:

Late November 2011, during the Rugged Maniacs obstacle course (a fun and fast urban 5K mud run), I jumped off  a police barricade (one of about 30) and landed way too hard on my right leg. My husband, who was running in front of me, heard the sound I made, chastised me (rightfully so, knowing my history of injuries) and asked that I please run around the remaining barricades. I listened. I was fine to continue and thought nothing of it.

About a month later, I started to feel a tightness in my hips following each run. Initially, I chalked it up to getting older and lugging around a 30 lb baby, whose favorite line was “Mommy up!”. At the same time, I was working on my overall fitness and weight management by taking a cardio/step/weight class at the gym. After a few sessions, I was having trouble lifting my right leg on the step and a red flag went up. You see, this isn’t the first time this happened to me. In 2005, during my first NYC Marathon, I tore the labrum in my left hip, although I didn’t learn of the proper diagnosis until almost 2 years later.

I immediately started calling Orthopedists. The doctor who treated my initial tear didn’t take my insurance. I had opted to go with my husband’s plan, which was fine and simple and affordable – and my daughter’s pediatrician accepted it. I found a couple of doctors, mostly at NYU, who accepted our insurance (GHI). I picked one specializing in sports injuries. I told him about my earlier tear and the presence of an impingement caused by a less than perfect bone on both my hip joint and socket. He X-Rayed my hip, finding no impingement on the right joint.

Diagnosis – I have a weak hip flexor.

Recommendation – take Advil every day and get some physical therapy to work on strengthening my hips.

Problem – (1) I don’t take anything on a daily basis other then birth control and (2) how is it that my hips are weak when I run 5x a week, work out with weights and specifically focus on my hips since I had a previous injury ???

I was furious. I called my doctor at Hospital for Special Surgery and told his staff what happened. They let me come in at a reduced fee since he didn’t accept my insurance and promised to find me an imaging place that did take it. While my injury was clearly in my hip, the symptoms were markedly different in my right hip than they were in the left a number of years earlier (I promise to share all the gory details later on). We crossed our fingers and hoped for the best.

Alas, when we got back my MRI results, it was clear – I had another tear and a cyst present in the front of my hip. It was February. I had new insurance and because of federal laws and taxation, etc., etc., I wouldn’t be able to have surgery until at least the following year. I cried my eyes out and went for a run.

For more information on hip labaral tears:

Leave a comment

BOB who?!

I’m not a big fan of social media. I don’t like sharing personal information with strangers (and sometimes even friends). I rarely put myself in the spotlight. I have never wanted to be the princess or the birthday girl.  Why then, you ask, am I starting a blog? Simply put, I’ve got a case of curiosity and a little extra time on my hands (I’ll elaborate more on the extra time in a future post).

I have a 9-5 office job that has been my life’s work since graduating college. My job suits my skills and makes the mortgage payments, but doesn’t usually satisfy my passions.  What are my passions, you ask? Well, as you may have picked up from my tagline, running is one of them. As is growing up and living in NYC.  Another is my family, especially now being a somewhat new mommy. My lovely black and gray BOB stroller (yes – that’s who BOB is!) allows me to maintain my passion for running and spend precious time with my munchkin and her daddy. She is now 2.6 years old and has been running with us in the BOB since she was one month old.

Then there’s this other thing – like I said before, I’m not big on gabbing about my personal life, however, I do enjoy writing very much and don’t get the opportunity to do so creatively while at work, caring for the family or running. So…I’m hoping this blog will help me to explore an untapped passion while sharing my experiences (as well as mistakes and lessons learned) in the world of running, parenting and other matters close to my heart.

More to come – thanks for visiting!

– Rachel