Losing Hope

September 23, 2016

Even though I just posted a blog post on 5 Ways to Stay Motivated During a Running Injury, the truth is that I have really been struggling these past couple of weeks with the fact I haven’t been able to run.

I want nothing more than to be able to wake up in the quiet, early hours of the day, pull my running clothes on as everyone else in the house is still sleeping, and pound the pavement as the sun starts to rise.

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I miss feeling fit and in shape.

I miss the quite time to clear my head.

I miss my heart pounding, my chest rising and falling, and feeling exhausted after a hard workout.

I miss feeling awake and alive after a workout.

I miss the runner’s high.

I miss lifting weights and feeling strong.

I miss the hobby that makes me who I am.

After nearly 3 months of nearly no running due to a bum hip flexor tendon, it is becoming harder and harder to ‘keep my chin up.’ I am losing hope that I will ever be able to run again. (Of course I know this isn’t true because I am bound and determined to get to the bottom of this.) I mostly feel like I missed out on 3 solid months of training and 3 months where I could have gained more fitness to help me reach my big, dream goal of a sub-3 hour marathon. I also know my time is limited if we want to have more kids.

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I’ve seen two physical therapists, two chiropractors, and a massage therapist. Most recently I’ve been seeing a chiropractor (who has done a lot more than your typical chiropractor), and he said that if my hip doesn’t improve soon with the work he’s done, then we’ll have to talk about getting a referral to a sports doctor for an MRI. Boo! This is not what I wanted to hear. He threw out two other options the hip injury could be: a hip labral tear or a sports hernia. Neither of us think it is a labral tear, but the sports hernia sounds slightly plausible after consulting Dr. Google.

It has been almost 3 months of dealing with this hip flexor issue, and it is getting harder and harder to stay positive about a timely recovery. I’m frustrated because I’ve taken 4+ weeks off of doing nothing and no progress was made. I’m frustrated because I have been doing my exercises, stretches, icing, and other prescribed activies at home with no results.

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In some ways this time off has been good. I have been able to sleep more, go on more adventures with Cullen, and I now will be able to empathize with other injured runners better.

With time I know I will heal, but I hope it is sooner than later. I know many others of you have spent a longer period of time waiting to get back to running, so I know it could be worse. I am just hoping and praying I can get to the bottom of this soon because I want it more now than ever before!

12 Comments
    1. Hi Michelle,

      I can understand how difficult and tiring this must be. I had a mountain biking accident where I broke the distal area of my collarbone last October. I went through months of wearing a sling, trying a bone healing stimulator and inevitably surgery this past May. It is only of recent that I can be active again, and not full-throttle, but closer each day -ranging from yoga to golf to moderate weight-lifting and full cardio.

      I have followed your blog for quite some time and having read your recent entries, it really might be best to just have the MRI now. Peace of mind is everything. A MRI will likely determine “what” is actually wrong, and from there you can plan a course of action. It sucks being relegated to “not knowing”, trying this, trying that and only obtaining so-so results. My 2c and hope you don’t mind my thoughts here.

      Wishing you a speedy recovery ๐Ÿ™‚
      Matthew

    1. Wait, it’s been THREE MONTHS and you haven’t had an MRI? When I had my hip flexor problems in 2013, the first thing my sports doctor did was send me to get an MRI because they didn’t want to guess at the problem and treat symptoms. It immediately let them rule out some big things. If I were you I would really, really push for a) an immediate referral to a sports medicine doc and b) an MRI. Three months of not knowing what the problem is and not being able to run is crazy!

      1. I mostly avoided going to a sports dr. because I was trying to avoid an MRI if I could (cost + not-that-great-for-your-body). :/

    1. Oh, dear, it’s a bad time to not be able to run, what with the darkness creeping in and the days getting colder. Can you swim? I was injured last fall in a freaky trail run accident and learning to swim freestyle saved my sanity. Not sure if you can swim with an injured hip, though. But swimming is the only other sport that gives me a high, not as much as a runner’s high but a nice little buzz nonetheless. Good luck, and hang in there. I’ll run a couple of nine minute miles for you, okay? P.S. It kind of sucks that men can’t have children, you know?

      1. I’ve thought about swimming, but I was trying to avoid paying more money for pool access, and it is even more inconvenient than going to the gym. Plus I hate jumping in the cold water! I agree it is about as close as I can get to the runner’s high.

    1. Never, ever give up! I know you won’t, but sometimes you need a reminder that this WILL heal. It truly sucks to be where you are now (I’ve been there many, many times) because you’re still not even sure what’s wrong and therefore what you need to do to recover. But you’ll get on the right track, hopefully after the MRI, and you will run again. For some reason after my daughter was born my body just decided to “explode” with injuries- just when I get over one another one crops up. But every single one of them has healed and yours will too. I have a sign up permanently in my living room just in case I need a reminder- “If you think you can’t run, stop thinking.”
      Good luck.

    1. I am really sorry you are going through this! Sending positive vibes to you.

    1. Michelle. I know how much running is your lifeblood. Get the MRI and from there you can start deciding what is next. You are an awesome mom and daughter-in-law and I keep you in my prayers.

      Kelly

    1. Ugh, so frustrating. I’m glad you’re seeing a Chiropractor – the hip flexor is not only controlled by the nerves in your lower back, we’ve come to realize that the psoas major and the iliacus are basically one muscle group, so working on the lumbar spine IS working on the hip flexor. Imaging may be worthwhile depending on your diagnosis and prognosis. Has any practitioner talked about using ultrasound (for an area like this, it’s basically just deep heat, but may promote cell repair) or laser? Laser, which of the two I think would be more helpful, but we are still trying to find out how helpful with research. I’ll attach some light reading about laser – maybe it’s worth talking to a PT about (if your Chiro doesn’t have it). It’s not painful to have done! Good luck and reach out if you have any questions!

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27141153
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26705460 (about chronic pain, but, I mean, you’ve had this awhile!)

      – If it is a “sports hernia”, check out this: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24526429 especially (2) for some suggestions about how to treat it conservatively

      Anyway, that’s a good start: PubMed is a great place to read about research done or being worked on – you can go down a rabbit hole about anything!

      Laura

      1. Thanks, Laura! I’ve had ultrasound and laser done in the past, but this chiropractor hasn’t done it–maybe he doesn’t have the equipment?? I will definitely read those articles; thanks for sharing!!

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