They say life is a rollercoaster. If you know me, you know I absolutely HATE rollercoasters. Motion sickness is horrific. I can’t even watch them Today’s blog is reaching the highest hill, going downhill, but instead of remaining on the tracks to take a curve, the carts are flying off the tracks and crashing at the bottom. That’s exactly how my heart feels right now.
Two weeks ago I did my first race in over 7 years. I was hesitant, but my niece talked me into it. It was a cancer run in celebration of my brother (her dad). How could I tell her no? My emotions weren’t ready to face survivors. (Especially one in particular who was diagnosed Stage IV throat cancer three weeks after my brother…and is still here) Don’t get me wrong, I am proud of them, but still Jim is no longer here.
I had been running, even with this aggravating hip. I got an injection (as I mentioned in prior blog). I wasn’t sure how my hip would hold up so I just wanted to finish still standing.
I was actually very hyped up as the event got closer. Missy and I dressed alike. We had super cool t-shirts and headbands made up for Jim. He would have been so ecstatic.
I felt pretty good as the race started. At the first 1/4 mile, though I had a hill. I was a little concerned because this was a golf course we were running. How many hills are there? Ortho told me to avoid hills, but then he didn’t have much compassion. (Probably because I told him I was running anyway). OK….I digress.
I felt I was keeping a decent pace. Best thing about running is how much of an independent sport it is. You are your own worst critic and own best competitor. There is nothing like that ‘runner’s high’ one gets after a run. It’s not a myth; it’s real. By the time I reached mile 2, my right leg became numb. The pain was so severe in my hip, I could no longer think. I couldn’t focus on anything, but I was not going to give up. My brother went through pure hell with his cancer. He never gave up. How could I give up with only a mile to go? I truly feel Jim picked me up and carried me to the finish with his angel wings. Pure pain and some gratification. The look on my face is a grimace…not happiness. I even ran back a mile to find my niece and bring her in. I barely remember doing that.
That event, in and of itself, was beyond emotional. I cried the entire time. I was completely floored when my name was called for winning first in my age division! WHAT?!
This is my 25th year of running…first race in over 7 years….and I won 1st in my division. This was not a fluke. This was the hill at the top of my rollercoaster.
Now we start going downhill. I have had three cortisone shots in my hips in the past 10 months. For some reason, my hip is getting worse. I have kept trying to lose weight but that isn’t helping. Ortho brushes me off with appointments. I’m not faking; I have NEVER asked for pain pills. He just gives me a shot to shut me up. But something just doesn’t feel right. I contacted the office AGAIN. They ordered an MRI to rule out a stress fracture, even though when he ‘glanced’ at my X-ray, he said there wasn’t one.
I went to my MRI a couple days ago. Dude straight up taped my feet together. Thank goodness it only last 30 minutes because I was hurting and numb from the angle. I have not run since the race.
I read the results that night online, but I’m not a doctor. I read it as arthritis and no stress factor.
But then yesterday morning, I got the call. I’m summarizing what the ortho nurse said, “significant cartilage loss and arthritis in hip joint especially for as young as you are, Dr. XXXXX can have radiology give you an X-ray guided steroid shot into the hip joint which will help, but basically if you keep running you are headed for a hip replacement.” She went on to say that should give me six months of relief. But I have to stop running. A hip replacement will be in my future anyway, but if I don’t stop running, I will need it sooner rather than later. And it’s starting to degenerate on my left side, too. Part of me wanted to tell the ortho to F*** off because deep down I don’t think he believed I was in so much pain. But…I was told I was one tough bitch being able to run that entire race….so I do have a high tolerance of pain. That made me feel good.
Running has been my love for 25 years. Running is THE ONE, the only, true love in my life. Now that is being taken away. I cried all day. I still have tears as I write this. I have never felt so disheartened. Nothing compares to running. Nothing compares to the satisfaction of completing all of those miles. I flipped through all of my running numbers, all of my medals, and lastly, the trophy I just won.
On Tuesday, I’ll have this very painful injection with hopes it will relieve pain. I don’t know what can fulfill the happiness running gave me. I don’t know what else to say. My rollercoaster has crashed and did not come to a full and complete stop….unless you consider the bottom of the canyon I just hit.
Only runners understand.
My last picture sums up my heart. After I brought my niece across the finish line, we hugged so tightly. We were both crying. I don’t know how I made it through the race without my brother carrying me, without Missy being there, and to do it in severe pain. BUT I do have the trophy to prove I am one tough bitch! I’ll always have that!
Peace Out, Trout!