Everyone keeps asking me when I'm going to be better. How am I feeling? Am I improving? Well, it's taken me 6 months to get to this point. Six months of waiting, trying PT, getting no relief, trying PRP injections, getting no more than 20% relief, resting as much as possible, still getting minimal improvement. I finally have good news and hope for the future.
After I got back from Indiana, I went back to my routine of laying around as much as possible and resting. After another week of the same crap with no improvement, I was no longer frustrated. I was pissed. So I decided it was time to take charge of the situation myself. I found the article on endoscopic hamstring repair I read previously, looked up the doctor that wrote it, and called their office. Mind you, the office is in the LA area. Check out the article. It's not very long, and it's very informative.
To my surprise, after explaining my situation to the lady on the phone, I was told to gather my medical records and send them on over so the doctor could review them. I spoke to my doctor about this, and he gave me the green light. He honestly said he didn't know what else to do for me. SO frustrating! I gathered my medical records, MRI's, and my ultrasound and sent the package to Southern California Orthopedic Institute (SCOI).
After about a week and a half of waiting, I finally heard back from SCOI. Dr. Carlos Guanche recommends surgery. FINALLY!!!! SOMEONE will take some action and do more than just tell me to keep resting and waiting! He recommends orthoscopic ischial bursectomy, hamstring repair, and sciatic neurolysis. It sounds so crazy to say this, but the recommendation for surgery is the best news I've heard in six months!
So here is the plan: They can't schedule the surgery until January. This is unfortunate since (obviously) my deductible is met and I really just want to get going on this ASAP. However, God works in mysterious ways. The insurance I have right now is not a contracted insurance plan with the surgery center. Luckily, we are still in the open enrollment period at work, so I can change to a plan that IS contracted. I made some phone calls Friday, and determined that the plan I want to choose will not exclude this as a pre-existing condition (as they're not supposed to, but I had to make sure) and they will cover the surgery without a pre-auth! Wow. Talk about blessed, seriously!
So the questions:
- California? Yup! I have amazing family in the OC area that is going to let me stay with them, take me to and from the surgery, and take care of me until we can get me back to AZ.
- Has the surgery been successful? Yes. I don't expect it to allow me to run as fast as Susan Loken ;-), but I should be able to run again.
- How long will it take to recover? The first 4 weeks, I will be in a leg brace that will keep my leg at a 90 degree angle and will have to be on crutches. Every week after that, they will extend the leg by 30 degrees, and I will start PT during that time. By 4 months, it is predicted that I will be able to perform full unrestricted weight bearing activities. I am hoping to be back to work sometime during month three.
- When will I be able to run again? As I said, hopefully after month four, I'll be able to ease back into running with cross training and PT. I am signed up for the Santa Barbara half in early May, and that's not looking like it's going to happen. You make plans, God laughs, right? Yeah……..NYC Marathon class of 2014 God Willing baby!! 😀
- How do I feel about all of this? Honestly? I'm nervous. I'm also hopeful. That's about it at this point. I'll keep you posted. I do have a lot of questions for the doctor. My right leg is worse, but my left leg also has problems. I will be on crutches with a lot of weight on my left leg for over a month. What's going to happen to my left leg? What the heck is he going to do to my sciatic nerve? “Lysis” means to sever or cut. I'm concerned. I need details. I know I'll think of more questions. For now, I'm trying to take it one day at a time. Everything is falling into place, and that's not a coincidence. I'm in good hands guys.
So that is my update, and all of the information I have for now. I will definitely be doing more posts on this as I learn all of the details. Again guys, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of the support you've given me during all of this. Let this be two lessons for us all to take home: 1. Listen to your body, for the love of God! 2. If you want it done right, do it yourself. Never hesitate to be your own advocate. You are your best advocate, and most people out there aren't going to do everything for you. It's like pulling teeth getting someone to send a fax sometimes! Y'all know what I mean. I am glad I was made to be the strong, stubborn woman that I am. It has come in handy as of late ;-).
Stay tuned for some really awesome Spicy Peanut soup coming up later this week. Until next time!
P.S. Went to Ironman AZ today, and I think there's a possibility this might end up on my bucket list:
First step is get healthy. Second step is to figure out how I hold up in a triathlon. Third step is to complete a 70.3 without dying. Then we'll take it from there 😉