Thursday, November 10, 2011

My Torn Calf Muscle - Part II: My Sports Doctor Appointment

My Torn Calf Muscle - Part I: Doctor Referral

November 3rd - Initial Appointment with a Sports Doctor

Funny to feel happy about seeing a doctor!

I was assigned to Dr. J. I arrived at my appointment armed with plenty of questions and a calendar record of all my runs, my injury dates, etc. The doctor laughed at my preparedness and we got down to business.

The highlights:

  • I made an error in judgment running "too soon" after my injury at the half marathon. She reprimanded me this - LOL! However, I defended myself by telling her that if my calf had hurt, I would never have continued running. Unfortunately, it only felt like a tight muscle at the time, a cramp, rather than an injury. She agreed that hindsight is 20/20. :)
  • I explained that in the time between my walk-in clinic appointment and this one, my left calf had actually 'worsened.' I experienced sharp, shooting pains up my leg when cooking at Thanksgiving (on my feet in the kitchen for a longer-than-normal time period), and that it bothered me (ached; shooting pains; tightening along the calf in waves), usually after I walked the dogs and after yoga, even though it felt fine while participating in physical activity.
  • I repeated to her what the walk-in clinic doctor had advised me. She frowned and made a few facial expressions, indicating her disapproval of this advice. However, she didn't say anything negative about it, but simply said that I was able to be pro-active about my healing.
  • My absence from running will be for a longer period of time. :( I was 4-1/2 weeks into my "6 weeks off" advice from the walk-in clinic. Dr. J told me that I would need to be off longer, that it would be closer to 8-9 weeks before I could run again on a treadmill with a physiotherapist in a controlled setting. I didn't like hearing that, but I admit it made sense to me. My calf/leg has hurt more in the last two weeks that it did while I was running on it (!!) so I could feel that it wasn't going to be read for a return to running within another week or so.
  • Dr. J spent more time studying and touching my calf, and said that she could feel the difference between my right and left calf. She could also see an area on my hurt leg that was lightly protruding (swelling). She also poked around my calf, establishing where it hurt and where it did not.
  • When I told Dr. J about my achilles tendon injury from last year, and how I had been reading about injuries stemming from a previous injury or connected to another problem area in the leg. She was interested in this, asked me several questions about it, and spent a little time poking around my left achilles tendon.

So this is where I am at ... I have:
  • an ultrasound booked in a week for my calf and achilles tendon
  • a physiotherapy appointment booked for the day after my ultrasound
  • a follow-up appointment with Dr. J in two weeks from my initial appointment with her.
I was told that my leg will heal and that I will run again. :) However, this part of my leg might be a little bit of an issue for me in the future, in that I will need to really warm it up in the future (pay extra attention to ensuring it is warmed up well before a run).

I am feeling much better about my leg. I have gone from being told "nothing you can do about it" to an ultrasound (to see what it really looks like in there), several appointments with a doctor specializing in sports medicine, and a series of physiotherapy appointments. I am especially pleased with the ultrasound because I want a picture of what has happened to my muscle.

Physiotherapy Referral Notes:

DIAGNOSIS - L calf strain 7-1/2 weeks ago; suspect partial tear at MTJ 4-1/2 weeks ago

L Achilles pain 1 year ago - resolved on it own



COMMENTS: stretches; strengthening; ROM, proprioception; modalities


Wednesday, November 9, 2011

My Torn Calf Muscle - Part I: Doctor Referral

I am sooooo behind on my posts. :( Funny how my running injury has killed my desire to post on my blog, too. :(

I have three race posts to edit and publish: my Springbank Half Marathon from September, my Festival City 10K, and my missed 10K in Grand Bend - the Pinery Provincial Park Run. I keep promising to get this done!

However, I am also behind on my posts on doctor's appointments, physio, etc. so I am going to jump in at this point. because my race reports are already five weeks+ late. I should get the more 'timely' posts done first and then catch up on the others when I can. That's my theory anyway! :)

OCTOBER 19th - Walk-in Clinic Doctor Visit

In London, we are extremely fortunate to have the Fowler-Kennedy Clinic. From the moment that I realized I truly had an injury, I knew that I wanted to be treated by the FKC.

I called the clinic and was told that I needed a referral from my doctor. Because they still had a few appointments available at the end of the week, I went to a walk-in clinic that day rather than booking an appointment with my family doctor. I wanted a quick referral. :)

My appointment with the doctor at the walk-in clinic was quick. He barely looked at my calf, putting his hand around it and squeezing it a few times. We spent our time together discussing my injury. He was nice, but dismissive of referring me to the FKC - "They are only going to tell you what I am about to tell you." The doctor told me that runners hurt themselves 'all the time' in this area, that it was a common injury, and all that I needed to do was to stop running for 6 weeks and my leg would be fine. I told him that I was interested in facilitating the healing, that there must be something I could do besides ice packs/heating packs (which is what he also advised). He showed me the basic calf stretch most runners are familiar with - the lean against the wall , bend one leg, keep the other leg straight and stretch. He said if I had extended benefits, I could take advantage of physiotherapy and then wrote me a physio referral.

However, I did stress that I still wanted to see a sports doctor about my torn calf muscle, and a referral to the FKC was the main reason I had come into the clinic. He had no problem with my request for a second opinion, but it did leave me feeling a little mixed. My gut feeling is that my left achilles tendon injury at this time last year is connected to my current torn calf muscle on the same leg. I could follow this doctor's advice, and just not run for six weeks (with the caveat of seeing him again in six weeks if it was still bothering me), similar to what I did last year (the "do-nothing-but-rest-and-no-running" approach), or I could see this as a sign that my left leg needs to be treated professionally.

As it turns out, it took a week for the FKC to call me with an appointment with a sports doctor. In the interim, I started thinking that my referral was going to be 'refused.' :( Silly of me, I know, but this reflects how the seeds of doubt were planted by the walk-in clinic doctor that I might be making this injury more serious than it really was.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

London Honda Series 2011

The Series came to an official close last night for 2011. :)

Anyone who follows this blog knows that I participate in two different running series based out of our local Runners' Choice - the Runpiker Series (8 races outside of London throughout SW Ontario)* and the London Honda Series (6 races in London). To close the Series, there is a social/awards night held at a downtown bar/restaurant, The Honest Lawyer. Ben and I met my racing friend and her BF for drinks to celebrate the end of local summer racing, and to cheer all the winners from the different age categories. If interested in how the points are accumulated, check it out here. Again, anyone who follows this blog might remember that one of my goals for the year was to place 5th in my age category so I could win a $10 gift certificate to the store - woo hoo! :) I knew I wasn't fast enough to place in the top positions, but by participating in all the races, a runner can get an additional 30 points, and this is what I was counting on to bump me up in the rankings. :) I was on track until I injured myself at the 5th race - the Springbank Half Marathon. As a result, I could not run in the Halloween Haunting race a few weeks back, and ended up 'losing' potential points that would've made me a contender - LOL! I ended up in 8th place instead. Oh well - it's all in good fun. :) Maybe I can place 5th place next year. :) As it turns out, I have a very competitive age group. :)

Highlights from the evening:
  • Although the races attracted approximately the same number of runners as last year, twice as much money was raised this year over last year's "best-to-date." The organizer/store owner attributed this to the internet. When runners registered for a race, their name was automatically "linked" to a donation page. This made it easier for runners to solicit donations from others. Just awesome!
  • My name may not have been drawn for the Las Vegas trip top prize, but I did win a beautiful long sleeved winter running shirt. Love it! :)
  • Leslie Sexton won for her age group and it was then pointed out that she WON the half marathon in the Scotiabank Half Marathon in Toronto a month ago. VERY COOL! Ben and my racing friend's BF both reacted when she walked up to the microphone to accept her award - Oh her! We know her - she always crosses the finish line first! :) My racing friend and I just laughed because we don't know her - we are usually far behind her in these races. :)
  • Kudos to Runners' Choice - they already have next year's races planned and registration online will be ready within a few weeks. I have already added these dates to my calendar and can start planning for 2012. Love that! :)
As sad as it is to see the season close, it is just as well for me since I can't run just yet and I have some recovery weeks ahead of me before I can start training again. I am still seriously considering joining the half marathon clinic in January 2012 for the Forest City Road Races HM in April. I think this is do-able, but can't state that confidently until I know more about my torn calf muscle and where I am at with it.

I still enjoy the daydreaming about it. :)

*For participating in the Runpiker Series, I received a complimentary running shirt at the last race in Grand Bend. I mentioned this in my draft blog post that I have yet to publish! :(

Saturday, November 5, 2011

10, 000 Blog Hits

This blog reached 10,000 hits earlier today. Very, very cool! Thank you for contributing to this number of views since I started tracking them. :)

Unfortunately, I have been a poor blogger of late. I am also waaaaaay behind on checking my favourite blogs, too. :( There's not much to say on a blog which tracks my personal running experiences when I haven't been able to run for 5 weeks! :( I will try to be better at it from this point forward. As one of my DM friends pointed out to me through a PM, recovering from a running injury should be considered a part of training. I was encouraged to think of it this way so I am taking it to heart and will add my recovery notes to my running diary/blog.

Months ago, I spent some time writing and scheduling the twice weekly "Food Rules" posts for up until the end of October (when my race schedule was pretty much wrapping up for 2011). These posts were intended for my days off from running so that there would still be a daily post when I didn't have a regular run or race to post about. However, I didn't have an "in-case-of-injury" contingency plan prepared. :( I am putting a pause on it for now (essentially for the months of November and December), and will resume them (there are 60+ Food Rules in total) once my next round of training starts. I am still trying to figure out what is realistic for me ...

I have a few posts I need to catch up on - my Springbank Half Marathon post which was written ages ago, but went MIA when life became too busy and my home computer died for a few weeks. Time to finish those edits ... I will get this done. :) I have a doctor / ultrasound / physiotherapy update to report on and an overdue Festival City Run draft post, too. Last weekend, I volunteered at the Halloween Haunting Run so I have to get crackin' on this.

So here's to 10,000 hits and counting. :) Cheers!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

BI-YEARLY REVIEW: May 2011 - October 2011


May = 151.4 km

June = 138.6 km

July = 220.3 km (my highest month-to-date by 40 km)

August = 203.4 km (my second highest month-to-date)

September = 169.2 km (initial injury month)

October = 19.8 km (torn calf muscle month)

TOTAL KM = 902.7 km

Previous Bi-Yearly Review: November 2010 - April 2011
TOTAL KM = 521.1 km

Previous Bi-Yearly Review: May 2010 - October 2010
TOTAL KM = 752.66 km