Plants First, Fish Next

The original intent of this journal was to chronicle the trials and tribulations of the struggling twenty-something, as I searched for love and happiness in the small city-burb of ManchVegas, NH. Now, I'm thirty-something, I've found love in many forms, happiness in even more, and now the struggle is just... well... life. And finding time to do the million and one things I want to do- including writing.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Doctor, Doctor, Gimme the News

I've got a bad case of.... tendinitis. 

I ran for the first time in over a week on Sunday.  2.2 miles, mostly dirt.  My hip was bothering me a bit when we were done.  Ten minutes after it was bothering me a lot.  An hour later, I was limping.  The next day, pain still.

The worst part about being injured is the total lack of control I have over it.  Sure, I can keep from injuring it further, mostly, but really I can't do anything to help.  And I hate it.  I hate that it slows me down.  I hate that I walk like an old lady if I've been sitting on it too long.  I hate that I think about it when I'm playing hockey or want to go running or snow shoeing.  I hate that it makes me cry, not from the pain but from the frustration.  Mostly I hate that it's keeping me from spending time with My Runner doing what we love. 

So I did the only thing I have control over.  I called my doctor on Monday to follow up.  A week of rest, ibuprofen, and ice and/or heat had not improved anything.  My pain was mostly gone during that week, but it often felt stiff or sore.  And obviously running aggravated it again.  The answering service took my information (yeah, they were open, they just screen calls with a service - how bureaucratic of them...) and I started looking for Physical Therapy offices. 

My Dad had a great suggestion - call a local running club for suggestions.  My Runner, taking it a step further, suggested I contact the local running store, as the local running club operates through them.  His suggestion was spot-on; they had several referrals for me.  Ultimately I chose a place that was relatively close by, and one of the staff is acquainted with My Runner.  Hopefully I won't feel as anonymous as I do at my doctor's office.  I called to ask if I needed a referral or prescription from my doctor (I did), and asked them to fax over any new patient forms I'd need to fill out (they did).  The nurse from my doctor's office called in as I was finishing that conversation.

She confirmed what I had told the answering service (seriously?  why bother?), and I spoke to her about PT.  She said, "Sounds like tendinitis to me.  There's no cure for that."  ::pause::  Yeah, ok, well I'd like to keep it from recurring.  "Well, it's not like we can perform surgery on it.  It doesn't go away."  ::more pause::  Yes, I understand, but I lead an active life style and I would like to work with a Physical Therapist so I can learn to keep this in check and avoid the pain.  "Oh.  Well, I'll have to go talk with the doctor."

Really?  Jeeze... ok.  Already diagnosed it as tendinitis (coulda told you that a week and a half ago when you said ibuprofen and ice, but ok), and now we need to "talk" to the doctor to see if it's ok if I go to PT?  Fine. 

"The doctor wants to see you before she gives you a prescription for PT.  Would you like an appointment next week?"  No, I want your next available appointment.  "Ah.  Tomorrow, 9:15am?"  Yes.  See you then.

Tuesday morning I arrive at the office at 9:10am, wait the customary 15 minutes, am ushered into an exam room where the medical assistant takes my pulse (51 bpm, not bad) and blood pressure (82/174 - is that good?  I don't even know....), and asks AGAIN what's wrong.  As she's writing it into the computer I wonder how many other entries they have with the EXACT SAME information.  You know, what I've told the answering service twice, the nurse twice, and now the medical assistant?  She leaves, the doc comes in, and asks me THE SAME DAMNED QUESTIONS.  And guess what?  She types them into the computer.  ::sigh::  I feel like some sort of typing test - who can type my complaint the fastest with the least amount of missed keystrokes?

She has me take off my pants (hottt, yeahh) and pushes around my hip a bit asking where it hurts.  I know this is a formality, but seriously, I pointed to my hip flexor tendon, and said, "It hurts here."  Guess what?  That's the only place she found where it hurt.  Then she had me push my leg around in different directions, I suppose to see WHICH hip tendon hurt when I was using it.  Ready for the big surprise?  Yeah, there's not one.  Same result.  Good job doc.  I'm sure she just had me in to collect the fees from Anthem.  Awesome.  Way to be a part of the big machine.

She tells me she's gonna send me to PT (duh - would have walked out and taken my insurance card to another office right then and there if she hadn't), and that they would help build up the muscle in my legs and lower torso to take some of the strain off my tendon.  Sure, whatevs, hon.  Just get the script and let me put my pants back on. 

At checkout I tell the nurse what PT office I had chosen.  She assures me she'll fax them my info and they'll contact me.  I'm an impatient sort - I ended up calling them that afternoon and set up an appointment for tomorrow.  I faxed in my patient information forms, and hopefully, starting Thursday, I'll be on the road to recovery.

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  • At 6:58 PM , Blogger Heather said...

    I'm glad you're diligently pursuing treatment. And yeah, all of that restating my case would've made me want to hurt someone with a tongue depressor.

  • At 8:20 PM , Blogger Suz said...

    No surprise after all that frustration but your bld pressure was a bit high -- 174 is really too high for an under 30 healthy chick. Don't end up like me -- all hypertensioned out -- and start watching that.


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