Friday, August 26, 2011

Pain in the A#!

Arm, that is.

I've put in a few less-than-fascinating long runs since my last post, but they weren't the sort of runs that make for great blogging. My left upper chest hurt when I ran, which made for some unpleasant running. I'm a nurse, I couldn't help thinking, "left chest? It must be my heart!" I remember feeling that I couldn't get a good deep breath while doing the steeper climbs at MMD. Afterwards I noticed I felt "winded" and sore just running uphill easy or mountain biking up small hills. I went so far as to get my stethoscope out of my bag on one occasion, and attempt to listen to my own heart and lungs after a run. I felt kind of silly when I realized the guy in the next car was watching me. But everything sounded fine, so I correctly attributed it to my injuries from my mountain bike accident on July 10th. My left arm had also remained painful since then and was keeping me awake at night and making me cry out when I moved it in certain ways. Throughout the day and night I had been frequently shouting out, "OW-OW-OW." People were beginning to think I had Torrett's Syndrome.

After my thumb and forefinger became painful and tingling on the effected side during a long run, and stayed that way, I finally decided I needed to go see a doctor. The sports medicine people still had my record on file after almost ten years of no injuries worthy of medical attention (other than the broken neck...and they don't know about that one.) Dr. Bean looked through the record...stress fractures, plantar facciitis, muscle sprains and tears, herniated discs, tendinitis, etc...and mused that I must have given up running about ten years ago. I countered, "no, I'm just not that hard on myself anymore." Overuse injuries haven't been an issue for me in years, it's these darned traumatic injuries from biking. Sometimes I think my bike doesn't like me, what with the way it keeps throwing me off. Kevin's bike doesn't do that to him.

The diagnosis is a rotator cuff tear as seen by X-ray. I'll have an MRI on Monday to determine how extensive it is. I thought for sure the chest and the arm were two different injuries, but it seems the pain all comes from the same spot. Surgery will likely be necessary, but I will try to put it off until I can get some good Fall mountain biking in and attempt to run the Virgel Crest 100 at the end of September. I mentioned to Kevin that whether I had to have surgery before Virgel Crest or not, maybe I could run it with my arm in a sling. He said, "what if you trip?" Oh. I hadn't thought of that. I'd have to figure something out, maybe ace bandage my upper arm to my chest leaving the forearm free? I'll be sure to take photos if it comes to that.

Well, I've had a really great Summer and done a lot of fun stuff. Kevin and I both love the Fall, and no matter what I'm sure we'll have a great one. This weekend we are going back to the scene of the accident, The Kingdom Trails in East Burke, Vermont! I'll be careful. I promise!

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to hear about the injury. I injured my rotator cuff in a ski fall in March and I'm still not 100%. I'm staying away from surgery so far, and getting most of my treatment from a chiropractor - Graston plus ART and rehab on my own. Hopefully, you can avoid the surgery, but if not, I'm sure you'll recover quickly and be right back to the things you love. Good luck.