I promised an update on my injury today, so I’m doing my best to follow through.
So here’s the short of it. My last post about my leg was right after I got my ultra sound for a possible blood clot. The hospital sent me on my way after it was over since I had been given no further instructions for when I was done at radiology. I was to have the follow up appointment the next afternoon and that appointment left me feeling more frustrated.
I showed up, waited around, finally got brought into an exam room, waited some more. Finally the Doctor came in. The appointment, if he had gotten his way, was going to take all of 30 seconds. He quickly told me that radiology never read my ultra sound results and that it was suggested that I take a daily aspirin and come back in five days. And that was exactly where he intended to leave things. Take an aspirin and come back in a week. I don’t think it occurred to him that if I had a blood clot I could be, um, dead in five day..?!
I told him no.
He got confused. He suggests I go to a second hospital for a second ultra sound.
I told him no.
Frustrated with me, he says, well, in my opinion, you don’t have blood clot. My guess is it’s a muscular tear. Keep taking ibuprofen and I’ll see you next week for your follow up.
I told him no. I tell him if it’s soft tissue damage that I want an MRI. That is the next logical step and I will not be shooed out that easily. I paid my respective copay and you better earn it for that shitty advice.
Annoyed, he asks about my pain. This is not the same doctor I saw the day before and he doesn’t seem to thrilled to be forced to actually touch my leg. He checks my leg and knee out for a minute then agrees to order the MRI. He shoos me to the front desk to get it scheduled. They can squeeze me in first thing the next morning. Perfect.
I show up Friday morning for my MRI. It’s the one that is attached to their walk in clinic. I’m handed lots of paperwork and before I can start filling it out I’m whisked away to a small changing room where can leave my stuff. The girl vigorously takes notes on my paperwork before letting me finish filling it out. The last page has a disclaimer about Excellus insurance being out of network. I refuse to sign the last page until they can tell me if my insurance will cover the MRI. I will not go through with it if there’s a hefty bill coming my way. They tell me it’s covered, swipe my copay and take me back. All the while the girl whisking me around and the MRI tech as asking about my pain. I keep saying “It’s my calf that hurts.”
Soooo, your knee?
No, my calf.
We’re going to be imaging you right knee today.
Do not image my knee. My calf hurts. I want the images for my calf. DO NOT image my knee.
I’m handed earplugs and told to lay down. The yank both my legs around into position then slide me into the MRI. I lay listening to the clanking through my earplugs for about 20 minutes. I have a bad feeling they imaged my knee. And once it was all done, I had gathered my things and headed back out to the reception area, I asked about a follow up. I assumed I’d walk next door and have it read today. Nope, next week. That next week appointment that I was supposed to go to after all the aspirin I was supposed to take still stands and now instead of my radiology report it becomes an appointment for my MRI report.
The disc with my images is handed me. The label on the disc reads “right knee” I promptly lose me cool. I start to tear up in frustration. I ask about a sooner appointment. Nope, can’t have anything sooner. In a fit of anger I tell them they can go ahead and cancel my appointment because their level of care and attentiveness is garbage, I will not be coming back, and “I didn’t want images of my fucking knee.” Oops. Sometimes my mouth gets the best of me. The two girls and tech stare at me. One softly apologises. I give her a death glare, turn and storm out as best as I can while having to drag my leg behind me.
I get to my car and have a good cry. Then I drive right to my sports med doctor’s facility, I come hobbling in in tears and all the women at the front immediately flock to me. They can’t squeeze me in today, but can get me in Monday. I can’t do Monday. First thing Wednesday morning it is.
I hobble and gimp my way through the weekend then through the first few days of the week. Finally Wednesday morning I get to IOS. Thank goodness. I tell my fabulous doctor, Dr. Mark, about everything that happened. He scoffs a bit. The aspirin doctor used to work at the hospital but left on bad terms. My inability to get my ultra sound results are entirely political. And this I was already told as a tri club friend of mine is a physician at the hospital and had gotten me my ultra sound results the day of my botched appointment with the aspirin treatment.
Dr. Mark thinks I have a calf strain, not a total tear. The MRI images end up being useless as there is nothing wrong with my knee and they did not image far enough down my leg to see any tearing. I am given a prescription pain med and a referral for PT. So I head right over to the PT place, the same place I went last fall. The squeeze me in for 7am Thursday morning.
I have a long, lengthy physical with my PT. He tests all sorts of my biomechanics and gives me a full work over. Since my last trip there was also for an injury on my right side he thinks we have a small underlying issue at hand. He’ll figure it out and we’ll fix it, he says. After his analysis he gives me a diagnosis of a grade 2 calf strain. He finds the exact location and says he can feel it, fits his whole finger inside the hole in my muscle. Yup, that seriously hurts. I promptly get a laser treatment followed by ice and the TENS unit.
My PT agrees that FLT is out. Both my fall half marathons, he says, are on. I may do horribly due to lack of training, but I will be able to run them. He says swim all I want, I can in fact ride my bike as long as I can keep it in a moderate gear and absolutely no standing climbs, and he is adamant I will be running again in four weeks. Stretch, ice, PT, medicate, and hopefully I can start a walk/run combo soon. This was all good news to me. Sad news because injuries suck and I hate feeling my season, that started so strong, will end in a crumbling pile of crash and burn and crappy performances.
So there it is. My injury and the crap way I had to arrive at my diagnosis. Fingers crossed I’m running again sooner rather than later.