Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What's up, Doc?

I don't even know how to get injured correctly: I have Runner's Knee. From biking.

I went to the doctor today. Nice enough guy, he should be of legal drinking age soon. (I want my doctors to be bald old men, preferably smoking cigarettes in the examination room, not some punk kid.) I told him that my knee has been feeling a little bit better every day, and that if I didn't have a race next week I probably would have cancelled the appointment. Better to be safe than sorry. He took a look at my knee, moved it into different positions, and asked "how does this feel? and this? and this?"

"Fine. Fine. Fine. YEOW!"
"You have some inflammation there."

Gee, ya think?

Basically my quad (if it's only one leg, is it still "quads?) is staying tight from all of the extra biking I've been doing lately, and that's causing the knee to pull to one side and cause pain. I need to do lots of stretching to relax the muscles so they're not always putting tension on the knee.

Three other people on my Tri Team have been to this doctor, who is a triathlete himself so he understands what the races and training is like. I told him that in the past 3 weeks, I've run about 10 miles TOTAL and have biked maybe 20 miles. The California Half-Ironman is in 10 days, and I asked if I should skip it.

"No, I think you'll be OK."
"Are you SURE? Because I'm focusing on Ironman in June."
"Just pace yourself, you shouldn't have a problem."
"Seriously, I don't mind skipping the race. It's not a big deal to me."
"Don't forget to stretch out a lot."

I was half-hoping for a medical excuse to get out of doing the race, but he wasn't taking the bait. He DID however get me signed up for 3 sessions of Physical Therapy, and that has me stressed out. For starters, I think PT is a scam industry. Don't get me wrong, I understand that plenty of people really do need it and it works wonders. But I think the insurance industry is a little lenient on who needs PT and the doctors milk it for all it's worth. However, I have to do a half-ironman in 10 days and I've done very little training over the past 3 weeks. I need all the help I can get to ramp up very quickly. You may ask "well if your insurance will cover it anyway, what's the big deal?" The big deal is my deductible, All of this will be coming out of my pocket. Now I'll have to hope for some serious ailment to take advantage of the free medical coverage.

Another issue is the timing. I am stressed out enough trying to schedule my days. Now I have to add in an extra 4 hours of activity next week. And what am I supposed to do about my Lego Log? Can Physical Therapy count towards my total weekly hours? And if so, what color bricks am I supposed to use?! This is just way too complicated.


Blogger MtngirlinCali said...

Welcome to the runner's knee club. Do all your physical therapy ASAP......if anything, the ice and patellar taping and whatever else they do for you (I get that electric current thingy) will reduce the swelling enough so that you won't have any serious pain come race day. The PT will make you a little sore, though, so I would give yourself at least 3 days before the race as a buffer. I never thought I'd ever be able ro run again, but PT has worked for me several times now and I really think the benefits are great for runner's knee. Anwyay, just wanted to give you some encouragement.... And to save on cost, tell them at the end that you will do the icing at home. No reason paying them to do it when you can do it just as well. :)

10:23 AM  
Blogger rocketpants said...

Runners knee is no good...and PT can hurt like no other. Especially if they decide to go after your IT band because of the runner's knee. I've been to PTs too many times for basically what it comes down to...IT band issues.

Good luck for Oceanside! I will be volunteering on the run course and either handing out something to drink or yelling!

7:59 PM  
Blogger monica said...

i feel you on the deductable nonsense. mine is 4 grand annually. but what great fortune to have a triathlete doctor!!!

just a thought, but what kinda gears are you riding?? maybe you're mashing too much in a big gear to cause such stress to your quads and subsequently your knee is taking the brunt of it? for oceanside, i recommend you SPIN it at 90 rpm to stay in the safe zone for your knee.

and if you take any sort of anti-inflammatory on race day or within 24 hours, STAY AWAY FROM NSAIDS like advil, or aleve. tylenol is the only thing that's safe: basically acetaminophen (sp?)

12:29 AM  
Blogger Steve Stenzel said...

Dang. Good luck with the knee. And with the baby doctor...

8:05 AM  
Anonymous brian said...

Ah, yes. It’s the default diagnosis of “Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.” This is what I was telling you about a while back, Wedgie.
I’ve been dealing with knee trouble and the good news is stretching, icing, and a bit of strengthening have me back in the game.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous brian said...

And, as said before: check your bike fit/seat height & position, again.

12:33 PM  
Blogger Iradoman said...

Yoga baby!!! I can't say enough, I know you don't care about hippie groovy stuff but it works and since you don't wanna try acupuncture you should give Yoga a try... Mister P needs to chill out LOL

12:50 PM  

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