Then how come none of the words that came with my MRI results say anything good?
The results are in. The steroid shot gave me some relief but the MRI shows that my hip is a mess (torn labrum, cartilage damage and arthritis galore). None of this happened due to an "event" but it was years of gradual deterioration until it crossed a threshold. There is most likely a hip replacement down the road in my future to deal with the arthritis. I don't need that now so I want to delay that as long as possible.
More pressing is the impingement issue. Choice "A" is to could get arthroscopic surgery for that but it would mean 6 weeks on crutches, a recovery of 3 to 6 months and no guarantee of a long term fix. This surgery wouldn't eliminate the need for a hip replacement later either.
Choice "B" (which I'm choosing) is to see how long the shot gives relief. It could be a day, a week, a few months or even longer. Again, no guarantees and everyone is different. I can get another shot in a four months if I need it but after that if I need another I'll have to make a more difficult choice.
Don't worry, the news gets better. I asked the silly question of could make it worse by training. The answer was, "of course."
So what does this mean?
- First and foremost I'm hoping the relief from this shot lasts a long, long time.
- It all comes down to how much pain I can tolerate.
- If the pain returns I need to get a second opinion. No, not a Rodney Dangerfield second opinion of "You're Ugly too" but a real one. I don't expect a different result but you never know.
- Running is the worst thing for me to do so I'm going to avoid that for a while. I'm viewing it as my hip has a set number of miles in it and I don't want to burn those miles unnecessarily. I will "consume" them when I have to but I don't know how many are available.
- Swimming is the best thing for me to do. I'm going to up the frequency there.
- Biking should be OK but I need to see what I can do pain free. I'm sure I can ride long and slow but need to experiment with how hard I can ride. The advice from the doctor is that if something hurts, stop doing that. Ya think?
- I'm going to try other things that may help. Yoga will be first. Maybe Pilate's. Voodoo might join in the mix. We'll see how the yoga goes first.
I sort of expected this news but it is painful to actually hear it and see it in black and white. I had to do some soul searching to help understand why I do what I do. Am I going to win races? No. My main motivation is to improve my health and overall I am healthier. Do I need to do the events that I do to meet that goal or are there others? Fortunately, there are many choices and options.
My whole calendar is up for review. The NYC13.1 scheduled for early April ain't happening for me. StA probably isn't happening either. Eagleman70.3 might turn into an AquaVelo (I have until mid May to make that choice). I'll see how the cycling goes and might mix in some cycling events. I might still try the NYC tri in July but I may have to walk to finish it.
So the picture isn't pretty but as hard as it may be to believe, the words could have been worse.