Monday, June 29, 2009

The winning runner. But first, the stupid doctor.

I went to a regular MD this morning to get my knee looked at. My appointment was at 8:40. She finally walked into the examination room at 9:08. The visit went like this:

Incompetent MD (further to be referenced as IMD): What's going on?
Me: I'm having a pain in my right knee.
IMD: Did you do something to injure it?
Me: No
IMD: What happened then, that it started hurting?
Me: I run a lot. Usually 35 or more miles per week, almost every day. I sometimes have pain in various places and just ignore it. I ran an ultra-marathon last weekend. I was able to hike the two days following the ultra and ran the third day. I can't really say anything in particular made it start hurting. I just started having bad pain Wednesday.
IMD: How long was the ultra?
Me: 31.2 miles
IMD: Isn't that longer than a marathon?
Me: Yes it is. That's why it's called an "ultra".
IMD: Did you twist it during the marathon?
Me: During the ultra-marathon? No, I didn't twist it.
IMD: Did you hit it on something?
Me: No. It has been suggested to me that perhaps it is my MCL?
IMD: Okay. Lay back on the table.
I lay down and she pulls out a tray for my legs to be able to extend fully. She does some movements with my knee to see which positions hurt. None of it hurts.
Me: It's not that knee that is hurting.
IMD: Oh, you said it was your right knee.
Me: It is. You are moving my left knee.
IMD: Oh, I am. That's MY right. (giggle, giggle, giggle)
Me: Um, yeah.....
She starts twisting my right knee and bending it to make it hurt. She asks me to bend my knee and put my foot flat on the tray. She proceeds to SIT on my foot and push my leg inward. This woman is pregnant and sitting on my foot which is still not feeling perfect since I sprained it a little over a month ago.
IMD: It hurts there?
Me: My foot hurts! I sprained that ankle a little while ago.
IMD: I think we should refer you to an Orthopedist.
Me: Mmm huh.
IMD: Let's get X-rays to rule out a bone injury.
Me: Let's not waste time and money on an X-ray. The Ortho will probably want an MRI since it is a soft tissue problem, not a bone.
IMD: You're probably right.

I have an appointment with an Orthopedist on Wednesday afternoon.

Now onto bigger, better news! Remember this guy????

Hal Koerner and myself at Miwok 100K in May
Well, here he is this past Saturday. He won the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run. He completed the race in 16:24:55. Let's hear it for the man!!!

I was watching a handful of runners over the weekend, via my computer, competing in this most difficult race. Congratulations to everyone who stuck it out and crossed the finish line. I don't care how damn long it took you. YOU DID IT! The temperatures were blazing and the competition was fierce this year. You all should be very proud.
Until later.............


aron said...

good luck at the dr wed! sounds like that was a frustrating appt :-/

love the pic and how awesome he won!! i was following some of the race, mostly through twitter and those runners are seriously amazing. it was SO hot this weekend too, i cant even imagine.

and yes i run with my dogs on leash... one of these days i will get them out somewhere i can take them off leash!

Stuart said...

Was she blonde (I am so I am allowed to say that!) what a lemonhead!

Fingers crossed #2 is a bit of a sharper cookie!

Serious Running: Chris Barber said...

Wow, I thought I had a tough time explaining an injury to doctors that don't have experience with runners. At least the doctor eventually started examining the correct leg.

Mark said...

Hope you get a competent dr.! Those 100 miler folks are simply amazing!!! That is really a cool pic!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

at least you got the referal to the orthopedic. that's really all you needed from the MD.

I went through similar frustration when I had knee issues last fall. But the ortho guy was very good.

Mel-2nd Chances said...

yep, good thing you got a referral. OMG, I've had issues explaining running injuries to a general doc, but never had a preggo doc sit on my foot LOL. Good luck on wednesday! You ultra runners are amazing in my book. WOW.

René said...

I shudder to think of what the doctor's bill is going to be! I hope you can find someone experienced with athletes who knows what to look for and not sit on your injuries.

AnthonyP said...

This is exactly why I can't stand going to the doctor. I hope everything works out o.k. with the knee.

Missy said...

Bless it, dumbass Dr. Are you kidding me? Thanks but no thanks for the extra radiation! What are ya, new? Sorry:(

I heard Western States was the scorch this year! What a time.

Victoria said...

Like I said, let me know if you want the name/number of an excellent PT (who specializes in knees).

And yeah. Hal Koerner= SO cool to watch finish!!!

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

In Noakes' book "The Lore of
Running," he writes that you should never get help from a Dr. who isn't also a runner. They just have no clue! David told me that his piriformis injury went undiagnosed for a long time until a savvy physical therapist figured it out. The orthopedist did an x-ray to rule out a fracture but wasn't otherwise helpful. He thinks a physical therapist or sports medicine Dr would be better.

Another thing you might bear in mind is that often an injury appearing after an initial injury is actually caused by that initial injury, or rather, by how you are compensating for the injury. I think something like this happened to me last year after I dislocated my elbow (tripped on the trail)- a few weeks afterwards when I was out on the trails again, I got pretty severe piriformis pain. It may have been due to running awkwardly, trying not to jostle the elbow. Maybe you changed your form a little bit due to the ankle injury, putting more strain on your knee. If so, it should go away once you correct your form again.

Good luck! I hope the orthopedist can help you. I look foward to good news (not just another amusing story)!


Oz Runner said...

hope the orthopedic can get things figured out to get rid of your pain....funny that the doctor wanted to get an xray and then changed her mind...

Looney said...

My general rule of thumb is that the only thing doctors know after the appointment is how much I owe. But then again, I did get a good one and after the MRI and knee operation, I am back on the trails without the pain. He just retired, so I can't recommend him.

Lily on the Road said...

Sounds like what I went through with my Dr. "NO".

Gah, at least they'll send you for an MRI, they are very hard to get here in Canada. Dr. No tells me to come back if it hurts and that I'm "running" my way to knee replacement.

Good Luck!

BTW, I'm still laughing at Stuart!

Kristin said...

Oh wow. Only confirming my suspicion that most doctors are full of crap.

Yeah, awesome job to ANYONE who can run further than 26.2, you included! I cannot imagine doing a 100 mile race.

Stacey said...

Doctors! I think we go in knowing more than they do sometimes...all the research. Sounds like a frustrating appointment. Good luck with the ortho...

Ted said...

The conversation you had with your MD was quite hilarious. I've felt like I was watching a comedy show on TV. However, it does help to go to someone who is very knowledge in sports medicine.

Thanks for heading over to my blog. After I did my experiment, I was less sore than I was when I ran the entire marathon. It does help when you take a walking break and it does reduce injuries.

Andy said...

I was there pacing and working at one of the aid stations. It was an amazing race! Hal blew through in no time!

Irene said...

Per chance, do you have Kaiser? That sounds *just* like one of the visits I had, the one where the (cough) IMD said I had great range of motion so there was no need to do x-rays or anything else. IMD said it was muscular - a major misdiagnosis since it turned out to be a stress fracture. Good for you asking for an MRI. I think that should be standard protocol when the doctor finds out you're an endurance athlete, but it sounds like your IMD had no clue.

RunningLaur said...

I'm suprised you didn't also get a prescription of 'oh, you shouldnt really run that far. Running is bad for knees you know...'.

Hope the specialist is more successful!

AKA Alice said...

Seriously...she looked at the wrong effing knee?

What a dolt...that is frustrating.

Glad you get to see an Ortho and get an MRI. I agree with all those who have mentioned getting a running doctor to look at it.