Sunday, July 26, 2009

Do you want the bad news, or the worst news?

I have been thinking of how I'm going to write this. I still haven't come up with a good way, so I'm just gonna type and see what comes out.

I received my MRI results Friday morning. It's not a torn MCL. It's bad arthritis. Arthritis on the joint on the inside of my knee. When it can be seen on the MRI, she says, "it's pretty advanced."

Bone-to-bone. The cartilage is gone. It will not get better. It will only get worse. You won't be running anymore.

Those last five statements have been whirling around in my head every second of every hour I have been awake since I heard them. Even as I type this, my eyes tear up. I know. Silly, right?

This is not a death sentence and I understand that. It's not "the end of the world." My life is going to be a little different from this point forward, that's all. I can say that but I feel anything but. I can't joke about it. I can't make light of it.

I will never run a road marathon. I will never do a 50-miler. I will never do a 100K. I will never do another 50K.

I'm not sure if it's the actual thought of not doing these things or the thought of not being able to do these things with the people that DO do them that makes me so sad. I have made so many connections because of the running that I do. What's going to happen to those connections once I stop "connecting" with them on that level?

Yes, I have had a lot of pep talks with myself about what I still CAN do. This post is not about that though. I need to grieve about and accept the "not running" part before I can be happy and start diving into other activities. Don't worry though, I haven't climbed into a cave. I have gone on a couple of very nice hikes this weekend which is helping me process this.

Give me a couple of days (or so) and I will hopefully be back to my normal self.

Until later.............

26 comments:

Mel-2nd Chances said...

OMG, i'm so sorry to read this right Jo Lynn. I understand the tears, and let'em out girl. Regardless of your status as a runner, you're still a strong, amazing inspiration, your bonds and connections won't be lost, and you'll continue to set an example of what strength, determination and perseverance can accomplish. Don't forget about how awesome you are. Sending you a big virtual *hug*.

Missy said...

OK, there's got to be something else...something else, a solution...

Irene said...

No, it's not silly that you are tearing up. Running is your sport. You might want to check out ALL of your options before you listen to someone who is telling you that you can't run anymore. Do some research first before you totally give up the sport and events you love. We just love to prove some of those doctors wrong.

I understand what you're going through more than you know.

*hugs*

René said...

Jo, this is sad news. After following your blog for awhile, I will need time to process it as well. I'm glad you are able to do some hiking and see the brighter side of things. We never know what the future might bring.

Marci said...

You are not being silly, and I am really sad to read this. But you are right, there is so much you can do!

Is there any treatments such as cartilage injections? Might be something to look into.

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

i'm really sorry to hear this. can they give you anything to ease the pain? i had injections of somesort or the other (knee joint fliud stuff) and it helped a lot - i have permanent damage on the underside of my patella from it scraping on the femur.

i understand your grief and think it is normal - something precious to you has been taken away from you.

hang in there. *hugs*

AKA Alice said...

OMG JoLynn...OMFG...

Tearing up? I'd probably be throwing things against walls. You are not being silly at all girl. Not. At. All.

I agree with Irene & Missy. I Googled "running with arthritis" as soon as I read your blog (I know, it's not like you haven't done that). I'm reading about Chi Running and Arthritis...maybe it's worth looking into?

Oh sweetie...*hugs* and *more hugs*

Donald said...

You're certainly entitled to be upset and feel terrible about this - I know I would. Actually, I have no idea how I'd react, but it wouldn't be pretty. I'm very sorry to hear this news.

RawBodyGoddess said...

I would be just as upset. It is devastating to hear. May I make a few suggestions? Are you seeing a sport medicine doc? If not, I would find one. Often times they 'get' the need for your sport moreso than a regular doc. Also, they are doing AMAZING things with artificial cartilage...it may mean surgery and a recovery period but it could also mean easing your pain AND being able to run again. I am so sorry you are having to deal with this news and I am hoping you can find someone to help you out!

aron said...

oh honey, this is so heartbreaking. i am SO sad for you :( i dont even know what to say. lots of love and hugs to you right now.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Well, I don't believe it. I have little faith in conventional "medicine" these days. I ran the SF Marathon today (pretty damn hard and not pretty), and for a while I was running with an older man (71, doing the half) with a complicated looking knee brace. He said he had osteoarthritis, and when his doctor said to stop running, he said that wasn't an option, hence the brace. I think you should educate yourself, get a second or third opinion, lower your expectations for now, and see if you can't make things get better. If it's truly unsurmountable, then you can deal with it at that point. I truly believe our bodies have the ability to heal if we provide them with the raw materials they need to rebuild tissues (proteins and essential fats, and in this case, the components of cartilage, and reduce pro-inflammatory foods). So don't despair yet- see how it goes and maybe your knee can get better with time and patience.

trailturtle said...

Dear JoLynn,
I found your great blog a few months ago through PCTR...had hoped to meet you at Big Basin where I did the 25k , missed you at the start (remember the crazy parking that made us all start 15 minutes late?) and only found out about you still finishing the 15k despite spraining your ankle (kudos to you for that) much later when I couldn't find you on the 25k finishing board. Remember what is posted on every PCTR event: "HIKERS WELCOME." So, don't say you will "never do another 50k again." I have "run" several distance runs where walkers/hikers have gone at a similar pace as I, and some have even beat me to the finish. Hope you can find a way to still do these events.
Anyway, thanks for a great blog, hope to meet you sometime when I am in the Bay Area (I used to live there but am currently in PA), and keep the spirit!
BTW, regarding your previous post about a "new" picture, I like the current one the best---it really is a great picture and is very uplifting.
All the best, Ann

trailturtle said...

Dear JoLynn,
I found your great blog a few months ago through PCTR...had hoped to meet you at Big Basin where I did the 25k , missed you at the start (remember the crazy parking that made us all start 15 minutes late?) and only found out about you still finishing the 15k despite spraining your ankle (kudos to you for that) much later when I couldn't find you on the 25k finishing board. Remember what is posted on every PCTR event: "HIKERS WELCOME." So, don't say you will "never do another 50k again." I have "run" several distance runs where walkers/hikers have gone at a similar pace as I, and some have even beat me to the finish. Hope you can find a way to still do these events.
Anyway, thanks for a great blog, hope to meet you sometime when I am in the Bay Area (I used to live there but am currently in PA), and keep the spirit!
BTW, regarding your previous post about a "new" picture, I like the current one the best---it really is a great picture and is very uplifting.
All the best, Ann

Lisa said...

I have only recently discovered your blog, but am SO sad reading this. I know how heartbroken I'd be in your situation. I am heartbroken for you.

My husband had bone-on-bone arthritis in his hip and had "hip resurfacing" a year ago. It is a new procedure in place of a hip replacement. He completed his first triathlon two weeks ago. Maybe a specialist can do a special knee replacement? I am sure you have researched all your options and just need time to digest.

My thoughts are with you.

Mike said...

I am sorry to hear about anyone not being about to continue a sport which they love. I second seeing a sports doctor.

Stephanie Gehrsitz said...

I just had to look up this injury online. Wow, it is tragic, yes, I can feel your pain. But I also believe things happen for a reason. When I read that people have knee surgery and even replacements, that's wild. Being healthy is important! I'm so sure that you will find a new passion - you already have many. I know this might not help you at all now, but the pain will get less.

AnthonyP said...

I'm sorry to hear this. But, I'm in the same camp as Cynthia and David.

"I will never run a road marathon. I will never do a 50-miler. I will never do a 100K. I will never do another 50K."

I don't believe it either. The human spirit and body is an amazing thing, and I simply won't subscribe to the idea that this is going to stop you from doing what you want to do. I'm willing to put a few $$s on you doing a 50-miler.

Jessica said...

Hi Jo Lynn,

You don't know me, but Rick Gaston forwarded your post on to me. Reason being, I JUST went through the same thing back in April. My knee caps are off-set on the outside of both knees, and since I've been running since I was 10, and I have arthritis, I too have a bone-on-bone situation on the outside of both knees. Just this past Friday, I went through an arthroscopic procedure known as lateral release on the first knee...the second will follow in September. I probably still won't be able to run much (maybe 30-45 minutes), but at least I will be able to bike pain-free for the time being. That being said, this too will wear out in time, and I will need to explore other options.

So I feel your pain - literally! And yes, go through all the stages...my friends and family have been very patient through it all. And if you have any questions, or want to chat with someone in your same predicament, feel free to reach out - sftrigirl99@yahoo.com

Lauren B said...

I am so, so sorry to hear this, JoLynn. I have degenerative arthritis in both knees (already!) and although it's not bone-on-bone yet, it's headed in that direction. I've already talked to some sports orthos about some options, along the lines of what people have mentioned above. Maybe we can talk about this sometime; no doubt we'll run into each other soon... Take care.

209Mike said...

Oh f-u-u-u-u-u-d-g-e. WTF? Ok, I've checked the list of people that deserve this and you're not on there. I'm so sorry JoJo!

On the other hand, just because I've met you and become friends with you through running doesn't mean anything when it comes to why I call you a friend. Running or not, you will always be able to connect with me.

(Meanwhile back in the laboratory, I'm secretly working on something to help you. Well it would be a lot cooler if I was) Go get some sugar, yell at the couch and then we'll be waiting for you when you get back.

Iris said...

I'm so sad for you right now. You have every right to be upset. However, I've got to agree that there might be other options? Have you gotten a second opinion? Just talked with another runner today who had a "fake" piece of cartilage placed between the bones. She has a long recovery - I think she mentioned close to a year, but will be able to run/bike etc again. I'd keep researching...

RBR said...

Oh honey. I am so sorry. You have every right to cry, be pissed, whatever you feel like.

Call me we will go for a ride when your ankle is ready.

*smooches*

Stuart said...

Wow, well that sucks! I have to admire your constraint!

And so the adaptation starts; this is a real low but you have to know that there is always a high coming down the tracks!

Rest assured your connections will remain intact!

Mike Scammon said...

Wow. Sorry to hear about this. Just make sure (I'm sure you will/have) that you get to a sports doc to look. Get a 2nd, 3rd opinion;etc. We've never met but I'm sure that there is MUCH more to you than running, right? Take care and look forward.

sneakersister said...

Jo Lynn - this is the worst fear we runners have, not being able to run again. Is there an option for artificial cartilage? I can only imagine what you must be going through right now. I was out on injury for a few months but knew I'd be able to run again. Not sure how I would handle things if I found out I couldn't anymore.

Hang tough. The answer will come.

Kristin said...

I meant to comment on this earlier...oopsie.

Ugh I know you are HATING life right now, but everything will work its way out and I'm sure you will either somehow manage to get back to running or find something that satisfies you even more!!

(Looks like from your next post things are getting better???)

Sending you good thoughts!!!