Thursday, November 26, 2009

Not Taking Life For Granted

One day towards the end of the September, I went for a run & woke up the next morning in pain. I was to leave for the airport for a business trip in just very soon and was about 2 and 1/2 weeks away from participating in my first 5k.

I couldn't get in to see a doctor on my trip...We were at a remote location & had a very busy schedule. So, I called a family friend & my former doctor for advice. She told me to ice my legs down, keep them elevated, and take some pain medication.

When I got back, I made an appointment to see a Dr. By then, I was still in a great deal of pain and discomfort - in both knees, my left knee especially. I was having problems being able to bend my knee and sometimes I felt that my knee wasn't able to support me.She examined me - noting how swollen my knees looked & my lack of range of movement. She sent me to get some x-rays.

Got the x-rays. Those came back 'abnormal'. They sent me to get an MRI. That came back 'abnormal'. The Dr. asked me to come back in and let me know that they were concerned about what they were seeing. That there appeared to a 'something' on my tibia - that we would need to do more testing and perhaps see a bone specialist and a biopsy. I was also told to take it as easy as possible...They were concerned I would break my leg. And, told me that I shouldn't travel (I had another business trip coming up).

I went to get a Bone Scan. They didn't complete it properly. So, I had to get another Bone Scan. I also had to cancel my business trip (I was so upset about that I had been looking forward to that trip for 2 years). That Bone Scan came back 'abnormal'. They sent me to a bone specialist.

This is most definitely one of the hardest things I've ever gone through in my life. Trying to stay positive, but I was in a lot of pain & discomfort. Believing for the best, but seeing the 'abnormal' images on the different tests.

Finally, I got in to see the Bone Specialist. My mom came with me. Hoping for the best...bracing myself for the worst. I learned that I have a non-ossifying fibroma (learn more about it here). It's benign group of cells that develop around a bone - usually the tibia. It's most commonly caught in situations like x-ray. They rarely pose an issue and if so, they perform surgery to remove it.

Okay! Great! He gave me the okay to get back to moving. But, I thought I am still in a lot of pain and discomfort. He told me that if that is the case, it's not do to the non-ossifying fibroma. To give it a couple more weeks or so and then he would refer me to a Sports Medicine Dr. He mentioned that it could be a couple of things...possibly Patellofemoral Syndrome.

Well, the next day...It hit me...I don't want to wait weeks more. It took almost 3 weeks to get this figured out. So, I started calling around Sports Medicine Drs. The first one that could get me in the next day...I went to see.

The Sports Medicine Dr. examined me & he also confirmed my diagnosis from the Bone Specialist w/ some other orthopedic specialist who happened to be in the office. He confirmed that I had Patellofemoral Syndrome (learn more about that here). He wanted me to continue to rest, prescribed me some medicine, and to put ice & moist heat on my knee. Lastly, I was to work with physical therapist.

He gave me the okay to walk the 5k..I wanted to at least complete it. And I did...The highlight for me was getting past by a lady in cast from her knee to her foot. LOL!

So almost 2 months since my world was turned upside down, I am nearing completion of my physical therapy!

I had just turned 29 when this happened. I will not not take life for granted. I will work to be & stay healthy. I will eat reasonably & exercise regularly. I will take care of what goes into my body. I am committed more than ever.

Every morning I get up early to go to the park and exercise, my neighbor is outside smoking a cigarette. I am reminded everyday - I make a choice to be healthy & she made a choice not to be. I make a choice not to take for granted what this body gives me...strength to work, play, love, serve, & experience. I will strive to live the best life I can!

I'm so thankful for good health!


natalie a said...

that stinks!!! But you have a great attitude - hang in there!! I know it's hard, but I'm sure you'll be able to overcome this...I'm so sorry!

MS. Bad Mama Jama said...

Natalie...Thanks so much for your words! This has certainly been difficult, but seeing that there is light at the end of the tunnel has certainly got me through.

I think I finished my last physical therapy appointment Tuesday and I am ecstatic. I still have strengthening exercises to do on my own, but my physical therapist believes that in about another month...I can start fully going back to my regular activities.