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Friday, January 16, 2009

Haunting feeling

Do you know the feeling when you've gone through something difficult, and you figure all is well with the world...but still have this nagging...this haunting nagging paranoia that you haven't heard the last of it? That the other shoe will drop?

Yesterday we met with a very good, expensive personal trainer, thanks to my loving husband's bartering skills. This personal trainer is extremely good. We ordinarily would not be able to afford his time.

I figured that my muscles were just out of shape. After all, I had arthroscopic hip surgery almost a year ago, and finished physical therapy six months ago, and haven't done much beyond walking (on average 2-3 miles a day).

He is thinking something else. He is clearly thinking there is something amiss. Perhaps with the psoas muscle, which I had to look up after he mentioned it.

So now, instead of a haunting nagging paranoia, I've got a haunting nagging hypochondriac feeling. It's the kind of feeling that you get when you're hyper aware of every twitch and ache in your body, and you're just LOOKING for something to alert you to a problem. And you totally expect there is a problem because why wouldn't there be (it's the other shoe dropping!)

You need to understand. In 2003 I suffered from some sort of injury while competing in Karate. This injury came with no sudden popping or pulling or anything. At first I'd figured I'd overworked the muscles in my hip. Then I figured I'd strained something. By the end of the weekend I knew I'd done something to that hip (um, yes I did hurt myself the very first day before competitions actually started, and yes I did compete in all five events despite hurting, and I earned some very treasured medals from it too).

When I returned from the competition, I went to sick call and saw a doctor.
She said that I'd pulled a hamstring.
Thus began a series of diagnosis that didn't quite do anything. (One doctor even said I'd pulled a buttox muscle- no joke!) I don't know why the AF didn't order an MRI the second, third, forth or fifth time I came in with variations of the same ailment.

The last three months of my time in active duty, I didn't do anything more active than walk (the medical folks helped me out there with a special "don't do anything" profile since I was leaving any how).

Then I danced at my wedding. Because who doesn't dance at their wedding?!

And that is probably when I got that Hernia. I say "probably" because I didn't feel it over the knee and hip pain that I'd become accustomed to. For the next two months I hobbled around with knee problems. Yes I said Knee problems. When an MRI did not show a tear in the knee, that doctor wanted nothing more to do with me (nor I him, frankly), so I contacted the Hospital for Specialized Surgery and asked for a Knee, Hip, Back specialist. The doctor I saw had an MRI done on my hip and back, and thus revealed the hernia and the labral tear in my hip.

These MRIs were used by the Veteran's Affairs to determine my disability. Perhaps in another post, I'll talk about how they did that entire exam with me fully clothed (in jeans)- this was the exam that was determining my formal disability! Any how...

The hernia was repaired and I was put on physical therapy for a while, trying to avoid surgery. This was a horrible time, emotionally and physically, because I was in pain. I was in so much pain that I clenched my teeth constantly, and eventually chipped a tooth. Then I discovered Percaset. Finally the doctor decided that Physical Therapy was not working, and she transfered me over to the specialist surgeon.

Enter Dr. Boettner. Huzah for Dr. Boettner.

What they can do these days with arthroscopic surgeries is amazing. I had the surgery in Feb and by June I was done with physical therapy. The physical therapist even gave me a water bottle (since tossed with that old-moldy-water-bottle-syndrome all my water bottles get) and a T-shirt (my favorite gym shirt). I was so happy. I was functional again! I even thought about going out and getting a tattoo on my hip, like the Chineese symbol for health or strength- loving husband wasn't exactly not supportive...but he wasn't keen on the idea, and I didn't want to jinx things if the other shoe ever dropped.

We were so glad, my husband and I, that I was able to move around and function normally...
Did we over look that certain muscles weren't getting stronger? Or that I still got aches from time to time (hey, I am a disabled veteran, I figured that there would be aches involved).

I am setting up a few appointments. Maybe my muscles are just underconditioned. But I've got this haunting feeling that I should be on the lookout for dropping shoes.

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