Sunday, March 15, 2015

Bones, boobs, and a broken butt

I forgot to post about the rest of my annual tests and stuff.

After the lab work, I had my annual DEXA scan and mammogram. My boobs are fine. No surprises there.

My bones are good for a woman my age but I want them to be as good as the 35 year olds exemplar. I had hoped that a year of working out would reverse the loses I had suffered during my enforced time off but instead I went down slightly in one measure. I didn't do a lot of strength training last year but I  did do some and I did run twice a week on average. I think I need to do more this year.

Finally, I got to talk to my PCP about my issues with my left side. I have the following going on:

1) intermittent pain at a spot on the top of my calf muscle

2) tightness along the IT band (sometimes referred to as IT Band syndrome)

3) pain right in the center of my left butt check that gets worse when I sit for long periods of time at work that started in Sept but would spontaneously resolve itself and then come back over and over

Those were all the long term stuff. I also had a some weird stuff going on with my left knee at times when I ran longer distances. The last one left like my knee cap had popped (though I didn't hear or feel a pop) and then I couldn't put full weight on it for miles and then (again) it resolved itself and I could run again.

The knee stuff really worried me because once the knees go, that's it. I had seen a doctor the first time I tweaked my calf and he said it wasn't a major tear and sent me on my way. And I saw a doctor when the knee "popped" and she said it sounded like my patella got irritated and wasn't supporting my knee cap and to take it easy for a few days.

Neither of them gave me what I wanted though, which was a referral to PT. But my PCP did. Unfortunately (I thought), she wrote it up as hip pain. Which means the therapist couldn't touch my calf. Because of my history, I was convinced that everything was starting with my calf and I needed more work on it.

But any referral was better than none at all so off to PT I went. Where I was diagnosed with a pinched nerve in my butt. It has some technical name and it's a rare form of sciatica. The nice thing about it is that it doesn't involve any bulging disks or other back problems.

So we started work on it and the craziest thing happened: the pain in my calf went away! Now it comes back periodically but mostly it's gone. It seems like the pain was coming down from my butt instead of going up from my calf. My IT band feels a lot better too though it's still a tiny bit tight. But not as much pain from it.

Unfortunately, the butt got to a certain point and just won't get better. And now everyone -- and I do mean everyone -- is nagging at me to get an MRI and make sure there also aren't back issues like with normal sciatica.

I have an appointment with my PCP on Monday and we'll see what she says. I would be totally shocked if there was anything wrong with my spine. I don't have any symptoms that would lead me to believe my spine is broken. In fact, I have classic piriformis syndrome.

I have all the symptoms and it's caused by prolonged sitting and long-distance running. Symptoms include pain in the car seat and running. I started getting this pain last Fall when I was working crazy hours, sitting for 10-12 hours a day 6-7 days a week, and moved from running two times a week to three times. And the two things that hurt the most are running and driving my car.

Anyway, it won't hurt to get an MRI and rule out spinal issues. Until then, I'm barred from working out for a while to see if that works. And I hate it.
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