a panic attack despite the country music
It’s been a little while since I’ve visited this section of my website/life. In fact, in my last post, I’d just had a shit run and didn’t even know what was wrong yet. It would take my doc and I more than a month to figure it out, too. He’s fantastic, by the way, so that wasn’t the issue. If any of you have ever had dealings with insurance, you’ll know that that was the hold up.
Two days after I had to turn around and walk it back home, I was sitting in the doc’s office waiting for him to return with the X-Ray results. “Well, Adi, the good news is you can still run Leadville if I’m right about this, and that’s our goal. You’ve got some facet joint erosion and spondylosis, so we’ll start there.” He gave me one of those six day steroid packs and in exchange, I gave him ten days of no running. It was an easy trade-off, really, because ten days felt like nothing after some of the injuries I’ve had. I was to come back if the steroids didn’t provide enough relief, so one week later - almost to the minute - I was back in his office still barely able to walk (but also begging for no more steroids). “Looks like it’s time for an MRI. Surgery is the absolute very last resort, so I want to get a deeper look and determine whether we’re looking at something as quick as injections or more effortful like physical therapy.” Normally, I’m the gal that shuns any sort of meds, but this has surpassed the pain of any running injury I’ve had, and I know how quickly time sneaks up on me. There are only six months and some change until the gun goes off at Leadville, so the quicker the fix, the better. “Great! Let’s get that MRI done, and if I need you to shoot me up with something, let’s do that, too.” If only it were that easy….
After insurance twice denied the MRI, my doc did a peer to peer and got it approved. This, of course, took several weeks, and by the time I finally had the imaging done, I could walk properly. Thank all things holy, because, had I still been in that amount of pain, the panic attack I had inside the machine would’ve been far worse. On that note, let’s actually step back a moment…
A year and a half ago, I had my knee MRId due to a dog collision, but it wasn’t a big deal. They stuck me in the tube leg first and stopped at my thighs. The hardest part was lying perfectly still and listening to whatever bubble gum pop they had playing in my ear phones. It didn’t occur to me that this time would be any different until just before my 8pm appointment - in other words, too late to be medicated for it. I decided to block all MRI thoughts out of my mind until I was actually on the table. It worked perfectly. I didn’t think about it until she put me on the table, head first, and handed me a panic button. You will NOT use this! You’re a grown fucking woman, and you can lie in a tube and not lose your shit. “Is country okay?” she asks as she places the giant headphones on my ears and turns the music on. I give her what is surely a creeper smile and a thumbs up. Jesus, Adi. Use your words. She then tells me that if I need anything to hit the button and that she’ll be just on the other side of that window. It should take about 20 minutes and I needed to lie perfectly still. She steps out, and the table moved me a pretty solid half inch into the tube before I stopped breathing. How many times a day do you tell people to breathe? You’re a yogi, goddammit, take a breath. But also be so still when you do it so you can get the hell out of this thing. I tried closing my eyes, but that made it worse. I tried opening them back up, and somehow I stopped holding my breath more, if that’s even a thing. I finally figured out that if I look as far above my head with my eyeballs, I can get tiny sips of air in. I was two songs in at this point. Oh yes… I figure a song is about three minutes long, so by the end of the seventh, I should be out of the death tube with my color returning to normal. And that would’ve been the case, had I not spent the first couple of songs trying to figure out the best position for survival. “So sorry, Adi, but we’re going to have to do the first two sections again. If you can think ‘very, very still,’ this should be it.” If you’re me, it takes nine throwback country songs to get your back imaged.
Jumping back to now, it took another two weeks for Doc and I to connect, at which point, my patience had run out, and I’d already run twice - the day before the follow up appointment and the day of - with no pain. So, I was floored when he walked into the exam room and showed me the stress fracture in my sacrum. “Oh! Well, that makes perfect sense, then! And looking back, I recognize all the different pains and the progression of each.” I exclaim. He smiled and cleared me to run short runs, not twice in a row, and with walk breaks, at which point, I immediately made a plan to head to Mt Scott. He also told me to get my hormones balanced because if not, this would keep happening, but that’s a story for another time.
a cleared weight vest hike up
with the tiniest bit of running down, because I’m nothing if not a good patient