Wednesday, March 25, 2009

What Do You Do With a Runner When She Can't Be a Runner, Anymore?

This is my view today. Just me, Blue Ice, and the laptop trying one last desperate attempt at making things all better fast.

The combination of skiing and running in the hills of Anchorage, coupled with 30+ years of doing high-impact sports have apparently taken their toll upon my body and are beginning to wreak havoc.

I was told in my 20's that my knees had issues, that "someday" I would end up sore and broken. But who listens to doctors when they are looking at life from the top of a chairlift at Whistler, or training for a triathlon, or hiking miles into the backcountry of Washington carrying a chainsaw?

After a test run Monday night during which I lasted all of ten minutes pain-free, I finally went to the doctor who stared at my x-rays in deep contemplation, glasses pushed up on top of his head so he could see better. "Hmmmm, a skier, huh? I think you'd better call it good for this year." He went on mumbling to himself, or me, but I was already trying to figure out how to get around this, concocting all sorts of plans, when I heard the word "arthritis". WHAT?

Women, he explained, especially athletes, often get arthritis in knees due to the way we walk.It's those hips, he said, that are wider (thanks for the update) and thus make our stride, etc. a bit more stressful on the patella. Poop.

In my case, years of running and jumping and schussing have left my knees vulnerable, and since the patella isn't aligned properly (is this genetic? I'll blame my parents), my knees are showing signs of the degenerative condition that cripples many former football players and other has-been athletes.

The gist of the whole conversation was to refer me to an Orthopedic surgeon who might be able to fix things, or maybe not, depending on exactly the problem. An MRI is almost certainly forthcoming.

While I am certainly glad I have two legs with which to stand walk upon, I am a bit grumpy today. Those of you who know me well will recall my hesitation to stop doing anything active. I broke my ankle once and had the doctor make the cast such that I could still ride my horse. I don't like doing nothing.

Yukon is, of course, all a'twitter that he can now justify my joining him at his lap swim sessions at Alaska Pacific University. Blech.


Kaarenb said...

You can teach her to knit ! : ) When you come to Portland, I'll be happy to do the same.

KaarenB (John's Aunt)

dorothy said...

Darn and drat! Don't you hate this aging game? I pray they can do surgery....mine has always been the stronger leg since they cleaned it up in high school.