No, I’m not talking about the Government Shutdown. That has come and gone since the last time I talked about my injury. My fitness is still mostly shut down, but there have been some new developments.
A few weeks ago, before the Blue Ridge Parkway camp, I had my iliopsoas injection. It was yet another diagnostic tool. In a nutshell, it would knock out any tendonitis. If it worked, we could rule out anything structural with the joint and/or bone.
After the pain reliever wore off, the hip felt fine initially, and then a wave of soreness took over. That put me down for a few days. The doctors warned me that this would happen, yet the severity was still surprising. Upon arriving in Charlottesville, I was nimble and relatively pain free. The next morning was the complete opposite, and I found myself relying yet again on the cane. It was quite a contrast, hobbling around and taking pictures of cyclists at peak fitness, getting ready to attempt the endurance ride of their lives.
The soreness continued. Even though I was busy during that week, I was still resting. Most of my day was sitting in a car. When I felt well enough to ditch the cane, I was still careful not to further hurt my hip. Sometimes I would bring it around and rely on it during long periods of standing and walking. It was still tender at times, but was clearly improving.
By the end of the camp, I was feeling a lot better. The doctor had said that I could give some activity a try about 8 days after the shot, which worked out well with my returning from the adventure. The day after I arrived home, I dug up my cycling gear, and carefully jumped back on the road bike. This was a test ride, just 5 miles around nearby neighborhood roads. I rode easily, averaging about 15 mph in mostly flat terrain. For the first couple of miles, I felt fine. After that, the pain started again. It was restricted to a certain spot, just to the left of my labrum in the general tendon area where I received the shot. Not good.
After the ride, I rested and iced the remainder of the day. Recovery was slow, as it has been since the beginning of this injury. The next doctor’s appointment was the following Tuesday, and my hope was that I would finally get some answers. There was a precise location where I believed the pain began, so hopefully that would get us closer to a diagnosis.
Isolating the pain was a big help, but still resulted in a surprise. The shot had worked, and when Dr. Guy examined me, he noticed that my hip joint was far more mobile. In fact, the hip now appeared nearly fine. There was clearly pain, but because of the location, he suspected that it could be coming from elsewhere.
He said it very well could be a hernia. What? That’s something I hadn’t even considered. Since he is an orthopaedic doctor, he doesn’t treat hernias, so I am now waiting to see a General Surgeon to check me out. It is possible that this isn’t a hernia, and as the clicking and popping continues, that’s where I’m leaning, but we need to rule it out. After over a year of being injured, it is easy for me to get impatient and want an easy solution. Dr. Guy made a good point. The last thing we want is to scope the hip, only to later find out that the injury is not even in the hip. That would be a waste of time, money, and pain.
So I am still on the couch. I am approaching two weeks since that short ride, and ready for a little bit of activity again. It will be extremely limited. We might try some swimming or maybe walking. Right now riding would not be a good idea. The last thing I want is to lose any healing momentum, and riding seems to always set me back.
Gran Fondo Hincapie is this weekend. Of course I am not riding. My wife and I kept the hotel reservation and I will be there at the start. Hopefully I’ll see some familiar faces, both from rides in the southeast and from watching cycling on TV. If I cannot participate, I will again live vicariously through others. I’ve become good at that, and have found that I quite enjoy it.