Oh, And Another Thing

Two days away from twelve weeks from my accident (original race post HERE) and something is still not quite right. While I've had a couple breakthrough days over the last two weeks, I've had an equal number of bad days. Not mentally bad days as there has been plenty of those grappling with the fact that I'm a runner who can't run during "marathon season." No...there have more than a few days where the pain crept in earlier than normal in the day which affects everyone close to me. Daddy isn't very fun when he's in pain.

Knowing something was not quite right primarily with my right shoulder, I set an appointment with an ortho that lead to an MRI last Friday. What was "not quite right" you ask...aside from the pain, my right scapula (shoulder blade) was more than a bit "wonky" as it floated around without the expected muscle structure I've got on my left side. Where my right collar bone meets the sternum, there's an "abby normal" bump (name the movie reference and win a Seeking Boston Marathon.com sticker) which was freaking my shiz out. Add that to the fact that I still need more than children's chewable aspirin at night to sleep lead to the recent trips to the good doctor.

My ortho of choice was Dr. Genuario from Steadman Hawkins in Denver--yes, that Steadman Hawkins. Their lobby is like a Asics commercial with a who's who of athletes seeking miracle surgery and treatment to get back to the sports they love and get paid the big bucks for. Me? I've got that whopping $3 a month I make on my blog and my readers are getting tired of my human interest stories that have nothing to do with running. In other words, I gotta "get back on that horse."

I also want to get off the pain meds. I'm at peace (no pun intended) with the pain meds as I've talked to plenty of people who have dealt with chronic pain and the bottom line is you can't walk (or limp) through life with a grimace on your face due to pain. Yes, addiction is a real issue or challenge to consider, but I also have to function in life (at home, at work) with some sense of normalcy.

It's not a surprise that I've got pain in my shoulder as I "body slammed" the asphalt going 25+ miles per hour in my race which resulted in four broken ribs and a collapsed lung. The more I hear about my pneumothorax, the more I realize the "bullet" I dodged--especially considering "dumb ass" (me) hopped on the bike and rode another 20 minutes trying to finish. I then waited at least that long for a medic, then another 15-20 for the ambulance. The math there is not good.

At this point, you're asking...so what was the MRI result?!? Not a surprise they found something, but a bit of a surprise that Memorial Hospital where I spent eleven days did not. I only told them from the very start that all my pain shot out the back of my right shoulder blade like an exit wound from a dull crossbow arrow. Dr. G explained that I have a separated shoulder and a torn labrum. #ouchiemama

The good news in all that?

1) I'm not as big of a giant baby that I thought I was complaining about all that shoulder pain.
2) No surgery! Physical therapy starts when I get back in town after two trips (one for work and the other a college visit with my son.) Next Monday.
3) Genuario said I could start running when I feel up to it. I wanted to know what was going on with my shoulder and be off pain meds before I started running. I'm close.
4) Like the others in the lobby of Steadman Hawkins, I should be able to return to form and the sports I love; running and triathlons. The only thing I worry about there is getting that right lung back.
5) The ribs. They broke. They take time, but now it seems they're ahead of the shoulder.

I only wish my hospital doc had said, "well, you've got four broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and oh, and another thing...you separated your shoulder and tore your labrum...you really did it up right!" He left out that last part. I doubt I've lost much time with recovery since I likely couldn't have started much intense therapy anyway as I needed to be somewhat sedentary to heal those ribs.

No pain no gain...or more like a lotta pain and a little bit of gain. I have two months to get my ribs, shoulder, and lungs to a place where I can start my typical sixteen week training plan for a little race called the Boston Marathon.


  1. Oh man! Sorry to hear about your shoulder, but the bright side is now you know the problem and you can work towards a solution. Hang in there!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts