Shots, Shots, Shots!
Ok, this stinks. Despite having a brief respite from pain, it came back. With a vengeance. I’ve had setbacks with physical therapy and my return to biking outside has been postponed. All I have is the fading memory of what it felt like to be relatively pain-free for 3 glorious, yet too-quick, days.
I developed tendinitis in my hip flexor while recovering and rehabilitating from surgery. According to my doctor, the hip flexor gets irritated from him messing around in my hip capsule. So it’s a little sensitive when you are coming off crutches and attempting to return to normal. He said if I was a couch potato before, it wouldn’t get irritated because I’d probably still be a couch potato after the surgery. No stress on it and there’s no problem. For someone like me, a photographer that runs all over Capitol Hill and a competitive cyclist, things are a little different. I’m on my feet all day long. I have to crouch, kneel, squat, bend and scrum to get pictures. I have to do what I have to do to get the shots I need. It’s the nature of the business and I love it. Except when I’m in pain.
Over the past week and a half the pain and tendinitis have gotten worse. It’s hard to describe, but imagine a constant dull pain that has moments of intense burning and soreness. And it hurts no matter where you move or how you position yourself. I’ve had a few sleepless nights. I had an appointment with Dr. Ochiai on Tuesday and explained what was going on. We figured the next course of action is a cortisone shot directly into the tendon. Oh fun. Dr. Ochiai commented, “hip flexor tendinitis is the bane of my existence.” I said, “yeah, mine, too.”
I am not fond of getting shots. Especially ones that require it to be placed in a spot so precise that the doctor has to use a live X-ray to find it. I’m also not fond of constant pain that doesn’t seem to get any better, which is why I had the surgery in the first place. Getting this shot is a small price to pay, in my book.
Madeline and I arrived at my doctor’s office and two other people were there to get x-ray guided shots, too. I let them go ahead of me, not so much out of kindness, but so they couldn’t hear me screaming like a 5-year-old. When it was my turn I changed into my skivvies and a gown and went into the room where Dr. Ochiai, a med student and the x-ray tech were waiting. Dr. Ochiai checked my hip flexor and called his med student over. “Feel that? It’s spasming right now.” Great, doc, glad I could treat you to a spasm. A quick x-ray confirmed where the inflamed tendon was located. He sprayed a coolant on my leg to help numb the area and began the injection. I felt the injection go in and it felt like it kept going and going. I winced a couple times and Dr. Ochiai apologized. “It’s ok, trust me,” I said. Yeah, it’s uncomfortable but I totally understand it has to be done. Before I knew it, it was over and I was on my way. As I left, I noticed my leg was numb. Really numb. The cortisone wouldn’t kick in for a couple days so I wasn’t sure what was going on. After my leg buckled coming out of coffee shop on the way to work I decided to call my doctor’s office. It ended up being a local anesthetic that had leaked a little on a nerve. If it didn’t wear off after a couple hours it was an issue, but sure enough, it wore off by the afternoon.
Monday I go back to physical therapy and will continue with that just one day a week instead of two. I will be working on stretches and my range of motion until the hip flexor calms down. Then hopefully I can get back on track. Right now my hip aches but the hip flexor isn’t burning like it had been, so I’m hoping the cortisone has kicked in. I’m very anxious to get back on my bike and back to training for next season.
I mentioned in my last post I would detail what I want to do for next season. I’ll save that for another post and leave you entertained by this: