Facing Things That Scare Me: My Left Knee

I just wanted to share a little about what has been going on in my head.

Remember this photo? 

The one I shared about my December, and how I had three leg issues (one caused by falling off my bike)?  And that I couldn’t tell if this was happening because I was physically tired, doing more and pushing myself in ways that I hadn’t done before with such consistency?  But that I was feeling amazing, physically, the strongest I’ve ever felt?

Well on January 1st I ran 5k to start the new year. I had missed my aim of a continuous comfortable 5k by the end of December (see photo) but I wanted to start the new year with a milestone on my path to rebuidling and becoming a stronger more stable runner.  The run was OKAY.  I did it as 4 and a bit loops around my local fields.  I took the huge patch of mud as a little walking break each loop, but I was okay with that.  The run was more about mentally getting to the distance milestone and feeling comfortable, the walk break although not a part of my goal was okay by me, if it helped me to beat a mental barrier.  And the run felt good – it was great to be outside, it was sunny and crisp and a really lovely start to 2013.

But then the day after came. And my knee was SWOLLEN. Again. I am used to things not always feeling great with my knees.  I mean, I grew up gumby – with really bad knees that profoundly dislocated and I had serious surgery when I was only 13 years old. I don’t really flinch when it comes to a bit of swelling in my knees. It is “my normal”.

Or is it?

I took a week off of running, as a precaution, and scheduled myself to see Ellis at TatamiHealth.  Ellis has been helping me with shoulder issues I developed after my May fall off my bicycle, and he has helped many of my triathletes friends (and DH) with various issues they have had – shoulders, ankles, knees, you name it.  So I went to see Ellis on Tuesday, and he did work to reduce the lateral tightness I have in my leg (he specifically worked on my left leg, but I am tight on both legs as a result of my nerve disease).  At his suggestion, I did a 2km run (on the treadmill – not Ellis’ idea as he does not recommend treadmills for running) to see how things felt.

My knee felt tight but okay.  Not great, not bad. Kind of twingy at parts – but it was a twinge that I have felt before.

And then Wednesday.  I could not go down my stairs without feeling a sensation like a stab in my knee joint.  A sharp stab anytime I loaded on a bent knee.

So I did what I have always said I did not want to do – I made an appointment with a knee specialist.

I don’t want to know what he will say. 

I know I have bad knees, and I know that running puts me at a much higher risk of osteoarthritis (which I am already at risk of due to all the dislocations I have suffered).  But running MAKES MY LEGS FEEL STRONG.

But I am following my own advice.  Things don’t feel right.  I am not going to push through things to just have more setbacks.

I also need to “man up” and own the fact that I am NOT normal and I have a body riddled with physical compensations and muscular imbalances.  I need to read this blog by Peej and take her advice – that running pain free and with proper form that will not lead to injuries is going to take time for me, and that regular rehab work has GOT TO be a part of my life.

I hate PT.  I always have.  Ever since I was 13 and had lateral release surgery I have absolutely HATED doing boring static exercises.  But I am slowly realising that if I want to lead an ACTIVE life that I have to make them as much a part of my life as eating, drinking, and sleeping are.

It is time to face the things that scare me.  To do what makes me uncomfortable. To embrace what I despise.


Well, I am just NOT going to face that.

3 responses to “Facing Things That Scare Me: My Left Knee”

  1. Sorry to hear about your knee! I am so good about looking around my challenges and not seeing their real impacts on my health and life. I dreaded PT too. Then I had my own big injury and I found a great place. She does a lot of Pilates and Tai Chi and interesting exercises. Perhaps you could find one a little more unconventional smile. It still tough to see how many issues I have with balance, strength, and coordination. But I do my best smile. As we all do smile. I hope the specialist has a little positive news smile

  2. I love that you’re taking ownership and going for it, Donna.  You won’t be sorry and it will all pay off, as much as it might suck as you’re doing the PT for what seems like the millionth time.

    And I love the idea of making it something that you just do instead of something that “is additional to other workouts” – like brushing your teeth.  That’s how I’ve come to look at it and it helps me think of it as maintenance and keeps me doing it.

    Keep me posted!


  3. You have the most incredible spirit. Over the last year and a half I got my first “taste” of dealing with injury and body imbalances after my accident in 2011 and it takes a strong spirit to work through the injury with patience and positivity. I love reading your post because you always find a way to keep moving! I know you’ll stick with your PT and find yourself running 5K before too long. I’ll be cheering for you!

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