Sunday, August 12, 2012

Ab Pain Update (single paragraph stream of consciousness rant)

In the last couple of weeks, I've seen a couple of specialists and I'm scheduled to see Dr. Lisa Ferzoco this Thursday to get a final diagnosis.  After dealing with the headaches and carousel of referrals, I've finally come to this point.  My PCP originally rejected my request to see a sports med doctor.  My chiropractor, Mika, told me I needed to see one b/c he couldn't differentially diagnosis my pain as the result of an ab strain or sports hernia.  My PCP made me first see a doc in his office.  Waste of time, and when I say that, I just don't mean the afternoon that it took me to go to the appt.  I'm talking about the DAYS I lost in not seeing a sports med doctor.  The first doctor, a general surgeon, started by telling me that sports hernias did not exist.  He then when on to say just about every single thing that runners posted on LetsRun in the 163 pages they have on the sports hernia thread.  And that's not a good thing b/c just about every single runner on the LetsRun thread was originally misdiagnosed by some hack who doesn't know a thing about athletics.  So my general surgeon basically told me to drop my drawers and cough.  After a 45 second physical exam, he declared that I did not half a hernia and that I likely had an ab strain.  He then told me that I had to rest for as many as 6 months and that even after 6 months I still might not be healed.  He also said that the ab strain could morph into a hernia in another year or so.  Not what I was looking for.  Oh yeah, then he told me I might want to see a sports med guy.  Next, I booked an appt w/ Dr. Gian Corrado.  He's a sports medicine doctor out of Children's Hospital.  This guy knows his stuff and was a marked improvement over my first doctor.  First, he inquired about my running history, complete w/ injury history.  Second, he put me through a battery of tests intended to replicate the pain in my lower ab/groin that I felt when I was running.  He talked to me very specifically about things and concluded the following possibilities: 1) stress fracture in the pelvis, 2) sports hernia, 3) lower back injury.  He ordered an MRI.  This all happened on a Friday.  As I left his office, he pulled me aside and said that he understood that this was a time sensitive issue for me and to tell the desk to schedule an appt for Monday morning.  I did.  Monday morning comes and I have the MRI results in hand (I got it done at 9:30 on Fri night).  One problem: my PCP's office hasn't put the referral through yet.  I call.  I wait on hold for twenty minutes.  Twice.  Each time it kicked to voicemail.  I left a message.  It's been a week.  My call hasn't been returned.  Finally, I get to see Corrado. He tells me that it's not a stress fracture of the pelvis.  That's the good news.  He tells me I can still run.  But he also tells me that I need to see Dr. Ferzoco b/c she specializes in sports hernias and will definitely be able to tell if I have one and if I need to have surgery.  Ferzoco is the head doctor for Northeastern University athletics, and Corrado speaks highly of her. so I'm willing to trust her and give it a shot.  Plus, when I called her office, a human being actually answered the phone--on the first ring.  I'm seeing her this Thursday and keeping my fingers crossed until then.  In the meantime, I've been doing some type of cardio every day.  Either running, biking, or elliptical.  I did have a pretty good 10 mile run on Saturday.  The pain seems to be moving from the lower left ab area to the groin.  Don't know what that means.  If you do, please tell me.  I'm still not able to run the way I want to (pace/workouts), so that's why I'm doing the x training.  Not running has been very difficult.

4 comments:

mfranks said...

This sounds exactly what my husband just went through for the better part of a year. He had all sorts of crazy tests done and nothing was ever found.

In the end he found a really good P.T. that worked on it every other day. He found that the more time off he took, the more it hurt when he returned to running. So..he just stuck it out and ran...and it hurt all the time! Over many many months the pain slowly decreased and he doesn't complain about it anymore, its still there but he can manage.

Once you find a good P.T., stay with them, even if they don't completely know exactly what is going on, if they work the area and you can tell it is improving slowly, keep attending your appointments. We never knew exactly what caused it, but in the end we felt like it was some sort of ab strain too.

Greg said...

I said it before but George Adams, Justin Fyffe and Bryan Johnston all went through this sort of thing. George is the only one that went to a doctor though. He never got officially diagnosed but they thought sports hernia. They all took some time off and it didn't help. Running "cured" them. They still complain every once in a while about discomfort but they can train hard. It must be frustrating. I went through similar stuff ten years ago with piriformis pain. Keep running and stay positive!

Muddy Puddin' said...

Ugh, that sucks man! Keep it on the level....

KG said...

Ms. Franks, Greg, Muddy: thanks for taking the time and showing concern. I appreciate it. Just saw a specialist today. She said, "Two weeks. Do absolutely nothing. Two weeks." I'll give it a shot but it aint gonna be easy.

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