Depression Marathon Blog

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Diagnosed with depression 19 years ago, I lost the life I once knew, but in the process re-created a better me. I am alive and functional today because of my dog, my treatment team, my sobriety, and my willingness to re-create myself within the confines of this illness. I hate the illness, but I'm grateful for the person I've become and the opportunities I've seized because of it. I hope writing a depression blog will reduce stigma and improve the understanding and treatment of people with mental illness. All original content copyright to me: etta. Enjoy your visit!

Thursday, April 11, 2019

A little craziness in Minnesota

We're having some fun in Minnesota! It was 70 degrees and sunny on Monday. I raked my yard and re-seeded it during a glorious day Tuesday. Yesterday, however, it was 30 degrees with 45-50 mile per hour winds and a combination of sleet and snow whipping through the air. At 2:00 this morning I awoke to ice pellets battering my windows with lightning and thunder alternately lighting up and rattling my house. Jet was not happy. I had to get up and escort him to his kennel in the basement. Poor guy. He was totally freaked out.

Unfortunately I had to drive home from Minneapolis in the teeth of the storm yesterday. A trip which took less than 90 minutes on clear roads in the morning took over 2 hours during the storm on the way home. It wasn't fun.

The entire route to/from Minneapolis is on a divided highway. The last 35 miles of my route were harrowing. First a car came flying off the northbound lane and whirled through the median before it smashed into a cable and post fence about 10 feet from my vehicle. I was traveling south. If the fence hadn't been there, I would have t-boned that car at 55 miles per hour. That was the warning shot.

Traffic, for good reason, slowed significantly after that. By the time I got home I had passed one jackknifed semi and 14 vehicles, all still with their lights on and occupants inside, facing various directions and buried to various amounts in the median or ditch. Like I said, it was harrowing.

I traveled to Minneapolis yesterday for my consultation with an orthopedic hip specialist. Some of you may recall I re-tore, for the 4th time, the labrum in my right hip in early January. I was grateful to have the opportunity to be examined by this doctor, as he is one of the foremost hip experts in the United States. He's done arthroscopic procedures on the hips of some of the best athletes in the world. Apparently he collected signed jerseys from all of them, too, for they hung on every wall in the complex. Being a sports fan, I enjoyed seeing all of them.

The surgeon gave me some good information. Unfortunately, the labrum is still being pinched between the head of my femur and the hip socket in certain positions (sitting is the worst). The labrum is at least torn, at worst it is no longer repairable. There is also bony overgrowth where the femur and the acetabulum (hip socket) repeatedly bump into one another. Fortunately, he can fix all of the above issues.

Fixing the issues will require another arthroscopic hip surgery, my fourth. Since my last surgery in 2014 the knowledge base and procedure has continued to advance. For example, even if my labrum is no longer repairable, he explained he can actually remove mine and then stitch a cadaver labrum onto my acetabulum. Cool! That's new. I left there feeling confident I was in good hands.

But I'm not going to have the surgery immediately. I may not have it at all. At this time my hip is not causing significant disability, and the doctor confirmed continuing to run, if pain free, is not likely to cause further damage. If I have the surgery I'll have to be non-weightbearing for 4 weeks afterward. I also would not be allowed to run for up to 12 weeks. Since I'm just getting my stride back, I really don't want to put myself back on the shelf for so long.

Instead of surgery I'm going to begin working on some hip specific exercises the doctor recommended. I'm also going to continue to work my way back into running shape. My Achilles tendons did not significantly flare up after my 10-mile race on Sunday. I actually ran again Tuesday and today, so I'm feeling encouraged.

Even if I do elect surgery in the future, a likely scenario in order to avoid further degeneration and pain, I'd like to be as strong as possible going into it. If I'm strong going into surgery I'll have the best chance for 100% recovery coming out of it. Of course if running increases my pain, or if I develop new or worsening symptoms, the surgery choice will be made for me. But like I said, I feel confident I'm in good hands.

As for the crazy weather, well I'm not sure whose hands are manipulating that! I'm not worried, though. If things continue as they've been, it should be 70 degrees again in a couple of days. Carry on, my friends.


Paul said...

I think you should sign one of your race jerseys and give it to the doctor. You're as much a celebrity as anyone in sports!

etta said...

Thanks, Paul! That made me smile!

Katy said...

I agree with Paul!