I had a running-related injury during my last long run before my participation to the 2011 MIWOK 100 Trail Run last April 2011. There was pain on my left knee and it did not improve until the race day. Since that time, I was in denial that I am injured and caused my lesser time to do my daily runs and easy long runs. Instead, I opted to take some rests, do some brisk walking and until I thought of joining the last year’s RIZAL DAY Run, 2012 CONDURA Skyway Marathon, and the 1st Mt Ugo Trail Marathon in Kayapa, Nueva Vizcaya. On my way to Mt Ugo for a recon run weeks before the race day, I started an alternative activity which is peak bagging and the rest is history.
You might be wondering why I was able to finish the Rizal Day 32K, Condura Skyway Marathon, Mt Ugo Trail Marathon and Adventure Run along the Circumferential Road of Guimaras Island (110K) and did more peak bagging activities despite my left knee pain and injury. The explanation will be provided in detail in another blogpost.
Pain management had contributed much in my ability to run and continue on my running in races and peak bagging activities. But there is a need for medical attention as I am no longer young like the other runners out there.
Yearly, I always make it a habit to go to the United States to visit my family, recharge and rest, do some chores in the house, and buy some books about running. But my main reason of going to the US is to have my yearly medical check-up! Last year, I passed all the medical tests to include my uric acid level, prostate test condition, and others but I did not include some tests/exams for my knee pains.
This year, my medical tests included an examination on my two knees through X-Ray. During my initial consultation with our family doctor who happens to be a former marathon runner and also a Pinoy, he said that the symptom on my knee pain is an indication that I should stop running. Like him, he stopped running and joining marathon races after he started feeling some pains on his knees. He warned me that if I force myself to continue running, there will come a time in the near future that I will be walking with the aid of a cane or walking stick and the pain on my knee will be unbearable that I need to take some big dose of pain-killer medications.
I felt like I was going to have a heart attack/stroke when I heard the doctor’s advice! So, I said to myself, this is it, this could be the end of the Bald Runner!
But having that kind of a fighting spirit in me of being a warrior, I mean, an old warrior, I asked the doctor if there are alternative means where I can still be active and maybe, one day I could go back again to serious running. I asked him if I can bike and he said that I could not bike because the knees are the main source of force in such endeavour. I asked the doctor if I can hike and brisk walk and he said yes. Later during the consultation, I asked him again if I can do some swimming and he said yes. Swimming is the best sports that I could do to relieve the pain from my knees.
On that consultation, the doctor took some of my blood for my medical exams to include a test for my prostate and he advised me to have an X-Ray session with my two legs and chest to another clinic. On this consultation meeting with my doctor, I registered 110/70 blood pressure; weight of 145 pounds; and a Heart Rate of 50 BPM. If my computation is correct, I might register a BMI of 21.5.
On the next day, I went to an X-Ray Clinic and I had relaxing moments with the secretary and technician because the Clinic is being manned by Pinoys. After I finished with my chest x-ray, the technician commented that my lungs and heart are very healthy and powerful for my age! Of course, it is a given and not surprised with the comment of the technician. I usually have that same comment when I was still in the active military service. However, the knee X-Ray took so much time as there are 3 positions needed for each knee! In all, six positions! And to top it all, the technician had to repeat my right leg X-Ray shots! So, I did 9 shots for my two knees!
After a week, I got the results. First, the bad news! My cholesterol is High (too much Pork/Chicken Adobo, Bulalo, and Lechon!). My sugar is also High (too much Starbucks Coffee, Krispy Creme donuts, cakes, Magnum, and Coke/Sprite) and I am about to be a candidate for Diabetes. My Knee X-Rays showed that I have Bone Spurs on my both knees! The good news is that the prostate is A-OK and my uric acid is at a manageable level. My immune system is strong and healthy!
I said to myself, what the fuck are bone spurs? The Internet provided me with the answer to my question and I did not want to hear again the advise from our family doctor because I knew I will be hearing the same shit! So, all my activities right now are geared towards the solution to get rid of these bone spurs!
Surgery? No way! I pity a young officer whom I’ve met lately at the Philippine Army Swimming Pool who was having his water exercise therapy after undergoing a surgery due to bone spurs on the bones of his feet. He was walking with a cane and he is in his late 30s or early 40s! I also know of a senior officer (retired already) who had a knee surgery and he is still swearing/complaining up to this date that he made a wrong decision to have undergone such surgery.
Medical injections of steroids or any “thing” that will lessen or temporarily remove the growth of this bone spurs or prevent the rubbing of these spurs to my ligaments and tendons? I have yet to see and find out about this solution and decide to try this treatment. However, I know of some people younger than me who have undergone this kind of treatment and they are still running well.
At this time, I am administering the old-fashion rest, ice and hot treatment, deep-tissue massage, fish oil/Vitamin D & B-Complex supplements, some “voodoo”/organic herbal drinks and cross training regimen. I hope I will not be bored with my home-made solutions to my bone spurs! Patience and Consistency are the factors that are neded for this kind of treatment .
So, if you see me out there hiking, or maybe running, stair climbing, or doing some cross training activities, you know that I am trying my best to get back into my best shape as a consistent runner!