The power of Prolotherapy never ceases to amaze me! A few weeks ago, I was running outside with my friend at 5:30AM—yup, on a dark, cold, snowy winter morning in Chicagoland! Sure enough, I tripped on a crack in the sidewalk and went flying onto my right side, knee, and elbow. I embarrassingly picked myself up, dusted off the leaves and snow, and started running again. I did not suffer any major injuries, just a sorely bruised knee and a gashed elbow. About two weeks later, the same thing happened to me, this time sliding on the ice. Again, I landed on my right knee and elbow, resulting in a badly bleeding elbow—even oozing through my three layers of shirts! I hobbled home and cleaned up.
I truly thought that nothing serious had happened to me. Between the stress of increased mileage (over 35 miles per week of running), cold weather, the couple of falls, plus the large amount of time I spend in front of a computer, I was a set up for disaster. During my low mileage week, I had to run 5 miles on Saturday and 8 miles on Sunday. I completed my Saturday run and I noticed my back was a little sore. I thought maybe it was related to the running or possibly my period coming. Then Sunday I ran the 8 miles when a snow storm came up during the middle of the run. By the time I got home, about 4 inches had fallen and I was sliding all over the sidewalks. I didn’t fall, but I definitely had to adjust my gait in order NOT to fall! When I got home, my back really started to hurt. By the end of the afternoon it was in spasm. By evening, I could hardly move.
What the heck? I had never experienced back pain like this before in my life? Hum, maybe I’m getting old!? Needless to say, I tried enzymes, heating pads, massage—but nothing did the trick. I was going nowhere fast. On Monday, I could hardly walk, could not bend at all, riding in a car was torturous, sliding across the seat was nearly impossible. Lying down hurt. Sitting down hurt. Standing was the most comfortable position. I knew where to turn. Of course—to Prolotherapy!
On Monday I received over 60 injections to my sacroiliac area, thoracic, and right ribs. The rib pain was gone almost immediately, but the SI/hip pain lingered into the next day. I was banished to bed rest on Tuesday. Luckily I worked from home with a laptop on a pillow! Yeah, crazy, I know! On Tuesday night I was feeling very sorry for myself that I was not healing faster. I wanted to get up and run. My marathon is only 5 weeks away! My friend from FL was coming in on Saturday to run our 20 mile training run together. I couldn’t believe that I was laying flat in bed! I called her and told her that she might as well cancel the trip. I was not going to be able to run the 20 miler. She still had faith and said that she would be coming any way. Wednesday was torturous for me—as I had the monthly manager meeting where our publicist and CPA come in and discuss business for 8 hours worth of meetings! I had to lay flat for all of the afternoon sessions. It was not looking good. I didn’t think I was going to make it—let alone run 20 miles on Saturday.
The power of positive thinking!
My friend from FL called me that evening while I was lying in the bed with the infrared heating device on my back. I was not a happy camper. I hate to be sick or slow down for one moment. I don’t like resting. She was trying to get me to chill out, which she accomplished by getting me laughing. Then she encouraged me to have a glass of my favorite red wine and just relax. By this time, I had already yelled at my friendly Prolotherapy physician for not curing me fast enough. He said I needed to be patient—it had only been two days. I had that glass of wine! : )
On Thursday, I decided that I was done with this laying around. I got up and did 30 minutes on the elliptical trainer. It didn’t feel too great, but I was not in excruciating pain. Friday morning, I got up and ran 30 minutes very slowly on the treadmill. Again, the back hurt, but it was not killing me.
When my friend arrived Friday night, I was still doubtful that we would be able to complete the 20 miler. New snow had fallen two days ago and it was going to be really cold out. Dr. Hauser told me I could attempt the 20 miler, but to do it by running 5-mile loops four times. This way, if I was in trouble, I would never be too far from the house. I put on the lovely CORE shorts (which are like a girdle), two pairs of running tights, three shirts, a face mask, hat, and gloves, along with my trusty Fuel Belt and started out with my friend Christine at 6:30AM Saturday morning. My back didn’t feel great, but again, it wasn’t killing me. Our water and Gatorade froze after each 5 mile loop, so we had to come inside to fill up with fresh beverages and eat some Gu and bananas anyway. Miraculously, we finished all 20 miles!!! We did three loops outside, and did the last one on the treadmill. I never would have dreamed it could have been done. Even after that, we took Christine’s son to the Museum of Science and Industry and walked around some more! Wow! Well, again, Prolotherapy comes through!
It is now two weeks later. My back feels about 90% better. I have been back to full training being very careful with what I do with my back. I continue to take enzymes and use heat on my back. Last weekend I ran a 14 miler with another friend—again in the middle of a snow storm. We had to wear yak tracks on our shoes to keep from sliding all over the roads, in addition to running right down the middle of the streets of Oak Park! But we started at 6AM on a Saturday, so most people had not even thought of shoveling, let alone gotten out of their driveways! It’s always an adventure when training for a race. I am thankful for the power of Prolotherapy to keep me on track to completing my fourth marathon. I’ll let you know how it goes! (January 13, 2008 – Disney Marathon).