Sunday, February 22, 2009

The best-laid plans

My RE doesn't take appointments (except for retrievals and transfers), she just has office hours, and the patients show up and are seen in the order of arrival. It may sound inefficient, but in fact, the waits to see her aren't any worse than they were to see my last RE in the US, even though she sees about 10 times as many patients. My RE usually likes to see patients on CD2 at the start of a cycle, so I thought I'd go on CD2 this time, in anticipation of starting an IVF cycle in March, so she could do any tests that she might want to run in the mean time (like bloodwork or whatever). However, my body had other plans.

About two weeks ago, I started a new self-improvement plan. Since the Egg was born, I haven't been getting nearly as much exercise as I should. I do walk a lot (about 25 minutes each way to work every day, up a huge hill, plus recreational walks with the Egg whenever I get the chance), so I'm not a total couch potato, but I really wanted to start doing something that raises my heart rate a bit more. So, I decided to start running. Truth be told, I hate running. However, it has two features that make it very appealing at the moment: it's free, and it's outdoors. Living in a huge, densely-packed city, the last thing that I want to do is to spend more time in stuffy buildings, so joining a gym doesn't particularly appeal, and I kind of hate the idea of paying to exercise. So, I found a gentle running program on the internet that guaranteed it would get me comfortably running a decent distance in 8-9 weeks without doing me any damage along the way. Sounded good, so off I went. The first two runs went well. A local university campus near my home has some nice paths for running, so it was actually quite pleasant, and astonishingly easy, given that I hadn't run in almost two years. So, for the third run, I decided to add some interest by adding some hillier paths (while still sticking to the recommended distances and times). By that night (when I posted last), my knees were throbbing, and by the next morning, I could barely walk. I did manage to hobble to work that day, and by evening, both knees and one ankle were hot, swollen, and very, very sore. Luckily, I had some work I could do at home, so I stayed home the next day. Then it was the weekend. After a couple of days off, I tried walking to work again on Monday. HUGE mistake. I ended up having to take the next day "off" also and work at home. I tried taking a taxi on Wednesday, but couldn't get a taxi home due to the odd location of my office, so I once again had to limp home. Thursday was the day that I should have gone to the RE. However, going to the RE would have required, at the very least, walking from my apartment to a cab, and from a cab to the doctor's office, which was about 100% further than was possible, given my condition. I finally took my knees to the doctor the next day (tendonitis: rest, ice, and ibuprofin, which was what I had been doing all along), but still haven't made it to the RE.

As a result of this incident, I have learned two things: First, running on hills is really bad for your joints. Don't do it. Second, icing your knees right after you hurt yourself really does make a difference. How can I tell that it was the ice that helped? Easy! I did a home science experiment and only iced one knee. They both hurt the same amount, but I iced the right and not the left, and now look! The right is tons better, but I can still barely walk on the left.

When I realized that my experiment had successfully answered my research question, I was filled with the righteous glow of scientific discovery. It lasted about five seconds. Then I realized that if only I had just iced both knees right away like Dr. Google said, I wouldn't be in pain anymore. Doh!

5 comments:

Sarah said...

ouch! i can relate, i destroyed my knees training for a marathon about 10 years ago and i still can't run more than a few miles without have to ice down (bags of frozen peas work great!!).

WaterBishop said...

Owweeee. Hope they are all better soon. How awful.
I haven't ran in forever.

Lut C. said...

I dislike running, always have.
I just gave away my hometrainer to my mom, because I never got round to using it.
And yet, my knees are regularly sore. :-/

I've been going back to postnatal exercise classes (cheap and easy to fit into my routine).

Lut C. said...

Forgot to add, hope you recover fully soon AND get to the RE in time.

Kymberli said...

Yikes. I had terrible knees in high school and had it not been for a few months of physical therapy, I would have ended up having knee surgery. I hope you make it to the RE soon!

I left an award for you on my blog!