So I was sitting there in the waiting room when I was called forward by the nurse/assistant and told that the doctor wanted me to go and get my RIGHT ankle x-rayed before seeing me. At this point I said that it would be better if I got my LEFT side done as the problem wasn't on the right side. She then told me to take a seat to wait for him to see me. 20 minutes he comes into the room and says;
"so I believe you feel you don't need an x-ray Mr Jamieson?"
'Great start', I thought. I was all ready for a handshake and a few pleasantries but this was going to go one way. So I said that although I had an injury to my right side (the bursitis, which I never got a chance to explain) I said that the one that had been troubling me for the past year was the left side.
"Ok then we'll get the left side x-rayed, take this card and I'll see you after its been done"
Things then got from bad to worse as I attempted to explain my perceived problem; as anybody who is fairly compulsive about their state of fitness will testify too, I (like those others) have been frustrated for a while with this damn injury.
A quick summary (well almost); I was injured by some thug in a game of football May 4th last year, I still did the BGR but noted that my downhill running was badly affected due to severe pain in the ankle joint so I took the next 6 weeks off training and then set into a 25 WEEK TRAINING PROGRAMME for the Highlander Mountain Marathon. The Highland Fling was not our aim this year, rather a spin off, a taper-out training run.
Anyway, SURPRISE SURPRISE I had overtrained by the time the MM came along. I had been running with a heck of a lot of pain since January but because I was so focussed on the competition I just got on with it. And guess what? I picked up another injury at the MM - the achilles bursitis on the other foot. So in the two weeks up to the fling, I was overtrained and injured but I still did it. I knew it was going to be a poor performance (I will get a sub-9 next time) and I predicted sub-11 before I started but the most important thing as far as I'm concerned was that I did it despite my difficulties. This is what ultra running is all about for me - some people get tied up in the winning and the competition at the front - and one day I would hope to be there - but (for now) the vast majority of us will never experience that.
So back to my brief encounter with the specialist; I then wanted to make sure that the injury I have been told about was going to get the proper attention it deserved. A picture paints a thousand words;
The picture above is from a pdf document I found on the internet re ankle posterior impingement injuries. It goes to lengths to point out that the problem is often missed in x-ray unless the specialist is skilled and gives directions on how to exactly place the foot for the x-ray. With this in mind, I set into my explanation of the perceived injury, only to be told about 5 words into my part of the conversation;
"I'm the foot and ankle expert, so go and get your x-ray now".
A little embarressed I walked round to the x-ray dept and was taken in (after a brief wait) to have MY FEET X-RAYED!!! When I explained to the girls in x-ray that my feet (yes, plural) weren't the problem, they said that they could only do what was on the card. Awesome. So they then decided to phone through for clarification. This is just getting better..........
The doc refused to speak to the radiologist and got his assistant to tell them to do both of my heels too. This guys a fricken legend. NOT!
So I get back round there and after waiting for an age he see's me. He gets my shoes and socks off, does a few manoeuvres with the feet, has a look at the x-rays, asks me some questions (obviously by now, I'm sticking to answering exactly what I'm asked) and then launches into a few possibilities, each of which he rules out with explanation. And then comes to the injury I had been trying to tell him about, only 2 and a half hours ago. But get this, as the x-ray does not show a bone spur, he rules out a posterior impingment.
He then tells me that with my symtoms it would appear to be similar to posterior impingment but can't understand why it doesn't show up in the x-ray! A few expletives would go down well here I think. Anyway, to his credit he is now sending me for an MRI to try and rule out anything else.
That said, upon leaving he mentioned to me that the injury I have may turn out to be incurable and that I should beging to prepare myself for that. So yeah, I'm in a real great place at the minute. When I said to the missus that my running could be over before it's even started she just gave a sigh. Bless her cotton socks.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that I have a posterior impingement injury. But what I do know is that it feels like a bone on bone impact injury that occurs when really going for it downhill. This injury obviously has a spin-off to the area around the joint because repetative running e.g. a training programme, is just incredibly painful due to what feels like infected soft tissue around and inside where the foot attaches to the leg.
I don't really know what to do now, my heads all over the place. Ultra running is a drug and something I am having withdrawl symtoms from. This blog is as much to get down what happened yesterday as to help me with my thoughts.
If it turns out that I get told that I have an incurable injury I will be using this as evidence when requesting a second opinion.
A couple of things to add to assist me in later times due to probable memory failure;
He asked how long I had been out the Army and implied that I had requested to be expidited because I'd served in the forces. I wasn't given the opportunity to explain to him that all I had said to my GP was that it was ironic that I was fitter now than I was at any time whilst I was in the Army.
And the other thing was that he asked about my meeting with Dr Duck - a private specialist seen last August and that I would've been using night splints since then. Wrong. Jim Duck never once mentioned night splints to me.