Thursday, December 26, 2013

Giving Thanks

So far so good.  I’m thankful to be back.  Following my last ultra at the Pine Mountain 40 in November of 2012 (yes, November of 2012), I developed some major pains in my groin and abdomen.  It got worse through December and then it became bad enough to stop running after a Ragnar during the first week of January.  I visited doctors and physical therapists with little improvement.  I started pilates.  But I didn’t run.  I spent a lot of time researching my condition, since the doctors were at a loss (I probably had negative 5 hernia checks).  I eventually lucked upon a thread about some similar symptoms…similar pains, similar stories about doctors at a loss over the diagnosis.  By the way, the message board is a great way to waste a lot of time…its pretty much world famous.  Anyway, many of the sufferers came from different sports such as hockey, baseball, soccer, and football, in addition to running.  It was amazing that regular doctors knew so little about this fairly common issue in the sports world.  From this massive thread, I pulled out the common names for my condition - Athletic Pubalgia, Sports Hernia, Gilmore’s Groin - and figured out that there were only a handful of doctors around the world that were experts at dealing with the issue.  Some fixed the tendon and muscular tears with patches and some with sutures.  After pouring through the internet and working through multiple medical papers and putting in calls to my insurance, I eventually settled on getting surgery by one of the foremost doctors for Athletic Pubalgia, Dr. Meyers in Philadelphia.  After months of no running and trying non-invasive rehabilitation with no progress, the decision became pretty easy, even at a cost to me of over $10k!  (I even visited a local surgeon who only did the patch repair for much cheaper, but in the end I figured it would be…well…just a patch.)  I also had my doctor here in Atlanta, who I was feeding research papers to, and he was very encouraging about my decisions.  

Anyway, I scheduled the appointment for the end of April and Allison and I flew to Philly for the surgery.  Dr. Meyers confirmed the bilateral tears through his specialized MRI on that Monday and then I went under the knife on Tuesday.  He had an assembly line going with athletes who had flown in from all over the country for this surgery!  He also had signed memorabilia from professional athletes all over his office who had had the surgery.  The Steelers linebacker was in the office when I was in there.  This helped confirm that I had made a good decision.  So he fixed up my abdominal wall, pubic symphasis (groin), and adductors and I was out that day.  Allison and I actually had a great time in Philly since we stayed downtown sans kids.  It was actually turned out to be a destination surgery for us.  

Fast forward to Thanksgiving.  Rehab and running has been going well.  I’ve been so thankful to be getting out into the woods and the city again.  We spent Thanksgiving with my family in Santa Rosa Beach Florida and on the anniversary of my last ultra, I signed up for my next ultra back….the Harbison 50k outside of Columbia, SC!  Thanksgiving was a blast…we went to the beach, did science experiments, played poker, hit up the Goodwill and record store, drank too much beer, watched the epic Auburn Alabama game (both my parents graduated from Auburn), walked through the swamp around my parents house on a starlit night, and cooked and ate the entire time.  On top of it all, I discovered some amazing long trails just outside of our door (Point Washington State Forest) that changed my mind about trail running in Florida.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.  If anyone has any questions about my experience with the core injury, feel free to email me…I have tons of information!











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