First of all I want to thank everyone for being so tremendously supportive, especially over this last week. I truly have the greatest friends out there. So thank you, I sincerely appreciated all of you kind comments and words of encouragement. Yesterday was the lowest point I had been, but it is all up hill from here!
On Tuesday I had a nerve conduction study done to see whether or not I had sustained any nerve damage. I was supposed to take this test months ago (I know I am bad), but I cancelled it twice and re-scheduled.
The test took about 30 minutes. It didn't hurt like a lot of people had mentioned, but it was uncomfortable. I got my results before I left and was thrilled that everything looked good. It was a sigh of relief and slightly disappointing that nothing was discovered. At least it gave my "treatment team" a better idea of what could be causing my pain/symptoms.
Yesterday I had the compartment syndrome test done. This test was slightly more uncomfortable, but the pain was tolerable. I have a VERY high tolerance of pain so it takes a lot to make me say ouch. Luckily, I was laying down and couldn't see the needles being inserted into my leg, but I did take a glance at them and they were kind of big. After numbing both of my legs and injecting them with something (I don't know what it was) my physician took a reading of the pressure in both of my legs. Then I was allowed to run on the treadmill until I started to experience my symptoms. Within a couple of minutes my left shin started to ache, but it wasn't anything substantial so I kept running. This was hardest/fastest I have run since Eugene and I am not going to lie, I was dying!!!!!! I had sweat pouring off of my face- how embarrassing! I had the treadmill up to 8.7 at one time which should have been relatively easy for me...a couple of months ago! Finally, after about 2 miles I was still not quite experiencing what I wanted my "treatment team" to see. At this point my PT was there and an athletic trainer who was also filming me run to get a better idea of how to treat my body mechanics. They bumped the incline up to 3.0 and within 10 seconds I almost flew off the back of the treadmill. I had no dorsiflexion in my left foot/ankle (foot drop). I got off the treadmill and hobbled back over to the table so that my physician could get another pressure reading. Pressure higher then 30 is considered to be compartment syndrome. My right leg measured 15 and my left leg measured 41. So, on national running day I was diagnosed with "Anterior Compartment Syndrome". After almost 7 + months there is finally an answer to what I have been experiencing! Now I don't have to feel like a crazy person anymore.
At this point I have several options, but of course it won't involve running for a while. I am a prime candidate for the surgery so I could schedule a surgery STAT, or I could work with my coach and "treatment team" on drills to focus on my body mechanics and strength exercises and then re-evaluate. If I don't respond well to the PT, etc. then I would have to go ahead and schedule the surgery. The surgery doesn't look like fun, I saw pictures on google yesterday and they were quite graphic. I won't post them, but feel free to google it if you would like.
Here is some more information on compartment syndrome in case you are curious:
This afternoon I am meeting with my coach to start the process of my recovery so I can get back to running sooner then later. I am excited to see what he has planned for me. I feel so fortunate that he is good friends with my physician and PT so they can all work together to get me back on track.