Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Post Surgery Update #3

    Going back to work has been a nice change of pace for me, but man the first couple of days put a toll on my body.  I basically went from virtually doing nothing all day to working 9 hour days, not counting the hour each way of driving time for my commute.  Work itself was fine, and I was able to slide right back into a groove, however using crutches really taxes your whole body.  Every little thing I do takes longer to do and requires more effort from my whole body.  Needless to say the first two days, my body was extremely tired and sore from it all.  The third day wasn't to bad, but it was a really long day.  I had my second PT appointment before work, so I had to get up at 5am because its an hour drive there as well and everything takes me twice as long to do to get ready in the morning.  After PT I headed to work which was another 9 hour day and on my way home I stopped to get my hair cut and pick up one final gift for Mandy.  Phew, I was tired.  I have Christmas Eve off, so I got to rest my body a little, and having Christmas Day off as well gave my body time to recharge.  Plus, I got to go see Star Wars again!!!!!!

     My second PT appointment went great.  Alisha is very happy with the progress I made in just one week.  She told me that other patients she has treated with the same surgery have taken several more weeks post surgery to get where I am at to this point.  She did a bunch of the usually things you expect during a therapy session, such as pushing, pulling, twisting and stretching.  Nothing extreme, just trying to keep things loose and maintain my range of motion.  With my progress she has modified my at home work to include three light and easy muscle building moves like, leg lifts while laying on my back, leg lifts while laying on my side and a super modified plank to work the abs a little.  Again I am to do the routine 2 to 3 times a day till my next appointment a week later.  She again stressed to me that main reason for taking things slow is due to the tissue in the joint needing time to heal properly.  I need to continue making sure I don't put to much weight on the leg which could mess up the repair work and all of this would be for nothing. 

Friday, December 25, 2015

Post Surgery Update #2

     Well a lot has changed in the last week or so since my last post.  Last week I was finally able to get out of the house for a little while, and good thing too because I just couldn't take being indoors anymore.  I had my first follow up visit with the surgeon and it looks like things are progressing nicely.  When I got to the appointment, they had me get some x-rays to check and see how the bone looked after he shaved it down.  After that I was put in the exam room to get my stitches taken out and to discuss the next six weeks.  I'll have to be on these damn crutches for the next 4 weeks, then I start to transition to a single crutch or possibly a cane for 2 more weeks.  When those 6 weeks are up I will have another follow up visit, which I am not really sure what we will discuss then.  He seems optimistic that I will be back to running normally within 4 to 6 months.  I was advised to continue my anti-inflammatory medicine, he prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy, issued me a temporary handicapped placard for my car and allowed me to go back to work the following Monday.  I immediately contacted Alisha at Elite Sports and Orthopedic Physical Therapy to get things going.  

     The next morning I headed to PT for my initial visit and evaluation, which went very well.  She told me the two biggest things with this type of surgery is, one, getting your muscles firing and working again, and two, being patient while the tissue in the joint heals.  She was quite happy to see my muscles were already working, which meant I am ahead of schedule with my recovery.  The down side to that is, I still have to wait till the tissue heals, so all my home prescribed workouts are to just maintain and slightly increase my range of motion.  So for now I have a weeks worth of homework to do 2-3 times a day till my next appointment, a week later.

     Friday and Saturday were the first two days my life really felt like I was getting back to normal, despite the fact that I had to figure out how to navigate the world on crutches.  One of my life long friends came into town to be with his family over Christmas, so he and I and three other of my close friends went to see the new Star Wars movie.  Which was AMAZING!!!  I will say this, for all the reports of packed theaters and the box office records, I was a little surprised and how empty the theater was for our showing.  I am not complaining, less people means less noise!

     Saturday, we headed to downtown Toledo to see our local ECHL hockey team the Walleye play.  Our seats were freaking awesome!  We were technically the third row back from the glass, however we were right behind the penalty box so we had the glass right in front of our face and just off from center ice.  I could as for a better game, and the fact that they won with a shutout made it just that much better.

Merry Christmas To All

I just want to wish everyone out there a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  

If you are just beginning your weight loss journey, I pray that God blesses you with courage and the determination to make the necessary changes in your life.

If you are just starting your running journey, I pray that God blesses you with the strength to keep moving forward, especially on those days when your head and your body say "just skip it".

To everyone else, I pray that God blesses you to be injury free in whatever fitness activity you choose and those that are trying hard to maintain there weight loss, the strength to do so.

From My Family To Yours

Thursday, December 24, 2015

tick tock, tick tock.....TIME IS RUNNING OUT

If running a Marathon, Marathon relay, Half Marathon, or a 5k is on your bucket list for 2016, then don't put off what you already know you want to do.  The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, the Yark Subaru 5 person relay, Owens Corning Half Marathon or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5k Prices increase December 31st at 11:59pm.


Friday, December 11, 2015

Post Surgery Update #1

     It has now been just over a week since surgery and to be honest I feel pretty damn good.  The first full day was a little rough, mainly because I felt like I had to pee every 5 minutes and when I did get up to go, I wasn't getting very much.  The nurse said it is common and would eventually go away, but when you need all kinds of help to get out of bed, it is pretty fucking annoying.  Thankfully though this has slowly subsided and not really an issue any more.  I am also happy to report that my pain has been pretty manageable to the point I haven't needed to take any of the really strong pain meds.  I have only been taking one which is more of an anti inflammatory than anything.

     The majority of my days have been spent laying on my back, which is NOT the most fun I have ever had.  During the day, Mandy gets me up every 2-3 hours to use the bathroom and do a little walking around with the crutches.  6- 8 hours of my day is used bending and flexing my leg in the continuous passive motion or CPM machine that slowly elevates and bends my knee and hip to a certain degree over and over.  My starting point the day after surgery was 0 to 30 and my goal in about 10 days is 0 to 120 degree of bend.  Currently I am laying here with my leg going to 100 and I have zero pain.

     When I am on a break from the CPM machine I get out in the living room to walk around, eat and play some Madden 2016 football.  After the third day I was able to sit for short burst and would stand to eat or do any other activities.  Now I am able to sit and play a game of football without any pain or the need to get up.  Most of my pain feels more like if you have ever strained a muscle and it hurts to use it to say lift something.  My large thigh muscle is very sore when I try to lift my leg in the straight or bent position, but each day feels better and better.

     At night when I am laying in bed trying to sleep and not using the CPM machine, I am having my feet squeezed by a machine that is used to help prevent blood clots from forming in my legs.  If anything it is really annoying, because instead of a slow even pressure, it emits a pulse of air that inflates the foot cuffs immediately.  So I will be laying there and all of a sudden puff and they inflate.

Not me, just a image I found online
     So far I have been able to maintain my sanity with typing, reading or watching tv, but the urge to go a little stir crazy is starting to settle in.  Today my Mom, who has been helping me during the day while Mandy is at work, told me how nice it was outside and I couldn't take it anymore.  While I was on a break I said fuck it and headed out the back door just so I could feel the sun on my face again.  I stayed out for 10 minutes or so before heading back inside to lay once again in bed.  You know it is easy to stay in bed when you are in pain or feel shitty, but as soon as you feel somewhat better, all you want to do is get the hell out of here.  Maybe I can bribe Mandy into taking me somewhere this weekend, even if its just for a short car ride.

     Anyway my follow up appointment with the surgeon is on Wednesday, I am hoping, no praying that I will be able to start physical therapy and maybe get back to work so I can feel somewhat normal.  Plus I got tickets for the new Star Wars movie on Friday, and I am NOT gonna miss it!

GCM Yearly Bird Ending Soon!

If running a Marathon, Marathon relay, Half Marathon, or a 5k is on your bucket list for 2016, then don't put off what you already know you want to do.  The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, the Yark Subaru 5 person relay, Owens Corning Half Marathon or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5k Prices increase December 31st at 11:59pm.

If you want one last chance to win an entry for you or a loved one to this year's race you can do that by clicking here.  Amanda at There are Two Sides is giving away the last two available free admissions from the Ambassador team.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

So What Did They Fix

     So what was the problem, a labral tear caused by a Femoroacetabular impingement.  A Femoroacetabular impingment (FAI) is defined as a condition where the bones of the hip are abnormally shaped. Because they do not fit together perfectly, the hip bones rub against each other and cause damage to the joint.  The ball at the top of the femur that fits into the hip socket had an additional growth or a an extra bump of bone sticking out.  The labrum is a rim of soft tissue or fibrocartilage that surrounds the acetabulum (hip socket). The labrum adds to the stability of the hip by deepening the socket and protects the joint surface. The labrum can tear as the result of an injury or FAI.

The surgery was performed arthroscopic with three incisions in the hip and thigh.  

Here is a look a a few picture the doctor took while performing the surgery the other day.

This is showing the labral tear.  The surgeon placed part of one of his tools right through it.

Here is another view of the tear on the left side of the photo. 

This is what the labral looks like after the repair.  He removed some of the junk around the tear and a flap of cartilage that was covering the tear.  The tear was tied up with a plastic type thread.

This photo is hard to see what the problem is here, but the bump of bone on the top of the femur that was the cause of all this.

This is what the bone looks like after the bump was shaved down and smoothed out

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Day Of Surgery

     The day I have been waiting for since all this began in early July, finally arrived.  My surgery was scheduled for an 11am start, so I was instructed to arrive at 9am for all the fun of the pre surgical festivities.  The hospital that I was going to has a good reputation, unfortunately it is a little over an hour drive from my house so We had to get up extra early to get ready.  I couldn't eat or drink anything after midnight and when I got up in the morning I had to take a show with some special soap that is used to kill just about everything.  My Wife, Mom and I headed out the door and made the long trip across town to the hospital.

     Part of my rehab therapy is a cold pack machine that pumps ice cold water from a cooler to a pad that is wrapped around my body.  Its job is to help with pain and swelling, and I was instructed to bring it with me.  Funny thing is because it looks like a beer cooler everyone at the hospital had  to make a smart ass remark about me coming prepared for a party and what not.  At least it showed me they were in a good mood and liked to joke around a little.  For me I thought it looked like I was carrying around an organ I was going to have transplanted or something.

     I was in the waiting room a whopping 5 minutes before I was taken back to the pre surgical area to be prepped and to be asked the same two or three questions a million and one times, at least they are thorough.  I got my IV put in, they shaved and cleaned the area again, and then had me read and sign a consent form.  After all that they sleep doctor came in and asked me a few questions.  He asked me if I had ever had a problem with anesthesia, I told no and I didn't want to start today!  He also offered me a nerve blocker that would help with the pain post surgery and I accepted.

     After that things started to move pretty fast.  They pumped something into my IV to calm me down and they did an ultrasound to give me the nerve blocker.  My wife and Mom were brought in to see me a few minutes till the anesthesia team came in to re-hash everything that the Doctor already went over.  I told them that I don't like vegetables and I really didn't want to be come one.  I was feeling a little loopy and we all had a laugh, but I was being serious.  Kisses goodbye and off I went.  The last thing I remember is a mask over my face and lights out.

     Recovery is very much a blur to me.  I remember bits and pieces, but mostly it is what my wife told me that I seem to recall.  I do remember the doctor coming in and saying that it went well and that my tear was was pretty severe.  The I remember my wife talking to me, but I can't recall what she had said.  I do recall the severe cotton mouth I had.  They kept giving me crackers which instantly turned to  paste in my mouth which I then had to try and wash down with water.  My stomach just could't take it anymore and right before we left I threw it all up in the trash can.  Once we got home it was nothing but sleep for me, and boy did I need it.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



     My surgery has been approved!!  Finally after all the doctors visits, phone calls back and forth and six weeks of physical therapy the idiots at the insurance company finally saw what everyone else already knew.  
     At first I wasn't sure if it was even going to happen after my follow up visit with the surgeon.  They submitted for the surgery and a week later I got a letter in the mail from the ins company that my request was under review and required more information.  Of course I received this letter when I got home from work on a Friday which meant I had to worry and stew about it all weekend.  Monday morning I called the surgeon's office and spoke with his nurse and she stated that she had already preemptively called the ins company, gave them the info they required and that were satisfied and that we had the green light.  She told me to disregard the letter, but could you blame me if I didn't 100% believe her.   I hung up with her and called the ins company, and of course they would tell me that in fact, no the surgery was not approved and was still in review status.  She did say, however that if the nurse just talked to the review board that the board my not have updated their records yet.  This being on a Monday, I decided I would give them a call on Thursday and if the status had not changed then I would call the surgeon's office again.  The same day I was going to call the ins company I received a letter from them stating that my requested procedure was "medically necessary" and that I was approved to have the surgery.  Of course I called to verify all this, and was so relieved that all this was finally over.  I have had my pre op screening at the hospital and in a little more than a week my journey back to running will begin.  

     I want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving for tomorrow!  

     Those of you heading out and braving the black Friday weekend of shopping be safe and remember no amount of discount or deal is worth treating another human being with disrespect.  And that goes double when you are dealing with all the retail employees that are out there just doing their jobs and trying to support their families as well.


Thursday, November 19, 2015

And The Winners Are

     I want to thank everyone who signed up for the drawing.  Its an honor to represent such a great race like the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon and to be able to offer others the opportunity to experience it for themselves.  And with out further adieu

     Those of you that were not chosen, you still have four more chances to win an entry.  The links below will take you to my fellow ambassadors info pages where you can enter during the dates listed below.

Friday, November 13, 2015

GCM Race Entry GIVEAWAY starts NOW!!!

And Here We Go!

     One of, if not the best part of my duties as a race ambassador is when I help two lucky people get to experience and enjoy the Glass City race day FREE of charge.  That's right, it is my pleasure to offer two people a wonderful opportunity to run your choice of the The Mercy Health Glass City Marathon, The Owens Corning Half-Marathon, or the Medical Mutual Glass City 5k for FREE.  (Please note this raffle does not include an individual entry for the Yark 5-Person Relay Marathon or Findley Davies Kid's Marathon.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
     Keep in mind, if you are not awarded one of the two entries given away here at Running in the Fat Lane you still have a chance to enter during the following dates with the remaining ambassadors.  Just click the links below to learn more about these amazing people.


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Glass City Marathon Ambassadorship

     Despite my current injury situation I was asked to be an ambassador and represent my hometown race again for 2016.  The 2016 race will be the 40th anniversary of the Mercy Health Glass City Marathon and is shaping up to be one heck of an event.  This year's event will feature five great ways for people of all ages to get out and enjoy all that this great city has to offer.

Races Available will include:
     So I have a question for you.  If money was no object which one of these races would you want to do?  Well guess what, money might not be an object for 12 of you!  You read that right, this year myself and the other five ambassadors are giving away a total of twelve free entries to one of the races I listed above for 2016.  Very shortly I will be sharing how and where you will be able to win one of these twelve coveted prizes.  So stay tuned and get ready start your 2016 running season with a great race experience.  If you are one that doesn't want to wait, early bird registration for next year's event is open now for you to take full advantage of.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Physical Therapy is Complete

     It seems like a lifetime ago that I was running consistently and having something to say about it.  I do apologize for my posts being few and far between lately, but there just hasn't been much to say that hasn't already been said on my current situation.  However, I did want to give a quick update since I finished my 6 weeks of physical therapy and I thought this would be a good time to catch you all up to date.  

     As far as therapy goes, it was successful in the job of increasing my flexibility and strengthening my legs, hips and core, but to answer the sixty four million dollar question, I still have pain.  To be completely honest I am having pain right now as I type this.  The intensity of the pain and aching varies depending on my day, but what I have noticed is no one thing is the trigger.  If I stand or sit for most of the day is flares up or it can flare up no matter what the combination is for the day.

     If I remember correctly the last time I was running regularly was early July, and the pain has continued during this rest period. Needless to say that if I was never to run a step or do any other "sports" related type of exercise, as the insurance company calls it,  this is affecting the quality of my everyday life.  My therapist says that there is a chance that I could continue to have pain even after I have the surgery done, but to be honest I would rather get the surgery and still have pain than never get the surgery and always wonder if it would have fixed it.  Plus, don't forget the extra bone protrusion that was rubbing on the cartilage and caused the tear to begin with.  If I don't get that taken care of I am sure to have more problems in the future.

     Anyway, I have a followup appointment with my surgeon on Friday to discuss where things go from here.  I hope to have some news to share from that visit, but I am thinking it will go like this, Lets set up a new surgery time and submit it to the insurance company and see if they will now approve it.  Well, all I can do is cross my finger and hope at this point! ;)

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Life Without Running

     I would be lying if I said I was completely happy with my current situation, but I have decided all the stress and anger I have spewed the last month was just a waste of time.  While it felt really great at the time to rant about my situation, all it did was deepen my depression for the situation.  I was so down I started to question my resolve and wanted to just give up the whole thing.  In my last post, I even looked to find blame with my doctor and his handling of things and even sought out a new doctor expecting that would solve all my problems and the insurance company would just magically fall into line and allow the surgery.  After a few days I came to accept what is my current situation, drain away all that angers me about the situation.  I've been told that "you only get one life, so live it" and going through it angry just wastes what little time I have with this life.

     So what have I been doing since I haven't been able to run?  That is a good question.  First it has allowed me to spend more "together" time with my wife since I don't have any training runs to go do or races that keeps me busy for a couple hours while she hangs out and cheers for me on the sidelines.  Also, a couple of weeks ago I started my physical therapy which has gone great.  I see her twice a week doing strength training followed by some stretching to increase my range of motion.  I have four more weeks before I am to see the doctor again.  At that point, I assume, we will discuss if we will petition the insurance company again for the surgery. 

Some GREAT news to finally report amidst all that has transpired with my injury I forgot to mention that I was asked to return as a race ambassador for the 2016 MercyHealth Glass City Marathon in Toledo, Ohio.  This year's race will be the 40th anniversary of the marathon and the organizers are working tirelessly to make it one to remember.  My goal, post surgery, was to work hard to get myself ready to at least run and finish the race, however that goal may be in jeopardy with each day that passes.  So, I will heed the advice of my doctor and PT and do what they suggest in this situation, If I only have enough time to get ready for the half marathon or the 5K race than that is what I will do.  If things work out that I won't even be ready for the 5K then I will work the course as one of my fellow ambassadors did last year when an injury sidelined her a few weeks prior to the race.

The last thing I wanted to talk about was my weight.  I have struggled with this recently and I am trying to rectify it, without letting it run my life.  Just as my injury took place back in early July my weight has seen its lowest ever with a 169.5 on the scale.  Without running to continue my calorie burn, the lack of ambition to find a suitable replacement, and my depression fueling my binging habits my weight has crept up to 181 pounds.  I have managed to try really hard at getting back on track with my eating habits and have managed to drop a couple of pounds, but without that vehicle to burn some calories I feel a little like I am hanging on the edge of a cliff by nothing more than my fingernails.  In an effort to keep myself positive, I have told myself that I haven't resorted to my old habits of eating the greasy shitty food, I just have been increasing the volume of what I have eaten.  I just have to get back to watching my calorie intake and I should be in good shape.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Surgery Update WTF

     Yeah so I would love to say I just haven't been posting everything because of my recovery, but that just isn't the case.  So when I last posted it was the start to the Labor Day weekend and I was told by the doctor's nurse that he would contact the insurance company Tuesday and she would call me with an update.  Tuesday came and by late afternoon I hadn't heard anything, so I called them.  After being put on hold for several minutes I was informed that the doctor would be calling tomorrow, the day before the surgery, because he wasn't in the office today.   I thought, "Really?!, but ok."

     The next morning I wake up and anxiously awaited the verdict.  I received the call around 10ish letting me know that the surgery has been canceled.  The nurse stated that the insurance company would not budge on their position that this surgery is exploratory and that with a procedure such as this requires medication, rest and alternative treatments before they will authorize the surgery.

     Of course it goes without saying, but I will anyway, that I was SUPER PISSED and extremely disappointed.  I proceeded to call my insurance company and vent my frustrations, which got me passed along from one person to another who could supposedly help me, I was finally transferred to a voicemail where I left all my info while thinking there is no way in hell anyone will call me back.  Little did I know that I would get a call back several hours later.  The conversation with the nurse for their medical staff, basically went back and forth just like a tennis match.  I could tell she was getting a pissed off with me because I wouldn't give in and kept on till after 20 plus minutes she finally said what the real reason they denied it.  Basically, Anthem has different procedures that no mater what have a list of things that must be tried before a surgical option will be explored.  Them denying my surgery wasn't because their doctor disagreed with my doctor its because of their policy and my surgery fit this bullshit policy.  So instead of doing what is medically necessary their policy has me jumping through hoops till they say otherwise.  

     After the conversation with the insurance company I called the nurse at my doctor's office to let them know what the ins company had to say, and that is when things start to get a little "funny" for me.  The nurse says that she is calling in a prescription to my pharmacy and will be mailing me a prescription for physical therapy that she will mail me.  I hang up and call it a day and instead of going back to work for the week, I decided to use the rest of the week to spend time with my wife, my family who were in town and for myself to just relax and decompress.  Friday my wife surprised me with a tattoo appointment because she wanted something to go right for me this week.  Only those that have tattoos and really enjoy the act of getting one just as much as the artwork involved know what I am talking about when I say that it was just the thing I needed to relieve some stress.  Wow did I feel so much better after we were all done. 

     So, fast forward a few days and this is where my head is at.

     I am beginning to think my doctor and his staff don't know what the fuck they are doing.  Sunday, a full four days after the nurse stated she was calling in my script, I stopped by the pharmacy and to my surprise there was no prescription waiting for me.  I thought to myself, maybe she meant she was mailing the script along with the PT prescription.  When Wednesday came and still nothing I decided to see just what the hell is going on.  I had to return the recovery medical supplies that I had received prior to my surgery that I wrote about here.  

     The medical supply company is located in the same office as the doctor and since I still haven't received my prescriptions for my meds and PT I thought I would kill two birds with one stone while I was there.  When I asked them about the medication and PT no one seemed to know what I was talking about.  The nurse I spoke with asked me to sit and wait till the doctor got out of a consultation so she could talk with him.  I was close enough to them that I was able to listen in on some of their conversation and when she asked him about the medication he said I don't care whatever we usually give.  After the doctor walked away, she called me back over to get everything taken care of.  After the nurse asked me what pharmacy I wanted the meds called into, she still ended up calling them into the wrong place.  I mean come on Dean, cut her a little slack, Right Aid and Walgreen's sounds exactly a like.  But I digress.  Oh, and the nurse on the phone from last week, the one that was taking care of all this, told me the insurance company needed me to have PT for 3 months and Wednesday the doctor only prescribed 6 weeks of physical therapy. WTF!  Doesn't anyone know what is going on?

     After today, I am on the fence about seeking a 2nd opinion and wondering if some of what the insurance company was blaming on the doctor was, in fact, true.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Stick To Your Word, That's All I Ask


     So Friday, on my personal Facebook account I posted a single line and a photo that pretty much says it all to how I was feeling.  I am a simple person that has his own faults and understands simple mistakes are made in life, but as a person who has spent the better part of his working life in the retail customer service industry, I know how important your word  is to a customer.  You break that word and not only do you lose a customer, but your credibility is lost with future customers as well.  When other companies do this to me, it pisses me off!  Why a person or, a company in this case, can't or won't at least do the fucking minimum requirements of a job that would provide basic level quality customer service I'll never know.  It all comes down to the fact that if you say your going to do something than fucking do it.  Don't say you will and then weeks later take it back and wait till the last possible second to tell the customer, leaving him or her stranded with no recourse.  That is at the heart of what my Facebook post was all about.

      So here, let me give you a little insight into what I have been dealing with since late Friday afternoon.  Everything in my day was going well until Mandy opened a letter that came in the mail from the insurance company basically stating that my surgery is not being covered. That's right, 6 days before surgery they decided to tell me it wasn't covered, and better yet, when I called my doctor's office about it, the scheduling nurse said she had no idea it wasn't covered. She told me that when she submitted the codes for surgery to them they pre-approved everything and we were good to go, or so she thought.  After talking with her I called the insurance company and after several minutes of looking things up and reading all the notes on my case file she told me that everything was good to go. Wait, what?   She stated that the doctor's office submitted one code and it was denied, so they resubmitted a new code which was approved, so that is what the letter was all about.  Which is weird because the nurse I spoke with had no idea that anything was denied and was under the impression that we were good to go, but ok great, so we are good to go then right? I said.  Yes sir, she says.  She reiterate that everything was covered and after my deductible was met.

     Five minutes later is when it all changed.  The lady I spoke with from the insurance company called back to says that she miss read the notes and that my surgery wasn't actually covered. Her reasoning was that my doctor had submitted two procedure codes and the actual surgical procedure code was denied because I have not spent 6 fucking months resting from all sports related activities, sought alternative treatments options and medication to treat the tear in my cartilage.  I am by no means a doctor, but within 10 minutes of research on the internet told me what I would imagine every first year med student would know that cartilage doesn't repair itself.   What it sounded like to me is the insurance doctor that reviewed my case seems to think that those other options are viable options to solve my issue and my doctor should have prescribed these first.  So some guy or girl that probably got all D's in med school, barely made it through their residency, couldn't find a real job, probably never practiced medicine and takes home a large paycheck from the insurance company because his job is to save them money not treat the patient.  Yes I am pissed if you can't tell.  Needless to say I blew a fucking gasket and almost tore my office apart at work.

     Where does it all go from here?  Tuesday the nurse is going to call the insurance company and try to get it covered, and if she can't she will request a peer to peer review with my doctor and the insurance company doctor.  Thanks to the timing of the letter arriving on the Friday of a holiday weekend, Tuesday is the earliest they can work on this and I may not know till the end of the day Wednesday whether or not I will be going in for the procedure Thursday morning. 

     I have just had enough with all the bureaucratic bullshit.  When I had my MRI done, it was pre-approved as well for a certain dollar amount, but when I got the bill the insurance decided not to cover as much as they said they would and I ended up having to pay an additional $500 fucking dollars. If you say your gonna cover something then just stick to your word, I am just tired of it already.  The only reason I didn't completely blow a gasket on that whole deal was because I knew I was having surgery at that point and I would have had to pay it to cover my deductible, whether it was now or later.

     Anyway, sorry for the long rant, but that is what has been going on the last couple of days.  I just needed to blow off some steam and writing about it here seemed to help.  Lord knows I can't run right now to burn off this negative energy so I had to do something.  Enjoy your holiday weekend!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

A Few Days Away

     With just a little over a week and a half from my surgery, I can say I am starting to get a little nervous about it.  I keep thinking to myself that I am laying on the table waiting to be put under and telling the anesthesiologist "Don't let me end up like Joan Rivers" I would say.  Of course this kind of fear is to be expected when anyone is about to under go a procedure that puts you to sleep, but now I am starting to worry about work now as well.  I will be off work for a minimum of 10 days and I have so much to I need to make sure is taken care of before and while I am off.  

     Today I had an appointment at the medical supply company to pick up three items that I will need post surgery for recovery and to kick start my rehab.  One machine can only be described as two large lower leg sleeves that work like a blood pressure cuff the doctor uses.  The machine slowly pumps air into the sleeves squeezing my legs to help fight against blood clots from forming.  

     The second is literally a cooler with a pump and a hose that hooks to a large pad.  I am to fill the cooler with ice and water so when the pad is attached to my hip the pump in the cooler will circulate the ice cold water through the pad.  This is to help relieve the swelling and pain that will result following the surgery. 

     The last machine is what I will use to start my rehab.   I can only describe it as a device with a frame work covered with a sheepskin cover that kind of acts like a sling that I will lay my leg in while it slowly bends my leg.  I am to lie flat on my back for 6 to 8 hours each day and allow this machine increase the bend angle of my leg slowly starting with a measure of 0 to 30.  I am to increase this ten points each day till I can get to a measure of 110.


Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Where the Hell Have You Been

     Well it has been a little over a month since my last post and I want to apologize for not being more active for you all.  I have just struggling to feel any sort of being or purpose lately when it comes to my blog.  Every time I think "that would be a good topic to write about" the desire just hasn't been there for me to do it.  Ever since I was told I needed surgery I have been down in the dumps with the whole "why me" argument.  I am sure the lack of exercise that my body is use to is having an effect on my mood, but when you add in being inundated all day every day on Facebook and other blogs about others that are hitting these great milestones, running some great races and just plain enjoying life doing what they love while you can't doesn't help the situation.  Don't get me wrong, I am so happy and proud to see so many people making healthy changes in their lives, but it is hard not to fight that feeling of jealousy and anger at my situation, and I think I have let it get to me so bad that I have been disengaging from almost everything in my life.  More and more the idea of just coming home from work, sitting on the couch and doing nothing but watch Netflix has become my norm, and I don't like it.

     Since I can't run I have dusted off the bicycle and given cycling a shot.  Mandy and I have gone on a few 2-3 mile rides together, but she likes to just relax and enjoy the view when she rides, which I don't mind since we are spending time together, but to me that is the equivalent of walking vs. running.  I have managed a 9 mile and 13 mile rides at a brisk pace, which felt pretty good, despite my ass getting sore. (#) I would like to get out there more, but really the only time I have to ride, other than my day off is in the early morning when its dark, so until I spend some money on lights for the bike, that is out.

     Time to change the attitude and think more positive about things.  I am sure the last thing anyone once to read about is my fucking pity party on how I can't run right now, when there is so much more going on in the world to deal with.  I have to admit, what you are reading now is the third time I have written this post, and before deleting most of it, I think typing those previous drafts really helped.  How you ask?  Well when I read it back to myself, all I heard was a guy that wants something to come easy to him, feels like he is owed something, wants others to feel sorry for him and say it is ok to be like this.  I know this feeling well, and you know what this feeling has gotten me in the past?  I'll tell you  142 POUNDS OF PURE WASTE OF SPACE!  That's right, the last time I felt this way was before this journey ever started and when I didn't want to put in any of the effort, but gain all the results.  

     My plan for the blog's future is to do a daily or every other day post about my surgery experience and recover, but until then my post will be few and far between and may have absolutely nothing to do with running. There is a little more than three weeks till I have my surgery, so until then nothing but living life and concentrating on the positives in life! 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cut Me Mick


      For those of you that don't remember those words, they were spoken by Rocky to his trainer, when his eye was so swollen shut he couldn't see and the only way for him to continue in the fight was to have the trainer cut him to release the pressure and allow him to see.  Well it may not be my eye and this may not be a boxing match, but it is what I have to do if I want to continue running.

     For those of you that have been following along, today was my follow up doctor visit to review my MRI results along with my x-rays, and what I hoped would not be the case, was the case.  The MRI shows a possible labral tear of the cartilage that separates the ball from the socket of my hip joint.  I say possible because no doctor is every going to deal in absolutes until he actually is cutting me open and seeing it for himself, but the evidence seemed pretty convincing.  

     Well, how to we fix it you ask?  We cut me open of course!  Ok, I will stop being overly dramatic, since it is only a one day out patient, arthroscopic procedure where he will cut three small incisions in my hip and thigh to fix the issue.  What I will not exaggerate about is the recovery time, holy shit!  I will have to be off of work for a week to ten days, followed by trying to maneuver around on crutches for three to four weeks.  After those initial ten days I have roughly three months of physical therapy and an estimated time of six months before I can return to running regularly pain free.  Chances are it will be at least year or so before I can attempt another marathon, if ever.  

     Those that I have talked to about this have said I seem rather positive about the whole thing, well what can I say, this has really fucked up a lot of plans and goals I have set for myself, but it is what it is, right?  I mean I would be lying if I said I wasn't completely devastated, but feeling that way and throwing a tantrum like a four year old won't do me a bit of good, so moving on.  Now I have to figure out when is the earliest I can get in to have the surgery done, and based on work related commitments, that looks more like late August or early September at best.

     The other issue I have due to today's news, is what to do with my Detroit Marathon registration.  I cannot get a refund and other than just losing $75 and not showing up for the race, I could do a transfer to someone else.  I am going to do a little research on transfers and maybe just donate my registration fee to someone else who could use it.  So stay tuned for that!  

Thursday, July 9, 2015

My MRI Pulp Fiction Experience

     I have to say that yesterday was a bit of an experience for me.  I haven't ever had any major medical issues that required anything of this magnitude when it comes to testing.  I had my first ever MRI yesterday, and not knowing what to expect I went in filled with more anxiety than I usually do.  My appointment was at 3:00 so I headed over to that area of town to grab a bite to eat and walk around the mall to kill some time before all the festivities began.  

     I arrived thirty minutes early to get checked in and only had to wait about fifteen minutes before they called me back.  The order of the day was going to be started with getting injected with a numbing agent, MRI contrast dye and a steroid that was ordered by my doctor, followed by a forty five minute MRI session as the nurse explained to me.  She first took me back to get changed for the procedure, which I had brought a pair of shorts to wear, but my anxiety quickly skyrocketed when she told me to strip down to just my socks and put on a medical gown.  Despite feeling truly uncomfortable in the situation, there was something very freeing about hanging in the breeze.  

     After I changed I was introduced to the MRI tech who went over my two page questioner, which I stated I was claustrophobic and had tattoos.  The tattoos could have been an issue because some inks contain metal which can feel a burning sensation and can irritate a patient during the MRI, I however had no issues with this during mine.  She showed me the "open" MRI machine she would be using and actually loaded me into the machine for a trial run to make sure I would be ok.  I was fine and didn't feel boxed in, but my face was about two inches from the machine, so it was a little unnerving. 

     Once she let me out, I was headed to another room to get the injections done.  I climbed aboard the x-ray table where the nurse positioned my leg and pull my gown up to the point I was very uncomfortable.  Now the whole time I was there the nurse and the MRI tech was so nice and accommodating, but at this point the nurse was explaining the injection procedure and by the time I was done I felt like the doctor was going to come in and go all John Travolta in Pulp Fiction on me.  As the doctor began to inject the needle I was prepping myself for a painful stabbing by clenching my hands and squinting my eyes as tight as I could.  Wouldn't you know, it wasn't shit to deal with.  I have had more pain getting my blood drawn than what I went through here.  Now for the cool part, I mentioned I was on an x-ray table, well he had a live x-ray shot of my hip on the screen so he could see where he was guiding the needle.  Once I realized the pain wasn't anything to deal with I looked at the screen to see this long needle injected into my hip joint.  He explained that I would feel pressure in the joint once he pumped all the drugs and the dye in, and sure as shit, it felt like someone was putting slight pressure on me.

     Now, for the MRI portion things didn't go quite as smooth as the injections did.  The tech got me all loaded into the machine, cranked up some '90s rock on the headphones for me and we began the scans.  After the first two scans, lasting in total of about fifteen minutes, she came in to make changes to the machine because she said, and I quote "you are to skinny and I have to change the machine to get a better picture."  It still is funny to hear someone utter those words to a person who use to be 317 pounds, but digress.  The change to the machine took about five minutes or so before I had to climb back onto the table and start the entire procedure over again.  From this point on things were going smoothly and I thought I was done when the tech said she was coming in, but I was wrong.  She told me that the last two scans she was unable to get good images and asked me if I would try the other machine, you know the tube that feels like your in a fucking coffin.  She said it would be ten minutes at the most, I said what the hell I can handle it, I think.  Thankfully she put me in feet first so my head was still sticking out a little, but man it felt tight in there.  We got started, and after the first scan I was doing pretty good, so she quickly moved on to the last scan.  I don't know what happened, but as soon as she said we were done and she was coming in to get me, my anxiety level shot through the roof and I felt trapped.  If she would have taken five seconds longer I think I would have had a full fledged freak out.

     I should have the results in a few days and I meet with my doctor for a follow up on the results next week.  I was given a copy of the images to look at, but I don't know what the hell I am suppose to be looking for, but here are some examples of the scans.  If I am correct the really white areas are the cartilage lining the hip joint.  I'll will have to wait till next week to be enlightened on what I am seeing here.