I am a medical mystery!!
My mom says she wouldn’t go that far.
But, yes, we did get my blood test results back yesterday. I swung into Mother Dearest’s car after school, extremely ravenous as always, but with one thing and one thing only on my mind:
“What did you find out about my knees?”
Here’s the kicker. Here’s the kicker, people.
My blood is PERFECTLY normal.
Let the screaming ensue.
Now, don’t get me wrong; I am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief that I didn’t test positive for the rheumatoid factor, which would be the most telling indicator of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis. I know that there are some people who still run with arthritis, but it’s generally just on softer surfaces, and not very much. This may be a little bit pessimistic of me to say, but I honestly believe that there would be NO WAY for me to realize my someday-dreams of running a marathon with such a debilitating condition. And thus, the fact that I do not have arthritis warrants a heartfelt Hallelujah!
But it would be nice to know exactly what IS wrong with me.
Mother Dearest’s and my speculations have been all over the board: extremely severe growing pains, shin splints, stress fracture, torn meniscus, gout. The fact that I am now capable of somewhat comfortable motion leads us to tentatively eliminate torn meniscus, though, and even with my spankin’ new protein powder, I don’t really know how vegetarian me could contract gout, but anything’s possible at this point. It’s also possible that I DID simply contract a case of runner’s knee and blew it quite out of proportion. (Some days I can’t even walk, though–I don’t really think this whole thing is just me being whiny.) So, in a few weeks I am due for an orthopedic appointment to get some X-rays, and after that it’s physical therapy if things haven’t healed up.
Myself, I’m starting to harbor the suspicion that maybe it’s a dietary intolerance of some sort. (Naturally, that’s what my mind jumps to–but I do think it is a valid point of consideration!) Specifically, I’ve been experimenting with lowering my gluten intake (I’ll work on cutting it out completely if the orthopedist gives me the go-ahead), and my condition HAS improved! (My parents will hate this. To add dietary restrictions upon dietary restrictions…) I know that if one is sensitive to gluten, cutting it out of the diet can help tremendously with things like the inflammation that I am experiencing, since a gluten sensitivity can cause the body to try to “fight” ingested gluten using inflammation. However, it is also entirely possible that my condition is improving because of the large amount of time that has passed since I first developed it. No way to know, at this point. 😦
Now I’m going to do what seems like the LAST thing I SHOULD be doing: hash out my fitness resolutions for 2013!! 🙂 instead of focusing on what me and my dang knees can’t do (which is unfortunately a lot…) and start focusing on what I CAN do (which is unfortunately, not a lot). Though at the beginning of December I was in too severe pain to exercise at all, now I can work on our elliptical machine, and biking isn’t so bad either. I can also do a lot of strength training routines, as long as they don’t involve lots of weight being supported by my ankles or knees. I can continue to work on my quest to do a pull-up, in which I’ve made a lot of progress, but, um…still am not finished with. 😉 That should tell you a little bit about my upper body strength levels to begin with, right? The fact that I started it in September and still haven’t…never mind.
My fitness resolutions for 2013 are as follows:
1. Be able to complete said pull-up challenge–that is, be able to do five full pull-ups and ten full push-ups consecutively.
2. Run a 10k race–IF running is still feasible.
3. Do more yoga. I already stretched a lot when I was running, but I am increasingly aware that I need to be kinder to my joints!!
4. Be able to beat at LEAST one person in my math class at arm wrestling. If you read the Gettin’ mah Game Face On post, you know that the fact that I wasn’t able to was quite infuriating! 😉
5. Remember to cut myself some slack, and be awesome. I have to remember that the fact that I’m working on all this is an accomplishment in itself, and that all the things my body can do are super amazing!! I have to let go of the perfectionist mindset–e.g., I have time for maybe ten minutes of strength training today, but that won’t get anything done, so I’ll just skip it–NOO!! Any amount I can do, I will do. And I will be awesome.