An old commercial about drug addiction used to say, “Your Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste”, but sometimes I think your mind is just a terrible thing. Things get in your head and you can’t get them out. I’m struggling.
It’s Thursday – I’m supposed to have my biggest race EVER on Sunday. I have no idea if I’m going to be able to race or not. Things have been up and down for the past week. Last Friday – Monday I had intense shoulder pain that I could hardly bear, by Monday night it had improved and I was certain my shoulder had just been out of place. I went to a Sports Medicine doctor on Tuesday. He evaluated me, told me he was almost 100% certain it was tendonitis (just an overuse injury/inflammation). He said if that’s all it was I would be fine to race on Sunday. He would give me some steroids. I would be in some pain, but I wouldn’t do any damage to myself. After the race I could come back and he would set up some type of rehab to get me back in tip top shape. I was on cloud 9!! But, just to be safe, he scheduled a CT scan………
Flash forward to yesterday…..call from Doctor – So, it’s not tendonitis, there’s some cartilage damage. I need you to go in for an MRI so we can see how extensive it is. My first thought was….huh? I’m too young for that aren’t I, and I haven’t been swimming that long. My second thought was, cartilage damage doesn’t sound like a big deal…I mean is it really going to get worse? Then, I started doing some internet research – probably a bad idea. Based on my symptoms and some tests available on You Tube, I’m pretty certain I have a SLAP tear. What the heck is that?
It’s an acronym (Superior Labrum from Anterior to Posterior)…yeah that tells you a lot huh?
It’s a common problem among baseball players and it’s caused by repeated overhead movements. It’s also common among swimmers. Basically, you have a ring of cartilage that goes around your shoulder socket and it attaches at one of the biceps tendons. You can get a tear in the area where the tendon attaches to the cartilage. I have not been diagnosed with this, but I swear everything I read about it is 100% accurate to what I have been and am feeling. Time will tell. I had my MRI this morning. I’m hoping to get the results of by tomorrow.
I’m not sure what the doctor will recommend – race, don’t race, surgery??? Who knows? I don’t like unknowns. My mind goes to the worse. I won’t be able to race. I’ll have to have surgery. I won’t be able to do that Half Ironman next summer that I’ve already been somewhat secretly planning for (expect with my circle of girlfriends who are all planning to do it too).
Then I think. What if I just race anyway……what if the pain is so intense I can’t do the swim. It is almost a mile swim after all. We are talking about 45 minutes in the water (at least for me), maybe even more with an injury. What if they have to pull me out of the water and rescue me? I don’t want to be one of those people. That would be mortifying.
I just don’t know. I’ve put in 5 hard months of training. I want to race, but I want to be smart. I’m trying to stay positive. I still don’t even have a diagnosis yet. These are the things I know:
1. If I can’t race – IT WILL NOT be the end of the world. Things like this happen to people all of the time and they survive.
2. If I can’t race – I WILL be able to race again. I don’t know when, but this is not forever.
3. If I can’t race – I WILL still go to Des Moines. I will watch the 5i50 Championship Series and it will be fun.
4. I WILL not let this defeat me. I WILL not.
I’ll keep you posted when I hear more. I’m still looking for that swimmer!!! I’m serious. Anyone that wants to do the swim portion of Hyvee on Sunday let me know. I’ll make Jim run and I can bike. We’ll be a great team J