Complex, Uncommon And Unbroken

“Nothing else matters much when you are in the grips of great pain, struggling to somehow persist and continue forging onward against staggering odds. These endeavors would temporarily ruin my body but cleanse my soul.” — Dean Karnazes on running ultramarathons in Road to Sparta

It’s been nearly 6 weeks since Grandma’s Marathon, when shortly after half way a deep pain struck with a vengeance. The pain broke my concentration and my stride so that by the time I reached Lemondrop Hill, at mile 22, my thought was solely on finishing.

It would take less time to hobble to the finish then dropping out and waiting for a ride to Canal Park.

Anyone that’s done a marathon before knows it’s not easy.

But this feeling was new and different. And I knew something was terribly wrong.

A few days later, when the pain hadn’t subsided, a trip to the doctor was the only real choice. Ten days later, I finally walked into the office for an exam. It took another 10 days for the MRI. And finally, 20 days later, a 7-hour roundtrip drive to the Twin Cities for a 30-minute consultation with a specialist.

It all proved confirmation today to the problem, but with far more detail.

In concise layman’s terms, the diagnosis is a core muscle injury comprised of micro tears to the lower abdominal wall. As one doctor described, it is a “complex injury” effecting both muscle and bone, and uncommon because the injury isn’t to one of the typical muscles injured. His description, and the evaluation and experience of the specialist, reaffirmed why its more than a sports injury as simple, routine everyday life — sitting, sleeping on one’s side and more — causes pain.

Complex, uncommon. But fixable with surgery and rehabilitation during recovery.

Others have overcome more. Others have faced far more discouraging odds.

Perhaps that’s why my spirit remains unbroken.

It’s been a good run, but one that’s far from being over.

On another note, Coby turned 4 today, so here are a couple photos — at 6 weeks and tonight while chewing on a birthday bone.