I feel like I've been waiting forever for the results to come through from my latest MRI and bone scans. The wait is over and I have finally seen my consultant. I knew the results would be negative and I wasn't wrong. I've known all along that I don't have a bone problem. I think, as an athlete, you know your body enough to know the difference between feelings of soft tissue or bone.
My whole life has been built around being outdoors and being physically active. Over the past year and a half, the pain in my lower legs has slowly increased and the level of activity I can complete pain free has drastically reduced. I have become a shadow of the person I used to be. I used to jump around and be full of life. I used to smile all the time. I didn’t realise how much I relied on exercise and adventure for my mental health. Now I spend a large portion of my time crying and I take antidepressants to get me through each day.
On Friday after being given my results we discussed the steps moving forward. My consultant wants things to move quickly now as I've been in pain for so long. There are two possible conditions I could be suffering with (or so it appears) and we need to do two tests to find out whats going on. The first test will be a type of ultrasound to see if I have a problem with an artery in my leg being restricted when the calf muscle contracts. If that is negative then we will be looking into Compartment Syndrome.
The test for Compartment Syndrome (CS) is brutal. In the past five months I've done a lot of research into CS as I am suffering with the symptoms of this. From what I've read most people feel the test is worse than the surgery. The test involves sticking a huge needle into each of the four compartments of your calf, in each leg, to test the pressure. You then do some exercise and repeat the test. If the pressure is higher than normal then you have CS.
As this is such an excruciating and invasive test my consultant has said he will book the surgery room to do it in. If the results are positive, he will operate on me there and then. He has highlighted my case as urgent and wants to get this sorted quickly.
I really wasn't expecting this to move so quick when I went to hospital the other day. Everything has taken so long to get to where I am now that I was expecting he would put me on a huge waiting list for the test and then have to wait a lot longer for any further action.
I'd got used to waiting and got used to the feeling that nothing was changing. I was frustrated that nothing was changing but at least that felt safe. Now that the possibility of an operation has become a reality I feel really scared. I've known for a long time that this is likely to be the outcome as I've tried so many exercises and physical therapies to sort this out and nothing has worked but it's still super scary when I think about my legs being cut open.
I’ve been told by my consultant that I won’t be able to perform as I have in the past. I’ll lose a lot of strength and ability. This is devastating. Of course I will tackle this as I have every challenge in my life. I will be as positive and determined as possible but it doesn’t stop me being scared.
Things are going to be changing quite a lot and quite quickly over the next few weeks. I really hope this is all for the best and I can start to rebuild my life again.
Much love xxx