To Doc or not to Doc

I have a bit of problem. Running hurts. In fact, walking, sitting, knealing down, and having X sit on my lap on the floor hurts. I’ve got an annoying pain in my right shin and my question is whether or not I should go bug my orthopedist about it.

Running and pain seem to go hand in hand no matter how experienced you are, how good your form is, or how fabulous your shoes are. I can deal with that. I don’t mind a little pain and I proudly show off my scrapes and bruises after a good mud run.


Like this scrape on my side from the Spartan Sprint on June 1. Didn’t even know I had this one until a few hours afterwards. Pretty, isn’t it?

The pain that I currently have is just to the inside of my left tibia, halfway up the bone. Most of the day, it isn’t so much a pain as a constant awareness of that particular 1.5 inch section of bone that hurts only if I press on the spot. Other times, it feels like if I put all my weight on it, it will snap like a candy cigarette. My first thought should be that it’s just shin splints and I need to stretch better and ice the darn thing, right? I took a few days off of running (which blew because I had an OCR this past Saturday that I was completely not up for) and really wasn’t feeling any better for it. It probably just needs more rest time but tough ta-tas, Leg, you have a race you need to run.

So I ran a bit, but mostly walked the 5k MudManX. I babied that leg like it was made of glass, making Jay and random other kind strangers help me gently down off of walls and such. I refused to try the monkeybar-type obstacle because I didn’t want to risk falling off (highly likely) and landing on it. I did burpees instead of making more attempts at a difficult slippery wall that seemed to be putting more pressure on the leg than it liked and again I didn’t want to slide back down and land on it.  I did little weird stuttered hops over logs where the bad leg led the jump but I scissored my legs mid-jump so that the good leg landed first anyway.  I felt a couple little twangs of pain along the way when I didn’t watch my step, but nothing major. After the race I was fine, but iced it anyway. Later that day, I went to the mall to buy a Father’s Day gift for my dad and left with more pain than before, during or after the race. What? Obstacle course = fine. Stroll through the mall = pain? No, that doesn’t make sense.

Over the last week, I’ve done the worst thing that anyone can ever do. Ever. I tried to self-diagnose via the internet. Nothing turns a case of the hiccups into alveolar cancer compounded with Hanta virus faster than a trip down the Google Search rabbit hole. The rational side of my brain is saying that it is still probably just shin splints, maybe a bruised bone from last week’s slippery wall fiasco. The completely paranoid freak side is absolutely sure I have another stress reaction like I did on my hip bone, or maybe even a full-on stress fracture, or compartment syndrome. Smooth move, Nicole, you’ve now convinced the dumb portion of your brain that you have osteosarcoma.

So when is it just a regular old pain, and when is it something that should be checked out? Do I really want to shell out the money for another round of X-rays and an MRI just to show that there is nothing there that anything can be done about. On the other hand, do I really want to keep running through the pain and end up snapping my leg in twain like that basketball player? If there isn’t anything wrong, is the doctor going to think I’m a whiny hypochondriac? Am I a whiny hypochondriac?

All that being said, I have an appointment with my sports ortho on Thursday. When my husband, who doesn’t go to a doctor unless he’s dying, keeps harping on me to see a doctor, it might just be time to see a doctor.


3 thoughts on “To Doc or not to Doc

    1. Thanks for the heads up. I wasn’t even at my computer or phone when those spam-tweets went out. Don’t know what the hell happened but I’ll monitor that.

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