Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Follow up

So have been back to the ortho-chap for a follow up. The warm bath-stretch-cold patch treatment was partially successful, but still not right. So in the consultation he prodded me back and front again, I think he was convinced it was a sports hernia, but no such luck I'm afraid, so actually I think he was stumped. Then he asks "do you want an MRI scan to see what the soft tissue damage is like?"
"I don't know, do I?"
"I don't know, do you?"
"You tell me, you're the doctor!"
"Well you could have one, but you don't have to have one"
"What will it tell me?"
"Where your soft tissue is damaged"
"So, basically, it will tell me where my leg hurts?"
"I know where my leg hurts"
"It might tell us why your leg hurts"
"Well, these things are never certain..."
"Er...ok, why not"
"Where do you want to go? There are clinics all over?
Flicking through the MRI brochure...
"Ah, Shibuya, that's where I work, that'll be fine"
"OK, I'll arrange for you, oh, and it's 50 quid"
"So what other treatments are available...?"

So now I go there a couple of times a week for treatment with a sort of prehensile-microwave-leg warming thing and some hot packs. I don't know, it seems to be getting better but goodness it's all taking a bit of time. I did the groin in on 20th December and so that's over 5 weeks past and I can still feel it. Also the weird thing is that in the last couple of weeks, when I put all my weight on it like putting on a pair of trousers, I can't support myself. Probably 'core strength and stability issues' says my Aussie physio footballing friend (who was away over Christmas, otherwise I would have gone to see him straightaway).

Anyway, on we go...

In other sports related news, yesterday morning, at the ungodly hour of 7.30, I coached the junior school cricket team as the regular coach was doing something with a group of ballerinas. Yes, I know where I would have preferred to have been as well, especially as to be at the ground for 7.30 I had to be up at 5.10 in the A.M. (yes, it does exist as a time and no, it was not pleasant (but then again the Guru gets up at this time everyday to make bentos (that Japanese packed lunches) for the little 'un (and sometimes me)).

Anyway, apart from the time and the fact it was perishingly cold, it was jolly good fun. The kids were really up for it, very enthusiastic and not a little skilled. We did some fielding drills, useful as their throwing is wayward to say the least, and a bit of batting and a bit of bowling. Their batting is a touch on the 'kitchen sink' side (i.e. see the ball and throw everything at it...) but some of their bowling was pretty good, including one little Year 4 kid who is a pretty mean wrist spinner; England's Shane Warne for the 2025 Ashes...

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Orthopaedic chap

So went along to the ortho-chap today. We were going to go to our local hospital but then the Guru found what looked to more like a physio/sports-injury doctor so there we went. Interestingly we were the youngest patients there by about 50 years, and it was packed, so goodness knows what the hospital's ortho section would have been like...

Due to numbers of extremely decrepit old personages there we figured that we were in for a long wait, but I think that their interest was piqued by the prospect of treating someone under the age of 90, so a young doctor-ish person came out straight away and started asking questions about what, were, when etc.

First decision was to make sure it was anything to do with problem bones, so it was x-ray time. I thought it would be one, maybe another from the side, but I really must get out of this mindset and remember I'm in Japan. So, something like 15 x-rays later we were done - about half way through I did feel slightly worried that they were taking snapshots of my groin; not that I'm planning on any more kids, but 15 doses of radiation on the old meat & two veg can't be good, can it?

Then a meeting with the Doc - the good news was that there is no bone damage, so it's not like I have a stress fracture in my femur or anything like that (I was worried). And the bad news... well, wasn't really like bad news, except he said, essentially;

"Your thigh hurts and it's muscular - not much you can do except 1 rest; 2 stretch, especially after a hot bath; 3 buy some cold patch things from the chemist down stairs, here's a prescription."

Can I run again?

"Your leg hurts you idiot, no you can't, not for at least 2 weeks, then come back and see me if it still hurts".

So there we go. No real help or advice on what I did wrong or what I can do to prevent it happening again in the future. But then again he isn't a sports physiotherapist so maybe he doesn't know the why's or how not to again's, just what's wrong and how to make it better.

At least another 2 weeks of not running will mean I have been off training for the best part of 5 weeks and it will only be about 5-6 weeks until the marathon; so not enough time to get back to where I was fitness-wise and improve enough/get enough miles under my belt to make the race a realistic proposition (and avoid serious and permanent damage to myself in the process).

So the marathon is off the agenda for 2010, more's the pity. However I will be applying for 2011 and fingers crossed I'll get in for that one.

In the meantime I will recover from this setback, be wiser for it, start running again and launch the 2011 training programme from a much stronger running base. Also I'll try and get a couple of half marathons in there so I know what racing feels like.

Monday, 4 January 2010


Or rather thigh - been two weeks now, 2 weeks of not running, eating too much, drinking too much (probably) and still the accursed thigh is no better. Well, it's a bit better but not better enough to be able to go out for a run.

This means I have missed 2 weeks (and counting) of training runs so the goal of running and completing the marathon seems to be receding into the distance. If I started again now I would have to spend a couple of weeks getting back to where I was and as there are still 8 weeks to the race I think that would be possible - but I'm nowhere near being able to run at the moment, so I have a horrible suspicion that that is it.

I'm off to see a physio on Wednesday to see what they say but I am not hopeful. Oh well...

In different news, read this lovely passage in Herodotus' Histories (book 1), which I feel should be adopted by all world leaders immediately.

He says, talking of the Persians:

"If an important decision is to be made, they discuss the question when they are drunk, and the following day the master of the house where the discussion was held submits their decision for reconsideration when they are sober. If they still approve it, it is adopted; if not, it is abandoned. Conversely, any decision they make when they are sober, is reconsidered afterwards when they are drunk."