Yesterday, I revisited my doctor for a check-in after he told me to lay off running for a month. For the past four weeks, I’ve been taking some anti-inflammatory meds he prescribed to help alleviate whatever is causing this sporadic numbness in my back. And, seeing how yesterday was National Running Day (in June? who planned that?), I was hoping for some good news.
Our conversation went a little like this, give or take some dramatization:
Doc: Great. You again.
Me: Fine, thanks. That stuff you gave me didn’t work. I think. It’s hard to tell.
Doc: Let’s schedule an MRI.
Doc: Unless you don’t want one.
Me: Do I need one?
Doc: I don’t know. Do you?
Me: This is fun.
The doctor then performed a series of sensory tests on my back – dull, cold, prickly tests to measure the sensations on my back. Everything felt the same. His thinks, because there’s no pain associated with the numbness, I could have damaged a nerve, and the only way to repair it is to let it heal itself. Nerves apparently grow at a rate of 1 mm a month, so this could take awhile – even if it’s a little tear.
After more discussion and the confession that I’d done my own research on the Internets (doctors love hearing that), he reluctantly agreed to let me run next week once all this medicine is out of my system. He still isn’t all that jazzed that Marine Corps Marathon training will commence in a few weeks, but he’s a runner, so he understood and relented a bit.
The only catch to this whole agreement – if the numb area “grows” or becomes more frequent, I have to call back and schedule the MRI. I can live with that. From what I’ve read, there are ton of people out there who are living with this numbness all the time anyway.
I’m already planning my first run back – a barefoot, short jog close to my house. I can’t friggin’ wait.
Keep running, friends.