After two years of various doctors, inconclusive scans, and a lot of insisting and persuading that I am not imagining the pain in my knee, I finally got a date for an arthroscopy.
Since December 2016 I have been unable to run because it appears I damaged my meniscus. On a normal day I cannot run more than 2 km or walk more than around 15 km without having to stop in pain. Going downhill shortens both of these distances considerably.
I should be relieved but since receiving the appointment I have been dithering about whether I should push it back a bit. Maybe my problem is not so bad, maybe it is getting better, maybe I should just sit and wait just a little bit more.
The final test.
A couple of weekends ago I was joined by two friends in the Vale of Belvoir for what was planned to be a 25 km round trip along the Grantham canal and round by Belvoir Castle.
This was to be a final test. I had planned a walk this Spring on the Estonian island of Hiiumaa and I wanted to be sure I could do a long day so I planned on this occasion to walk 25km with a rucksack, something I have not done for a while. If I completed the walk with no pain then I was inclined to postpone the arthroscopy and keep my fingers crossed.
Why would anyone do so, having waited for so long? I think my reluctance has been down to my fear of bad news. My mind has been finding a way to delay hearing that there is nothing that can be done for my knee. If that is the case I will never run again and trips to the mountains will have to be either solely uphill or restricted to very short hikes.
The result could be life-changing.
Around the 16 km mark, after seeing the splendour of Belvoir Castle as the sun finally burnt off the morning’s fog, we started descending through the woods before the village of Stathern when my knee told me in no uncertain terms that it was time to stop.
When I started this blog one of my resolutions was to run an ultra marathon and it was in the early stages of preparing for such an event that I hurt myself (on the treadmill of all places). Now I would be grateful if I were to be told that I might one day go for a long walk in the mountains.
So, this Thursday I will go into hospital and the surgeon will stick a bunch of cameras in my knee. I am not sure I have ever felt this nervous in my life. The operation could not be more routine but if there is nothing to be done the result, I fear, could be life-changing.