My date with the fluoroscope is booked for next Thursday morning and so begins the second chapter of the Durolane Diaries. I go into this second round absolutely convinced that Durolane worked for me. I had spent a lot of that first cycle wondering if it was all in my head and whether it was wishful thinking or a placebo effect that was making my hip feel better, but my experiences over the past couple of weeks have confirmed for me, one hundred percent, that Durolane worked and that it did so for somewhere within the six- to nine-month range that my doctor said it would.
The low point for me came last Thursday during a run with my marathon clinic. It was by no means a difficult route for me, but I had run the Stormy 50-miler that Sunday so joining the clinic for a hilly 10-mile road run might not have been the best thing for me to do at that point. I felt the fatigue from the weekend as my legs were noticeably heavy right from the outset, but after a few hills I started feeling the hip. By the time we reached the top of the final big climb in Queen Elizabeth Park — which I naturally charged up as aggressively as my tired legs would allow — my hip throbbed and stiffened up so badly I thought it would lock up and I wouldn’t be able to get going again. I struggled through the final few kilometres back to the store and gingerly walked home from there.
It was a rough night and easily the most painful run I’ve had in a long time. But it wasn’t the first time I’d felt like that. I instantly flashed back to last summer. This was the same kind of pain, stiffness, restricted range of motion and the near-locking up of the joint that I felt on a few occasions a year ago before my first Durolane injection! I had completely forgotten how bad it had been until Thursday’s run triggered the memories. Whether that is a testament to the effectiveness of Durolane or a condemnation of my lousy memory, I can’t say, but it served as a very pointed reminder of just how bad my hip can feel when it’s running on empty.
Last week my doctor wrote me a new prescription for Durolane and submitted a referral to Vancouver General Hospital Ultrasound where I had the first injection done last November. While I waited for VGH to call, I figured that the least I could do in the name of medical science would be to run as hard as I could and experience the most discomfort I could stand in advance of that injection, so that I would have a very real and very painful benchmark from which to compare Durolane’s effectiveness this time around. Brave words that are obviously easier said that acted upon — especially with all the other aches slowing me down right now — so I was relieved to get the call from VGH Ultrasound this morning confirming that I will only have suffer for science for another week!
So, with one round of Durolane behind me, I am hopeful that the second injection is as effective and allows me to run as hard as I want. Aside from the relief from pain and stiffness, the other nice thing is that the timing of this injection is well ahead of the Victoria Marathon. Last year, I couldn’t get in until just after Victoria and ultimately had the injection postponed another month. Though the pain was manageable, I definitely felt the hip during that race so it’ll be good not to have any excuses slowing me down this year!