Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Why Is It So Hard To Find Good Help?

So, do you remember how my plan for March was to just take it easy and rest?  That meant after seeing a doctor in December, then in January, and then again in February, I was going to rest in March, do my stretches, and basically try to rehab myself (on my own) to how I was feeling pre-marathon (like Novemeber-ish).

I did my stretches and strength training exercise in March and did absolutely no running.  My pain is not as severe as it once was but I am definitely not back to where I want to be. I decided that I would try to get back in to Physical Therapy for the month of April, and hopefully that will prepare me better for the Pixie Dust Challenge coming up in May.

Let me tell you my story on how easy it was to
get into Physical Therapy........

I called the PT office that I went to last year. This time I ask specifically for someone who works with athletes, specifically runners. I ask if I could have a women PT as well.  The lady on the phone tells me that they only have one women in their office and that she only deals with balance and stability problems. She recommends that I visit their sister office down the street, they have plenty of women PT there.  She transfers me there.  The receptionist over there tells me that no one in their office is a runner but they do work with athletes. Okay. I figure that's probably as good as I am going to get, so I take it.   She tells me that she can't make me an appointment until I get a referral from my doctor.  I call my family doctor who is familiar with my condition and they politely agree to send over the referral.  Once the referral has been sent, the lady at PT calls me and says that referral is not good enough because it was more than 30 days old.  She wants me to go to the orthopedist (which is located in their building. I think its a conspiracy, they are all in the same healthcare system...lol).  I told her that I had actually already been to the orthopedist and that he could not help me. He gave me a shot and sent me on my way.  She then says she will call the orthopedist to see if they can give me a referral.  She calls back and says "no". My last visit to the orthopedist was in February. That was more than 30 days ago. That's not good enough.  I was trying to remain calm about this even though I was getting quite annoyed. I told the receptionist that I had been to this orthopedist several times. Yes, the last visit was in February, but my symptoms haven't changed since then. He did nothing for me then so what more could he do for me now.  Uggh!

So now......I am not dealing with that healthcare system anymore. I went to run some errands in town on Monday and decided to stop at the physical therapy place down there. I walked right in, talked to the lady at the front desk and told her my problem. They took my doctor's referral (even though it was more than 30 days old), and got me an appointment the next day.

My appointment was yesterday and already I am enjoying my physical therapist. The best part is that he was a professional runner. He use to run professionally for Nike. He gets it!  The first appointment was just testing my strength, balance, flexibility, and watching me walk and run.  I learned that I was tight in muscles that I didn't even know that I had.  I have another appointment tomorrow and I am suppose to bring in a few pairs of my old running shoes so he can evaluate my running pattern.   This PT is going to be an expense for a while but I am really looking forward to what I'm learning and how it will help me.  Oh and guess what. This guy didn't tell me that I was too old to be running or that I should take up swimming instead!

Have you ever had such a hard time trying to find someone to help with your running injuries? -M

I think it might just be the healthcare in my state. It appears my friends in VA have excellent sports medicine doctors.

32 comments:

  1. Take always good care of yourself! I'm not such an expert to dare to give my advice, so I can only trust that you'll know what's best!

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  2. I can totally relate. It can take a long time to find a professional who is actually helpful. Even the good ones don't know everything, so I've learned that if you're not getting better to move on. It already sounds like this PT is much better than your other ones. Hopefully you can finally figure out whats going on and how to fix it!

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    1. I don't expect any one person to know everything but I have been so surprised with how much some of them don't know. I didn't think my problem was that uncommon!

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  3. Glad you finally found someone that can help you. Sometimes where you live can make finding appropriate care difficult. I have been very lucky with the few visits I have had to a PT here. The guy I go to is always busy, but seems to have all the time in the world when something needs to get treated.

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    1. I have a really good feeling about this guy. He is a runner so right away he has more knowledge of what I am going through.

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  4. Sorry to hear that its been a frustrating experience thus far, but hopefully your new PT will work out well!

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  5. Glad the appointment went well. It took me many, many tries to find good doctors and physical therapists. The key is to find ones that do run/bike/etc. And to ask around to other friends and running buddies. I'm so excited you found someone that has potential. I can't wait to hear about it!
    @heatherlas

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    1. Thanks Heather! I'm sure i'll be sharing what i've learned!

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  6. That is so frustrating that it was so difficult to find somewhere to get an appointment :( I'm glad that you ended up finding someone good that seems like he can help. Good luck!

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  7. Isn't the healthcare system great? It was really bad in Boston because insurance wouldn't cover anything without a referral, and my doctor wouldn't refer me to anyone outside of their teeny tiny group. Ugh! At least in Dallas it's much more flexible. My chiro treats athletes, my PT is a runner, as is his wife, and one of the techs is training for the Olympics.

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  8. This is the #1 reason why I don't go to the doctors! It's always such a hassle dealing with them and jumping through hoops. It's so frustrating! Why can't it just be easy and painfree?! I'm glad you finally found a good PT. Hopefully you won't have any future problems with them!

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  9. I'm not a runner but we have our own struggles going on with the system.

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  10. That PT sounds perfect for you! Way to take things into your own hands!

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  11. Oh wow. I am so frustrated for you! If it makes you feel any better (not) I jumped through many of the same hoops here in IL. When trying to get my referral I had to endure all the stop running crap then got the same song and dance from the PT. Eventually I found a sports chiro who is a saint and an athlete and he's been a miracle worker for me ever since. I pay out of pocket so that sucks but at least I get results. So glad you found a PT you like. That is not easy to do.

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  12. I've had a similar situation as you when I tried to get PT for my hamstring. Finally found a place that worked with athletes, but I still didn't feel like I got as much help as I might have, had I found a runner PT. I guess all of your trials ended up being worth it because you found such a good PT, but how frustrating!!! I hope you get relief and a good plan to be able to run without pain for many years to come. Oh and I'm with you - anytime a doctor tells me I should stop running and switch to swimming, I stop listening to him.

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  13. I really think that certain areas that are more health conscious does have good doctors that understand running injuries/problems... I have friend in Denver that said all their doctors are very health aware on a different level. Here, where tobacco & bourbon is key? A LOT harder to find good doctors.

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  14. I work in healthcare and I totally get this. They do call medicine an art, even though there is a push towards more evidence based treatments. This means that a lot of providers are doing a lot of different things. Keep trying...

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  15. Glad to hear you found someone you like!

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  16. I really hope that this one will be the one to help! Sounds like it might be one of those meant to be situations!
    Don't get discouraged if it takes longer to heal, I know that is easier said than done. But tendonitis is a tricky thing, and depending on how much damage you did to it before you started the healing process can mean months to years longer... This coming from someone that has been dealing with it for 2 years, however I am almost completely mended, I believe!
    I have a good friend who just finished over a year getting through hers, and had to take a year off, but she is back to running better than ever this spring, and would tell you the same, let it heal first:)
    Even if you have to take more time off, it will be worth it, especially if they can help you heal for good. Imagine not having to deal with injury again, and running and racing as you would like:) It will happen! I hope this Dr/PT will be your solution!!!! Good luck, my friend!

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  17. Wow, how frustrating!! Sounds like you ended up at the right place in the end! Good luck!

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  18. What a frustrating thing health care and insurance can be! I am glad you found someone to help you who is runner :) I do love my sports medicine doc, he has helped me through a very bum shoulder and more recently with my stress fracture, but he does keep reminding i am getting older and I may not be able to do what I use to. That does get old!
    I sure hope this solution helps you on the path to feeling healthy and ready to run again :)

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  19. Sorry to hear what you went through to get a PT! Glad you found someone that you like so far. Hope the PT goes well.

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  20. That sounds like quite a headache, but I'm SO glad you were able to get in with a PT who can help you!! YAY!

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  21. Glad that you finally found someone good who understands runners & can help. That's definitely worth the expense!

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  22. I'm glad you found someone to help you. It can be really difficult, can't it.

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  23. I'm in the process of trying to find some help for some recurring issues and it is such a challenge! I'm really glad you were persistent and found someone to really help you!

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  24. persistance pays! I've been in healthcare forever-you really got to sometimes fight sometimes for what you want- sad but true, stick to it!

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  25. take care of yourself and fight for what your right for service! I always have issues finding doctors mainly because of insurance or because they are booked. Hopefully this doctor can help you (I love to find a doctor who runs!) and you can share your new found wisdom with all of us

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  26. Good for you for shopping around and finding the right fit! Having specialists who are also runners makes such a huge difference! Non-runner doctors have (on several occasions) told me that the only way to fix my issue (whatever it was at the time) was to stop running. Runner doctors seem to be more interested in finding a solution that lets me keep running!

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  27. Yikes! How ridiculously frustrating. I'm glad you found someone who can help, and the fact that he's a pro runner himself is awesome!

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Fairytales and Fitness is a personal blog authored and edited by us, Meranda and Lacey. The thoughts expressed here represent only our own and are not meant to be taken as professional advice. Please note that our thoughts and opinions change from time to time. We consider this a necessary consequence of having an open mind in an ever changing society. Any thoughts and opinions expressed within our out-of-date posts may not be the same, nor even similar, to those we may express today.