My training has been off for a few weeks. Starting back a few weeks ago I thought I was dealing with an ovarian cyst. It would not have been the first time and although I was experiencing some pain and discomfort I was not concerned. I have PCOS and these things are par for the course.
Last weekend while running I experienced what I was pretty sure were heat cramps, although it seemed like I had not run far enough or been in in the sun long enough for that to be the problem. Each day I went to the gym running became more and more difficult. My upper thighs hurt. I would start to cramp while running. I was struggling to finish 2 miles at a slow pace when my training was dictating that I should routinely be doing 4 and 5 by now.
On Wednesday I finally caved and went in for an ultrasound. I felt certain it would show cysts and I just wanted to make sure none were large enough that I was risking rupturing them with my workouts. Yesterday the results came back that there was only a single cyst and it was quite small. I felt defeated. Something was clearly wrong and although I do have insurance it is a high deductible plan and I was not looking forward to seeing doctors for trial and error so I decided to put off another visit for a while longer.
Yesterday I decided to pick up a pack of over-the-counter UTI test strips. They are identical to what a doctors office uses. I have a history of UTI’s and more importantly, I rarely have the “normal” symptoms. In fact, I frequently confuse mine with menstrual pain, cysts, back pain, etc. The strips came up a blinding purple (meaning the presence of a high amount of white blood cells and oh so infected). I also happen to have antibiotics with a refill that are the correct type and dose for treating it. I have never been so happy to have an infection. Luckily I also have a single test strip left to make certain it is gone afterwards and an appointment with my primary on Aug. 16th so he can do a follow up as well.
“No Pain, No Gain” is a dangerous saying that encourages us to ignore our bodies when we shouldn’t. Looking at a calendar I figure I have had this infection for at least 3 weeks. Leaving it untreated I ran the risk of further complications that could have led to a kidney infection and a hospital visit, not to mention causing me to miss way more that a couple of gym visits. Know your body and listen to it. Soreness might be normal in the course or getting fit, but pain is not. Do not let people convince you that your pain is not valid. Being healthy means much more than the scale showing a low weight and being able to run a certain speed or lift a certain weight.