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Still At Lost

AFTER weeks of tests and follow-up check-ups with different doctors which started earlier this month, I'm diagnosed with something called the Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS). It's an uncommon exercise-induced condition in which increased tissue pressure within a closed muscle compartment compromises blood flow to the muscles and nerves within that compartment, resulting in potential tissue and nerve damage. In simple words, it means that I have to quit running, kickboxing and boot-camping as not to aggravate the condition, which also means a complete change of lifestyle.  


I'm still at lost here. My only references are my podiatrist and every article I can lay my hands on. This condition is not like a heart-attack where I can share notes with my father-in-law and half the world's population. Not that I'm asking for a cardiovascular condition instead, but this change of lifestyle is not going to be easy. Yesterday, I went swimming as that's considered a low or no impact exercise. I swam like a champion but I still prefer working out on a dry ground, soaking up in salty sweat instead of metallic chlorine. Running and kicking are always more liberating for me, although swimming used to be the exercise of choice at one time. I also have many unanswered questions, which I will have to ask my doctor in the next visit. Like can I wear my heels and jump to rock songs once in a while or go for Thai foot massages as before. Will the numbness ever go away and does it mean that I should never get fat (not that I'm planning on it) because obviously an increased body weight puts more pressure on the legs.

For now, I'm asked to do a simple 4-minute stretching exercise four times a day to ease the tension over the herniated muscle areas. The podiatrist has also prescribed a pair of custom-made orthotics, and surgery is not recommended at this point. Considering that I've always had the herniated muscles on both legs since a kid, one of the aiding factors to the problem in the recent years could be my wrongly prescribed running shoes, which was not meant for a normal feet like mine. He said that I should have used Brooks Glycerine instead of Trance. While it's easy on the knees, my bouncy style of running has been adding pressure to the affected muscles. 

So yes, it's been a hard time but the more I learn about it, the more I understand why I'm required to do some things. Annoyance is when people who know nuts about it come up with deductions. Like when they tell me that my active lifestyle IS the cause of everything because I "exercised too much". Sure,  exercise aided it. But I didn't over do it. Juggling with a few form of exercises I love doesn't mean I've over-exercised. I did the normal one to one-hour-and-half in the gym or parks about three or four days a week. If that is over-doing it, then I should think all professional athletes who run, play football and tennis for a living are bound for it. So, I would not blame it on my choice for an active lifestyle at all and I'd appreciate if others could do the same. And then, there are those who blame it on the food I eat. I mean, W.T.F. I eat well and it's nothing to do with eating. 

Despite all, I'll remember what my doctor has said to me. 
"I think I can make you run again". 


  1. Ouch, I'm really sorry to hear all of this dude, it doesn't sound great at all. That last line fills me with hope and it's good to see it's filled you with hope as well. Keep well and good luck.

  2. Sorry to hear the news, I hope things get better

  3. Hope things get better.

  4. Sorry to hear this, Jaya, but at least you've had the condition diagnosed and know what to do. Swimming is a great exercise - women who swim a lot have amazing bodies!

  5. Oh man that sucks, but I shall pray for you to be running again ASAP.


  6. Change is hard to deal with. Best of luck.

  7. Oh gosh....I'm so sorry to hear that, I really am. Trust me when I say I think I know how it feels. Last year I had to quit ballet because of a back injury which I couldn't afford aggravating. Dance was my life at the time and it hurt so much to know I might not be able to do it again. Just take it one step at a time and I'm sure you'll manage.

    Also, screw those who give crappy advice - its better to get hurt doing something you love than to stay safe by doing nothing at all.

    p/s: They don't allow pets??? The nerve!!! Pets make everything happier!!

  8. Perhaps you'll find you love swimming again as much as the sports you're missing

  9. hopefully it gets better, sucks, at least you can still swim though.

  10. Swimming is a good sport and it trains full body

  11. Lifestyle changes are always hard to deal with, but you will eventually find a balance

  12. thanks all for your concern and well wishes. been swimming and got into rhythm again, so its good except for the erratic weather.

  13. I commiserate with you. I have some nerve damage in my back and while I appreciate the concern others show, I am extremely weary of listening to their unsolicited advice and suggestions.
    And, yes, do take heart from your doctor’s encouraging words!

    (thanks for the visit...)

  14. I do not understand why your pain-illness been named "Chronic".
    How long has it been painful? VS how long have you rested from the injury? Your leg needs to be put in a cast?
    If you go to a doctor, they HAVE TO give you a diagnosis.

  15. Sorry to hear, get better!

  16. Damn that sucks. Will you have to quit all activities forever or :o

  17. Mark and Gizmo : its a long-term condition and everytime i run, it comes like the legs are snapping into two due to the pressure built-up in the muscle compartments, which messes with the nerves within them.

    so yes, it's quitting forever unless surgery is done, but from all i've read, not everyone who underwent surgery are completely free of it. so i'm still learning about it.

  18. re :"long-term condition" = Chronic
    Its both legs? I'm sorry. I though it was just one.
    I would not get an operation due to the risk of something going wrong VS your legs still work now. Significant number of post surgery infections and surgical mistakes take place in hospitals. Like a reverse winning the lottery, I don't like the odds, so would live with the problem.

  19. i hope things eventually get better

  20. You'll be running again, for sure.
    Although, why anyone would want to run... Just kidding. I'm just lazy. I wish you the best.

  21. That is a very interesting post!

  22. Everyone is a doctor... So there you have it: I have sarcoidosis and you have CECS and we're still smiling, right? :))

    1. sarcoidosis. now i know why you're ill on and off.
      does it feel like having bronchitis ? i had something called bronchial asthma once...i was sick for two months and lost a lot of weight (which was fine), but i felt horrible.
      take of you, i'll try to take care of me :)

    2. Just taking a stroll down memory lane. Bronchitis with a twist: a jetlag that never stops.


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