I finally went to the sports doctor for my ouchie foot (plantar fascitis - recommendation for deep tissue massage at physical therapy). That's not what I'm posting about because it's my foot and not even I find that interesting.
No, I learned a thing or two about ultrarunners while I was there. It's a teaching hospital, so the first thing that happened is that I was examined by a resident and a med student. Then they went outside to talk with the attending physician. Then the attending physician came in and repeated the examination, chatted with me, and then provided the med student with instructions about my case.
So apparently I served as the model of a typical ultrarunner. This is what he told his students about us while examining me.
1) We are apparently very well in tune with our bodies. We know exactly where and when it hurts and for how long.
2) We can quickly give an on-topic and detailed medical history. When asked a question about our health, we often know WHY the question was asked.
3) Ultrarunners always have several events on the horizon, not just one per season like a marathon runner. Sometimes we might answer questions about future plans vaguely. When a doctor gets vague answers about future plans from the same patient that just gave a detailed medical history, what should a doctor be thinking? (Hint hint, you're doctor is on to you. He knows you're thinking about running that race anyway.)
4) You can feel free to examine and manipulate ultrarunners more aggressively than most patients. Press hard. We can take it.
5) There won't be a lot of surprises from a physical exam. Most things will be working very well with these athletes and the problem will be exactly where the athlete says it is and nowhere else.
6) Five or six miles would be considered a short run (duh, right?) How well do you fit? Think my doc knows ultrarunners?
You'll ruin your knees!
Heh... interesting stuff. I get a lot of head shaking when I visit anyone in the medical field... it starts with the heart rate, they check several times to make sure they got it right.
""...the truth that someday, you will go for your last run. But not today—today you got to run." - Matt Crownover (after Western States)
If I'm feeling saucy I let them switch the pulse oximeters out to find one that's not "broken".
I had to take my kids with me on that one. My 10 year old actually brought this whole exchange up at breakfast. She thought it was HILARIOUS that the doctor was using her momma to teach the students about ultrarunners and their bodies.
They re-check my blood pressure.
Is it always this low?
" Well I'm running through the world
with a gun at my back,
Tryin' to catch a ride in a Cadillac.."