Avoiding potential stress while experiencing an ailment

I have recently had a pain in my right knee. For some reason I thought it might be because I was running on uneven ground.

I rested a couple of days and then went running again. I still had the pain. I wondered if it was the distance I was running so I decided to do some sprint work instead. My knee was worse.

I decided not to run and instead use a cross trainer. Again my knee was worse.

I stopped exercise for a fortnight. My knee still got worse.

When I woke in the night and noticed it was painful I decided I better find out what was going on and booked a doctors appointment.

As I explained things I realised I had stopped running and stopped exercise and still my knee was worse.

It was reasonable to test the theory that my knee was hurting because of my running but when things didn’t improve and in fact got worse why did I not realise that running might not the link? I just carried on shutting down and creating links that might be totally unrelated.

We humans love being irrational.

Going to the Doctors allowed me to get expert advice. It might not be the right answer but it increases the possibility of me finding the right answer.

As it happens the Doctor suggested my knee cap might just be grinding a bit and therefore do some exercises that involve bending it a bit more.

I wanted to know if I could continue running and was told it would not hurt as long as I didn’t run too far.

This was all good but I still had uncertainty about the knee. How long should I leave the knee before considering we might not have the answer yet? It was suggested I might want to report back in 3-4 weeks for a progress report. That was great I was now free from worry about the knee. If it got worse I could go back. If it improved I would not need to go back. I was in control. This is the key to so much stress in life, perceived lack of control.

Not running and not exercising had been annoying me. I am also reading a book on ME/CFS type symptoms that is disturbing my sense of progress. Being able to run again allows me to feel good and continue making progress with my health. It might be that I find long term I can’t run and I will need to adjust but here I have taken reasonable steps to get through uncertainty:

  • I found a problem
  • Considered some solutions and tested them
  • Found my solutions didn’t work and sort more expert advice.
  • Remained uncertain about the solution but had a plan of action.

At no point was I stressed. It is very easy to just worry about something and not use that worry to create a plan of action. By not creating a plan of action you end up worrying over and over. The only time you can stop the worry is when you feel you are in control. At all points I monitored my situation and felt in control. This is the key for a stress free life.

(Hopefully I will address the problem the book I am reading in another post when I complete reading the book. I don’t want to ramble too much)

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