Tuesday, September 21, 2010

update on my biker's nodule, or perineal nodular induration

back in the saddle in time for the season's end


Guy's Racing takes 3rd in team endurance competition

So I will make this short and sweet.  For me, that is. I was off the bike for about 2 months because of the induration.  That's a far cry from the six months my Machiavellian gyno predicted, thank goodness.  It could be because I heal quickly, or it could be because I was totally off the bike (unlike many with this disorder who limp along riding with it as best as they can) but I felt the hardened tissue soften and almost get back to normal.  As for my methods: since the cortisone had not worked, I basically just used Traumeel cream once it was no longer infected anymore.  This replaces the Neosporin and Epsom salt baths I was doing while there was still a nasty abcess.

I changed my carved up road bike saddle to the new saddle and the very first night back on my bike I slid off said saddle to avoid a collision with a friend and landed on my butt.  And then a woman riding behind me ran completely over me from one shoulder across my back to the other. Ouch.  So my tailbone took such a beating that I have not been able to ride a mountain bike since. Jumping is painful. Yes, I realize at this point I have lost all credibility as a mountain biker but that's OK; I will get it back, I've been told by all manner of bewildered cyclists that surely my bad luck is running out.

So I have been going on wonderful fall rides with TSV and the weather in Philly has been perfect, mid 70s to 80s and brilliant sun during the day, dipping down into the 50s at night.  Getting back on the bike has lifted my moods tremendously; it was getting rough there for awhile.  And running 26 miles a week was wreaking havoc on my tender knees and feet.


can we take this pic again with me remembering to wear my jersey??
 So Sunday was the MASS finale at Bear Creek, a rocky technical bitch of a course which I love and have missed for the past 3 years now.  I ended up placing 3rd in the Endurance Series, which is not too shabby considering I had not raced in 2 years,  I did not even get on my mountain bike until April 1st due to my shoulder surgery, and I missed almost the entire back half of the season due to the aforementioned induration.  The results were much better than I had expected when I embarked on this journey in May, so I have to accept my failings and think about next season and what might be possible if I stay healthy and injury-free for a whole year.  I love the fall, the riding is fantastic, and now I get to relax and enjoy riding for riding's sake.  I really can't complain right now.  I mean, I can always complain.  But for now I will savor this rare taste of contentment tinged with a pungent desire for the chance to finally realize my potential. And say a little prayer for the gods to throw me a bone next year.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I recently found your blog on searching Google for info on "nodule induration". After sifting through tons of basically useless technical medical sites your saga of fighting off the evil nodule provided the most informative insight so far. Thanks for sharing. I am also afflicted with this nasty beast (although not a cyclist) with similar location on the anatomy. I am wondering about the long term prospects for recovery. I see from your experience that the hardening seemed to have eventually receded or softened on its own and wondered if it is a thing of the past now, or whether it has to be babied to some degree. I certainly hope in may case that it recedes as a bad memory and I can get on with the business of sitting down normally again. Any update post would be greatly appreciated.

New fan of Dirt Diva.

andrea walheim said...

Thanks for your comments. Yes there is a dearth of information about this condition out there and even most amateur cyclists I talked to about it were unaware. When I spoke to several pros though they all seemed to know someone who suffered from it. Here is my 2 cents: whatever you were doing (as you said it was not a bike saddle) that caused your body to create a "callous" almost like a oyster makes a pearl around a grain of sand...you need to stop doing that activity. Completely. If you do that, you will be amazed at how quickly it heals. Limping along with it just prolongs the agony and does not work. I have had no more issues with the induration HOWEVER I did have to switch both mountain and road saddles and I do pay much more attention now to when my peach "complains" and then I'm in the gym, running, or swimming the next day. And I buy expensive bike shorts with extra padding.

I do get a lot of traffic from around the world searching on "perineal nodular induration" so there are a lot of folks our there searching for more info. I hope this helps. Good luck and feel free to update when your condition improves.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks Andrea. I am carrying with me a little donut pillow that works when I have to sit in front of the computer for an extended period (I teach environmental science/geology and spend a lot of time typing up notes, writing papers, working on a book, etc)--hopefully the pillow will take the pressure off when I have to sit for an extended period so the thing can heal. Also--a great revelation to me--I have discovered the advantages of working at a stand-up desk. Not only takes the pressure off the derriere but makes one much more alert, more energetic, better sleeping at night--a silver lining I suppose to the dark nodule cloud. I tried a shot of cortisone three weeks ago which worked for about two weeks and then Mr Nodule came roaring back. The real challenge is a flight next week from the east coast US to Australia--all in one fell swoop--and then back again a week later. Crossing fingers that the pillow works because if it doesnt ...well, best not to think about it...

I'll update my "progress" by and by in case any readers are interested--it is always nice to see case histories similar to one's own and know you are not alone.