Pardon my long, drawn out story that may even be miscategorized, since this might be DDD or something else entirely.
I've been running since I was 20, and for the past three or four years, doing at least 80 miles a week, a mix of both on- and off-road. A few aches and pains here and there, minor bout of sciatica and PF, but otherwise in good shape. A year and a half ago, I developed a funky problem -- left foot felt slightly wobbly on impact, losing strength on pushoff. I figured I might need new orthotics or something minor, kept running through it.
In summary: I've spent the past 18 months being misdiagnosed by almost an army of doctors, all while continuing to run, because none of them thought I had a big problem. Turns out it's some spinal issues. Compressed nerve at L5/S1 on the left side -- possibly stenosis (had MRIs that had some junk going on, a low grade degenerative disc disease, but nothing that explains my symptoms. At least, that's what I'm told.) Last week I had my first cortisone epidural, and I'm seeing maybe a 25% improvement.
I had to cease and desist with the running maybe six weeks ago -- there's no pain on my left side, just significant weakness that makes me feel like the left leg can't keep up with the right one -- it feels this way either running or walking briskly. But I'm hitting the gym, going for long walks, took up swimming. I've also started to develop a lot of pain on my right side, including sciatica-like symptoms.
I have no idea of what's next. Dr. said surgery might not be out of the question -- I just turned 40 and I'm confused about why it's taken so long and I still don't have a definitive diagnosis and depressed about not running and thinking about having to give it up forever.
Anyone have a similar experience? Any feedback/insight appreciated!