A little longer

I saw the podiatrist today for my 3 week checkup since the cast and boot were put on. While most of the pain in the highest area of concern is gone, there is still a bit of pain with rotation and pressure on the tendons. So, he said he’ll look again in 2 weeks. At that time, I should be able to get fitted for an ankle brace I’ll have to wear all of the time. I’ll also need physical therapy and to be weaned off of using the boot to get around.

I made sure that my use of the machines at the gym wasn’t a problem. I told him that I get some looks when I do abduction exercises. He said that my upper body workouts and my hip workouts are fine as long as I’m not using my leg to operate the weights or doing standing exercises. These are the same as the last time I saw him, but I wanted to touch base and make sure I was on the right track. I also wasn’t sore after my upper body workout Monday. Yay!

I sold a race entry to a friend and transferred it officially through the race director. Now my next race is in June. I still intend to be in shape for a marathon by October.

I’ve been a little better with my depression issues I was having. I spoke with  the doctor [nurse practitioner] and we’ve adjusted my medicine in hopes that things will look up. I had a rough couple of days this week, but I’m handling it. Being a mom is hard work and often emotionally draining. I’m still here, though. Like the workouts I have in the gym [and again out on the running course soon], I’m stronger from what I endure. Things might push me to be upset and to quietly contemplate how I got here and how I plan to continue, but I can’t be kept down for long. I refuse to let myself do that.

I know it all sounds so much more positive than the last time I wrote. That’s a good thing. Something to remember is that we can’t all be positive all of the time, but when I try to be positive, I hope to influence others who aren’t quite feeling themselves and need a little light. I want to offer what I can and I lose nothing by using my flame to light another candle. I’m not all the way back from the dark, but that’s ok. I still have some light to share.

Please consider giving to my fundraising page for Crohn’s and Colitis. I’m at $441 of my $2k goal. I’m still very excited to be part of a fundraising team running in the Chicago Marathon this October. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is doing great things to help people with IBD. If you have a chance, check out their website, too. Here is my fundraising page link: http://online.ccfa.org/goto/MomJennGoal262 Any donations are greatly appreciated.

If you just want to read about IBD, this is their page: http://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

 

Cranky boot

*In the past, I’ve chosen to be reserved and leave out any colorful language. That’s not who I really am. So, I’m going to try to write how I would actually say things.

I have been in a cast and boot one day short of two weeks. I haven’t run since February 19th and I miss it like crazy. Not only that, but this boot thing is bullshit. Not in the sense that it isn’t real science or serves no medical need. I’m sure it is legit. I just hate it. It could be that I’m more irritable lately. That could be because I can’t go for a run.

I’ve been to the gym a few times to lift weights that work my upper body. I even used the machines that could be operated with my legs without bearing weight on them. I’ve used my dumbbells at home, too. I have been doing knee planks, bicycle crunches and some other core work daily just to try to ‘stay healthy’. I’ve tried to keep my focus positive. I’ve got to say that I still don’t feel that great. I don’t seem to want to eat well and I just generally feel tired.

Compound my recent health woes with the fact that I feel a little trapped at home by the boot being on my right leg and having to change it every time I drive, and I’m suffering a little. I feel the ubiquitous surge of depression nagging. That voice in my head that says things will always be one difficult thing after another, which equals up to nothing of value. The voice that tells me that I’ve already failed at so much in life, that I really don’t deserve good things to happen. That voice that is still me, but so mean to me. No matter how hard I try to create things or to make an impact, I’m still not doing it right and I never will. I’m not particularly good at anything and I have nothing which sets me apart from anyone else. Disposable. That voice is a real bitch if you ask me, but it still hurts my feelings and I struggle against it like I’m swimming upstream. I’m never quite adequate and I don’t know if I ever will be. I’m usually okay with not being perfect, but when the darkness sets in, the mean voice is louder and it quiets my confidence.

My confident voice, the one that is sure I can do anything I put my mind to, is little more than a whisper. I don’t try to shut that out because I sincerely hope it comes back to being the loudest. Depression ebbs and flows. I don’t know how long I’ll be in this recurrence, just like I never know how long it’ll hide in remission. I’m used to neatly tucking it away when it comes around. I’m used to the irritability it causes me and the feelings that nothing matters and everything matters all at once.

I’m used to people who don’t suffer from mental illness trying to tell me that there are others who have it worse. I know and I feel bad that I can’t handle my much smaller load of life. Actually, worse after you mention that I’m not dealing with my shit as well as people who have it worse. Thanks, though.

Yes, I have a doctor. Yes, I take medication. I also typically work out for it, but that’s temporarily limited to what I’m able to do at the moment without disturbing my healing or further injuring myself. I mean, I am actually trying and I don’t expect a cookie or anything. I just wish it wouldn’t rear its ugly head while I’m already working hard to overcome this injury. It could’ve picked a better time.

Anyway, I put little sticky jewels on my boot. It amused me a little.

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A boot, to boot

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My pretty blue cast with a warming thing over it.

So, that’s my foot up there. Technically, both of my feet are in that picture, but the right one is the most noticeable. Good thing I chose yoga pants for my podiatrist visit because I didn’t know I was getting a cast and boot as a consolation prize while I was there and I’m not sure how I would’ve gotten my jeans off once I got home.

How did my foot get into this predicament? I twisted my ankle…on November 3rd of last year. That was two days before my first marathon that I didn’t get to run. I saw my primary care physician, who told me that it was not broken and that I should go ahead and just hobble on it and take it easy from exercising on it for a few weeks. It nagged when I got back to working out, so I asked about the pain. The doc told me that sprains just take a while to heal. I asked him where to get a second opinion and he told me to see a orthopedist.

So, I went to the orthopedic. He ordered an x-ray, and then an MRI. He told me that I had:

  1. longitudinal split of the peroneus brevis tendon
  2. chronic tear of the anterior talofibular ligament (often referred to as the ATFL)
  3. Sprain of the calcaneofibular ligament (CFL)

He then referred me to a foot specialist saying that the longitudinal split would not heal on its own and I would likely require surgery. He told me that my only options for surgeons were in towns that were 45 and 60 minutes from my current location. So, I sent a message to my friend and coach who is more familiar with the doctors in the area. I asked her how it was possible for other people to have foot surgery without going to these other cities. She gave me the names of some specialists that she’d heard of other runners having seen and I took the list to research my insurance. I called one and explained the list of things on the MRI report and asked whether their office could help me, and the person on the phone went and double checked with the doctor before scheduling my appointment.

Yesterday, I went in and brought them my MRI disc and info. The doctor took more x-rays of my foot (because he needed to see what it looked like weight-bearing). Once he came in to talk with me, he asked about the initial injury. He told me that I should have immobilized the foot immediately following my injury. He explained each issue with the MRI results. Then, we discussed my running. He said that I can’t swim, run, or elliptical for the next 6 weeks. He said I could keep lifting weights with my arms and that I could ride a stationary bike with the boot on my foot (which made me chuckle to visualize). Someone came in and wrapped my foot in a ‘soft cast’ to immobilize the foot for healing. Then, I was given a boot to wear over the cast to completely immobilize my foot. As I started to leave, I asked how I was supposed to drive a car with this thing. They brought out a second boot for me to wear and the doctor was emphatic that this small boot was ‘ONLY FOR DRIVING AND NOT FOR WALKING IN’. So, I felt like the cast was probably because they didn’t trust me to actually immobilize my own foot (ha, ha).

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Trevor the dog says “What the heck is that? Want me to sit on it?”

As it stands, if this is effective to healing, I will not need surgery. The doctor said that my physical examination showed evidence that there was strength and stability already in the affected area, which ruled out a complete tear or surgically necessary repair. He said that he’ll check up on it in 3 weeks and the cast and boot could come off that quickly, but the conservative estimate was still 6 weeks. I’m less than a day in with the boot and I already feel that we’re enemies. I’m not good at just sitting in one place.

Fundraising? Of course I am. Not only is my entry not transferable, but I can’t defer a charity entry into the marathon for any reason. My plan was to still fundraise regardless of the outcome of my visits, but the news is looking much better than I’d expected at this point. My plan will be to start my interval training as soon as I’m ready and to work my marathon training in run/walk intervals. *Look up Jeff Galloway if you’re curious about intervals. I’ve run a half marathon using this method and it was pretty close to my “running only” finish time.

If you’d like to give to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation for my fundraising efforts, I’m only $1600 away from my goal. I earned my training shirt (pictured below). My awesome donors helped earn me the shirt! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!  I’m glad I took a pic of the note because my youngest drew on it, then cut the star out for herself.

My fundraising link: http://online.ccfa.org/goto/MomJennGoal262

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