Thursday, September 10, 2009
Careful When Wishing
Don't freak out. This looks worse than it is. I went to Athletico yesterday morning for a screening, and they told me that the pain I was experiencing probably wasn’t a stress fracture, but the spot where my foot was bothering me… well… that’s a pretty common place for a stress fracture. To be sure, they said, it wouldn’t hurt to talk to a specialist and get an x-ray.
One of the benefits of being married—well, of me being married, this does not necessarily apply to everyone—is that I am now a card-carrying member of MM’s fancypants insurance that covers everything under the sun, 100%, no questions asked. Uninhibited by the high cost of healthcare, I made that appointment and got that x-ray and the young sport medicine/orthopedic M.D. talked to me, a lot, about what was going on with my foot.
You probably have some frequently asked questions:
What exactly did he say?
“First of all,” he said, “You did the right thing by telling me.”
He didn’t say that.
But he did tell me that, even though there is no fracture, it was smart of me to come to the doctor, rather than waiting a few weeks, continuing to run on it, and winding up with something much more serious than what is going on right now.
So what exactly is going on right now?
He called it a “stress reaction,” which might be a made up thing, but on the spectrum of bones breaking and whatnot, this is exactly the kind of injury (pre-injury?) that could lead to a stress fracture… quickly. It can be caused by overuse or… let’s say (off the top of my head)… running 18 miles after taking a break from running/activity in general for a couple of weeks.
But how do you make it better?
Rest, for starters. No half marathon for Lou this weekend. And, I won’t be running for a minimum of two weeks or until I am pain free, which could be… who knows… never (?!?). But probably not never. Probably two to four weeks since I was smart enough to go in immediately even if I only went in order to show off my fancypants insurance.
Is that all?
Well… no. After the requisite, “rest and no running” speech, he said, “And… you’re not going to like this, but if want to heal as quickly as possible, I recommend you get fitted for a boot.”
A boot. And I’m not talking about the Canadian word for “about” either.
I know. It seems a bit excessive for a diagnosis that ultimately comes down a little bit of annoying foot pain. But, I took it, mostly because it was free (for me!), and I figured it couldn’t hurt, and really I’ve never had an injury visible enough for strangers to feel compelled to get up and give me a damn seat on the train. But now I look mildly crippled, which works in one’s favor when utilizing public transit. So whatever. I’ve been wearing it for the most part, though I cheat a bit at work, where I am happy to stay planted in my desk chair anyway, so I guess that’s not too taxing for my poor, tired, stressed out foot bone.
And the marathon?
Eh, who really knows? The doctor said based on my fitness level, the fact that this isn’t my first year training for a marathon, that I got treatment early, and that I’ve been not only running, but consistently cross training all season (until now!), it’s still a possibility. According to the doctor, who clearly expects more of me than I expect of myself, I might not be able to run the entire marathon, but rather I will probably need to walk parts of it.
He said that? Really?
Really. I said, “Huh… walk parts of the marathon? Ya don’t say doc…” But not really, I probably just squinted at him incredulously.
Are you sad?
I hate to say it, but I kind of don’t care. I did tell him, “I know runners come in here when they are knee deep in training and their entire life hinges on whether or not they run the marathon, but that’s really not how I feel this year, and right now I’m a lot more concerned about running as my regular cardio activity than I am about toeing the line not matter what it takes on October 11.”
Wow, you’re annoying.
Is that all?
Yes. You can go now. Or, if you’re so compelled, you can leave me well wishes for my speedy “recovery” in the comments section.
Eh… I’m kind of busy right now…