Color me blue…bandaged…and bummed
Remember my letter to my left foot? Epic fail. Instead of doing me a favor and getting better…it decided it was going to ignore my pleas all together and so something of its own accord. It decided to get painful.
After my 4 mile run over a week ago, where I carefully taped up my foot and got through the race with no issues…my foot decided to fight back. So, after cooling down and standing around and chatting with my friend Keith afterwards, I stepped off the curb to start toward my car and found myself literally paralyzed with white-hot pain coursing through my foot. Not good. And from there…it got worse. To the point that after fighting all day to move, when I got home that Saturday late afternoon, my foot had enough. And I could no longer put any weight on it.
It was like that on Sunday too. So, Monday morning I made a phone call to my doctor to see about getting an appointment. I figured something had to be wrong because any pressure I put on my foot led to lots of pain and tears. She was booked up until 3:30 p.m. on Monday, so I ended up taking time off from work and finally getting in to see the doctor. This meant I needed some help from Cathy (the roomie) because I couldn’t walk anywhere. She got me up to the office, back to the scale, and then to the exam room.
My doctor came in and asked me some questions. At that point, my ankle was still a little swollen, but it wasn’t as bad as it had been. I had been icing it religiously and taking Ibuprofen though. Well, she decided it was Plantar Fasciitis, which is inflammation of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot. This tissue is the plantar fascia and it connects the heel bone to the toes and creates the arch of the foot. She said she would schedule me with a podiatrist, but until then I was given some exercises to help with my foot. She offered to write me a prescription for crutches, but someone at the office had already volunteered to bring some in for me.
Every day, I would say a little prayer that when I woke up, I would be able to stand on my foot. But it didn’t happen. The pain didn’t lessen either. To bear any sort of weight on my left foot was excruciating. I’d try…oh, I would try, but it hurt like hell. The crutches were a Godsend, except they hurt my arms. That following day after I saw my doctor, I got a call from her office saying my appointment with my podiatrist would be the following Monday. A whole week away. I was more than a little frustrated. And I still hoped that I would be better by the weekend and could cancel my appointment with the podiatrist and get back to my active lifestyle and daily runs.
It didn’t play out like that. And one reason I had hoped to be better by that weekend was I was registered (for a whopping $55) to be a runner at The Color Run in Louisville. What is so great about The Color Run? Well, they throw paint powder on you as you run the 5K. A few ladies in my office were doing it. Every time they brought it up, I started to cry. Because I knew…I couldn’t do it. Not even walk it. Not with crutches. Could you imagine going 3.1 miles on crutches. My arms hate me for even thinking about it. It sucked. But I consoled myself with the fact that I was out of luck…and out of my entry fee on this 5K.
I thought I was dealing with that well, until I went to packet pick-up (after all, I paid $55, I should at last go get my number and swag bag…with t-shirt and all). I got my race number, my packet, my t-shirt and hobbled back to the car. And started to cry. I had really wanted to be a part of that race. And my foot had other ideas. No amount of consoling from my roommate helped either, but she tried. She really did. As the day went on, I endured pictures of the race going up on Facebook by not just my co-workers, but friends of mine who were able to be a part of the fun event. I had to stop going to Facebook, because it only made me cry again.
The very next day was my appointment with my podiatrist. That morning, I hobbled into the office and turned in my paperwork. They soon took me back to an exam room, got me prepped for some X-rays. Let me tell you, when you can’t put any weight on your foot, stepping up to a platform to get X-rays of your foot sucks. It sucks scissors.
But with the help of the X-ray technician, we got me up there and positioned for a few different X-rays…of both feet, the left foot, and the right foot. And then, with my crutches, I was back to the exam room and waiting on the podiatrist. He arrived…and introduced himself. He seemed very nice. He asked me to give some background as to what happened, so I told him the story about the race and everything. So…he was quite aware that I am a runner. Oh…and then I broke some more news to him…I am signed up for a half marathon on September 1, 2012…exactly a month away.
He hung his head, “Oh crap.” When he inquired as to my training schedule, I whipped out my iPhone and pulled up my app for that (Yes…I do have an app for that). He looked at it and then handed the phone back to me. And the said that it looked like I had tiny tears in my plantar fascia. He pulled up the X-rays and began to show me the evidence of this. And when he was done with that, he said that normally he would give patients a Cortisone shot in the foot, but as I am a runner, he wouldn’t do that. He believes giving runners a Cortisone shot is sending them on a suicide mission. So, he instead taped up my feet (yes…both of them) and got down to the nitty-gritty.
He gave me 6 exercises for my foot/ankle/calf muscles to do three times a day. I could still run. But I really had to dial it back. No more than 2 miles. Slow. Easy. And then…for the rest of my training, I was to move to the pool or the bike or the elliptical (as long as my heel doesn’t come up off the machine). Two miles of running. When I’m training for 13.1? Yep. But…I want to get better, yes? He then said, that if the pain didn’t let up…then we would have to nix the half marathon in 4 weeks. I almost cried. Almost. The only reason I didn’t was because it was still green lighted for now. FOR NOW.
Then he told me he wanted me back in the office on Thursday to get fitted for some orthotics for my shoes. Okay…I was supposed to go out of town to Columbus after work on Wednesday…but getting my foot back in working order did have to take precedence. So…I agreed and scheduled the appointment. Unfortunately, it wasn’t going to be until later in the afternoon. GAH!
Two reasons this frustrated me. For one…I was entered in a 5K (which I knew I couldn’t do…so now I was out another $30 I was out), and had to postpone my journey out of town to visit with a friend. But…it was for the best and in the best interest of my foot. It just sucked. Oh…and he told me I was not to use the crutches unless I was in a lot of pain. So, I sucked it up…and walked my way out of the office. Wouldn’t you know it…having my feet taped up helped!
So…here I sit…$85 poorer from races I don’t get to run. Plus out my co-pay at the doctor’s office…plus the co-pay I have to pay tomorrow when I go back. Let’s not forget the cost of my inserts for my shoes…
Yeah…it’s not pretty, friends. Not at all.
But, there is a silver lining to this cloud. Tonight I was able to stand on my left foot as I was changing into my pajamas. It didn’t hurt enough to make me think that I should sit down to do it. So, I see that as a good thing and as an improvement. I’ve been good about taking the anti-inflammatory he prescribed me. And I’ve been doing my exercises three times a day. I haven’t gone back to the gym yet…and I haven’t tried running…yet. I’m scared to. I don’t want it to hurt and I don’t want to do further damage.
But not running is killing me more, I think. I’m irritable, I’m cranky, and I’m missing it. Even if I can go for just two, slow miles…then…I’ll take it. So, I think on Monday…I might give it a shot. Even if I last for a few steps. I’m at least trying. I’ll get back to it. I hope. I was just reaching the peak of my running. I was better than I ever had been. And then I was sidelined. So…here’s to thinking positively and hoping for continued improvement. I’d really like to run in that half marathon. It’s women only race…which I love. I ran the 5K last year and said that this year it would be the half. I hope to still be able to do it. But that’s up to my doctor in the end. I trust him. After all, he called me the day after my visit to see how I was progressing, if the prescription was working, and if I was staying off the crutches.
As for the tape…it’s been a huge help. I’ve been walking on my own since he taped me up…and that was leaps and bounds ahead of where I was prior to going into his office to see him.
So, I’m bummed to sit out of yet another race I paid for…but I hope this will mean I can come back to the 13.1 miles I want to run in the beginning of September. Keep your fingers crossed. And here’s hoping my foot continues to heal properly, perfectly, and remains strong so that I can get back to pounding the pavement and building my speed and endurance back up.
Yeah…I miss running.
A whole hell of a lot.