Sunday, September 25, 2011

Roadblock

It's amazing what one can go through in a week. Last Saturday I could barely walk. Today I'm frustrated I can't flex my foot. Last Sunday I tried to go to the lab - 4 blocks away - and was reduced to a hobbling, sobbing mess halfway there. I contemplated plonking myself down on the pavement in order to finish off my sob-fest to avoid the compounding effect of a stabbing pain in my leg. I'm sure everyone around me thought I had lost a family member or had just gotten fired from my job. Nope, just shin pain. That's when you know you are a nutso runner.

I spent the entire day at work, trying to do my experiments but getting teary-eyed partway through anything. I thought my running days were over. How could I have any hope when I was a complete cripple? I worried that I might have a stress fracture, or perhaps MULTIPLE stress fractures. Heck, maybe my leg was actually broken! I thought about going to the hospital next door and asking for some crutches. At that point I couldn't care less about Chicago or a fall marathon, I just wanted the pain to END. I called Mama K at around 5pm and told her I was DONE. Being the Mama K that she is, she told me to go home, rest, not worry and call the doctor tomorrow. How could she be so logical?!

Going home only made things worse, however, since it meant walking back four blocks and undergoing the same crippling pain all over again. The four IBUprofen I took may have well been sugar pills. So what do I do when I finally get back home? Why, crack open my 'post-marathon' bottle of vodka and say 'screw it!' obviously! This provided temporary relief from my misery...until the fact that I had just consumed several drinks BY MYSELF on a Sunday night actually sunk in, and I became even more depressed. Luckily, a friend called me shortly after and suggested we meet up. Oh boy did that save me from destruction!

The next day was another struggle, though I seemed to be hobbling a little more efficiently. Luckily my supervisor is an MD, and seeing me limp down the hall in agony, he offered to look at my leg. He is quite the personality; he is constantly distracted, always multi-tasking, and projects a comet of energy wherever he goes. He generally bursts into the lab in a discombobulated frenzy a la Cosmo Kramer and proceeds to pepper whoever is there with completely random questions. He is never doing less than five things at once, three of which usually include BBM'ing, meeting with someone and speaking on the phone.

His running commentary during my assessment was quite the spectacle. 'Oh WOW well first of all your shin isn't bruised, it's discoloured - look at the right vs the left, it's a reddish colour, not bruised. And it's swollen, very swollen, take your socks off! Your ankle is even swollen, wow you really beat it up. What did you do? It was acute eh? BAM! After one run, just like that? [Answers phone] 'Hi honey!' [Looks at me] 'It's my daughter, gotta answer for the daughter,' [Continues talking to me, though I am not sure about this for a few sentences] 'Are you taking IBUprofen? Do you take a lot of IBUprofen? That's probably why you have stomach problems...'[I tried to interrupt to tell him I don't take NSAIDS that often in case he was actually talking to me, but it was to no avail]...'Now the part I'm pressing on now is muscle, that seems the most sore, all down the anterior tibialis. But there's a part right on your tibia that's tender too, that's not a good sign..I'll call you back honey' [hangs up phone] I tried to interject to ask if it was possible that I had a stess fracture too. 'Well yes that's a possibility, but there is definitely some soft tissue damage here too. You've either SEVERELY strained your anterior tibialis or you've torn it. Hopefully you don't also have a stress fracture, but could be the case. Regardless, even soft tissue takes time to heal, so no running for you for a while. Your number one priority should be to take care of YOU, THEN your running. Got it? I can hook you up with some great physiotherapists, some awesome ones at St. Mike's, yep so you can't really walk eh? You're kind of hobbling around...how's your lab work going?' At this point he was halfway done writing an e-mail to someone and I began to retreat out the door. I limped off back to the lab, not sure what to make of this 'diagnosis.' My labmate asked me what the consensus was. 'Um...a severe strain, or partial tear of the anterior tibialis. And possible stress fracture.' 'Ouff so you kinda hit all the bases there eh?' Yep, I guess so! Friggin' AWESOME.

I spent the rest of the week feeling sorry for myself and waking up every morning in pain. On the bright side, it got a little less painful each day, to the point that I could actually walk fairly normally on Wednesday and Thursday. What a glorious feeling! My supervisor got me a second opinion at St. Mike's, which unfortunately meant a second vote for a stress fracture, so I got a bonescan on Thursday. When I was told the scan was negative, I jumped so high that I thought for a second I had now actually given myself a stress fracture. Thank GOD!!! At that point, however, I was already fairly certain it was just a bad strain, since the most painful movement was pointing and flexing my foot (and it no longer hurt walking). I tried doing the elliptical for the past few days, which seems ok, but Nic is concerned that any cross-training is still impeding my recovery time. So, for the next 48 hours I am not allowed to exercise at all (again!), which totally sucks mentally. But I agree will likely speed my recovery, and if I still want to hammer a fall marathon, every day counts. Seeing how far I've come in a week, I am confident that this is a minor roadblock, and that Ill be back on the highway in no time.

I will now leave you with an emotional ode to my shin, adapted to the awesome new Usher and David Guetta song, 'WITHOUT YOU'. It is best read along with the song. I.e. it sucks on its own.

WITHOUT [MY SHIN]

I can't win, I can't run
I will never do this marathon
Without you
Without you

I am lost, I am in pain
Will I always be this lame
Without you
Without you

I won't run, I won't fly
I will just sit here and cry
Without you
WIthout you

I must rest, I must fight
All I need is you to be right
Without you
Without you

Oh-oh-oh
Youuuuu
Youuuuu
Youuuuu
Without you
Youuuuu
Youuuuu
Without you

Can't erase, so I'll take blame
It's what you get for being insane
Without you
Without you

I can't quit now, I won't lose sight
No exercise and restless nights
Without you
Without you

I'll be sore, I won't climb
If you're not right I'm paralyzed
Without you
Without you

I can't run
I'm so pined
I lost my sport
I lost my mind
Without you
Without you

Oh-oh-oh
Youuu
Youuuuu
Without you
Youuuuu
Youuuuu
Without you

I am lost
I am in pain
I will never be G.I. Jane
Without you
Without you
Without you


1 comment:

  1. Had to laugh, only because of the rapid transition from 100+ mi/wks to sipping vodka alone on the couch. Hopefully things have come around since then, yeah? We enjoy the posts and were looking forward to Chicago. Cheers from the States.

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