Wednesday, February 20, 2008

From Bad To Worse

Oh what a day. So I went to see Dr. C about my terminally swollen ankle. It was a rather short visit, in all actuality.

I stated the facts: it hurts often and is always swollen. He informed me that the tear was *ahem* 5-6" long (I'll say 5" to be conservative -- but I measured when I got back to work, based on where he touched the foot, and it was at least 5" -- and I am an architect and know my way around a tape measure!) These things DO NOT heal quickly. In three months time I will not likely be "back to normal." These kinds of degenerative tears often do not heal 100%, i.e. I may never be 100%. (Was I 100% before this?) We could go in and try to stabilize it surgically (notice I did not say repair) but even that is not a guarantee. We could get in there and see that there is not enough "good tendon" left... so we might as well not do that, in my opinion. He agreed.

He asked if I had been prescribed any anti-inflammatories. Nope. So he did that. And I just hate taking pills! I want to FIX THE PROBLEM.

I asked if there was anything I could do, a brace I could wear or something along those lines. Then, and only then, did he suggest this beautiful boot:

Low Top Short Leg Walker by Royce Medical

He said this was going to require a lifestyle change on my behalf. DUH!?! He agreed that biking and (potentially) swimming would be good, i.e. better than running at this point, but really ANYTHING with impact would not speed up the volatile healing process. Well great - now I'm a couch potato.

No, not really. I will be a booted pilates-doer! I will be a booted whatever-it-takes'r.

GRRRRR. Not good. Not being able to run is one thing. But not being able to do anything really active is another.

I am really feeling like I may never run again. I pray that is not the case.


kim said...

Oh Susan,I'm sorry to read about your day at the doctors. But, kudos to you for saying "no" to the anti-inflammatory's---I've been on many different kinds for many years and the long-term damage they have on the body isn't good (I'm in the process of weaning off of mine).
And, that boot gives me nightmares!!! I had to wear one when my stress fractures in my feet refused to heal last August. The boot is heavy, cumbersome, and it can irritate your skin (you'll see after a few days---put some lotion where it rubs).
Can you take it off for Pilates class? Guess you'll have to do a lot of upper body work for the duration of the boot wearing!

ShirleyPerly said...

Susan, I'm so sorry to hear the verdict. I've seen the boot before on others and can imagine what changes need to be made in order to wear it on a regular basis. But, if that's the best way to get better than, yes, I would absolutely do it, even if it meant not running for months, which sounds like the case. Can Tonya design a workout routine for you that is will not further aggravate the ankle and yet varied enough to keep you interested and fit? All I can think of is cycling, swimming with a pull buoy (so no kicking), some pilates and lifting weights. Maybe some boxing moves with or without a heavy bag with feet not moving? Might be a good way to take out some frustration as well ...

PLANET3RRY said...

Cheer UP Little Camper.

If you decide now that aren't going to be able to run then you are probably right. If you decide now that you are going to be able to run then you are probably right.

I got a 5lb bag of sugar... make some lemonade.

While you temporarily can't run: You can be Coach Susan. You can be the ever important volunteer at races. You can use that 3:30am morning time to write a book, or to podcast.

I know this isn't the real Susan talking... get the mourning of the diagnosis out over a couple of days... the Susan that I know is not a quitter.

We are all here to support you...

CewTwo said...

Susan, Well you knew that something was up. It sounds like you beleive the Doctor. It can never hurt to get a second opinion. Talk with your local friends to see if anyone else has had similar problems. What Doctor did they see? You might want to try that!

But, take it easy. You have earned that. And I (we, your friends) want you to be whole again.

I guess that I'll just have to wait to run my first marathon until you're healed enough to run it with me...

Charlie (Q2)

Maddy said...

I have spent part of the evening mourning for your injury and not really knowing what to say. I kept thinking "That sucks..." and then I ready Terry's comment and he has some really points, thoughts and ideas.

You may be down, but you are by no means out... Give it time and you will be back better than ever.

As far as not becoming a couch potato, I think Shirley has some fantastic suggestions!

MarathonChris said...

Susan, I am so sorry to hear the news about your ankle. I must be difficult to be sidelined even from some of your non-running activities.

I am with Terry that you can focus on being coach Susan, and do the many things you do to encourage other runners. I like the podcasting idea :-)

Shirley has some great ideas for keeping in shape while you have to take it easy on the ankle.

And try to keep the BIG picture in mind....your healing time now will get you back on the road so that you can be the runner you want to be - for years to come.

We are here to support you anyway we can!

Katie said...

OH NO!! Rest and do what it takes to get better

Petraruns said...

Dearest Susan - I am so sorry to read this. But everyone who's beat me to this has had some very useful advice. I think that if you are creative you will find something you can do, actively. If it's swimming find a good and dedicated swim coach to work something out with you. Also I agree with Charles that you need a second opinion. Go ask your local run shop which doctors / surgeons they send their customers to. And oh honey - if that boot helps and speeds things up, wear it.

Oh I wish I could just come over and give you a big hug. But Terry's right - you're down but not out. Someone just posted on my blog that they considered injury a challenge and it really is - we're going to rise to it sweetheart.

cheryl said...

I know it wasn't what you wanted to hear, but it's a good thing you went to the doctor, your ankle shouldn't be like that!! You do what the doctor tells you to do and get better!! You concentrate on getting better and being Coach Susan, do weight training and Pilates/Yoga, whatever you can do with the lovely boot! Keep your chin up and keep your positive attitude!