The Unexpected Incident in the Street

Back in November, at the very beginning, I was running and feeling pretty great. In fact, while I was out running with Charlie, like we had been doing three times a week with walk days in between, I was thinking just how good I felt. It had been raining earlier that morning and I was actually excited to be out in the inclement weather even though during this short 3 mile run around my neighborhood it didn’t rain a drop!

I have not been running more than 3 miles per run. I want to run more, but have been tentative because of my history with Plantar Fasciitis. Let me repeat that: HISTORY! I am optimistic that it won’t come back as it has been over 9 months since my PRP injection which is the longest run to date that I’ve been pain free.

But… on this one particular overcast, wet morning in my highs of running euphoria, an unexpected incident occurred. I am not even sure exactly how it happened, but next thing I know while my head was chanting how great I feel… I was quickly tumbling to the pavement. On a downhill slope on the left side of a street, there I was smack on the hard cement. I lost the grip on the leash and thankfully Charlie heard me shriek her name (she runs out in front of me—the sled dog that she is) and she came back! I wasn’t sure she would as Huskies are known to be runners. A lady at the humane society had told me when I was looking for a rescue this:

What do you call a husky off leash?

Gone.

As if that didn’t freak me out about ever letting the leash go? Yikes! But Charlie is a good girl and she came right to me and it was comforting to know she was concerned that I had fallen. My other good blessing was that a neighbor was out in his front yard and he heard me squeal and came to my aid. Because, seriously, I don’t know how I would have gotten up without his assistance! It felt like I had broken my foot. I limped, with his help, over to his house and we put Charlie in his car and I sat at the edge of his car seat. I took a moment and assessed my injuries. Thankfully during the nosedive I had defaulted to the ice skater in me, knowing how to fall on hard surfaces. I managed to just hit my forearm which was covered in an arm warmer so I only had a mild abrasion. No other marks. My face saved, thankfully.

While I was taking inventory the man offered to drive me home, but my runner’s mind told me to just wait a tad and I’d be able to run home. LOL and WTF? Have I not learned a dang thing?? Needless to say, adrenaline had kicked in so I wasn’t exactly thinking clearly. Additionally, I didn’t know this guy and although I appreciate a good samaritan, there is so much ugliness out there, I don’t trust anyone and didn’t feel comfortable having him know where I live, let alone getting into his car. How sad it is really, but did you see No Country for Old Men? Because scary shit happens.

 

street
The site of the incident (and said truck!) I’m guessing that I tripped over that uneven pavement, but I don’t remember at all how I tumbled to the ground.

About 10 minutes had passed and I felt like I could bare weight on my left foot, the same foot that had the PF incidentally, so I thanked him and told him I was good to go. I gingerly walked down the hill as if I was just fine and turned onto the next street out of sight. Then, [stupidly] I actually tried to “run” but that was quickly nipped, the pain so intense, and it brought me back to limping. Of course at this very moment Charlie took a poop, so now not only was I limping the remaining  ¾’s of a mile to home, but I was also carrying a weighty bag of poop! Suddenly the ride was seeming like the better idea!
**Let me just note here: I always pick up my pooch’s poop. I hate that so many people don’t pick up after their dog. It’s really irresponsible and reprehensible as a pet owner to not and it drives me bonkers how much poop litters our streets and neighborhoods.
PEOPLE PICK UP YOUR DOG’S POOP OR STAY HOME!

Back at home, I sat down, pulled off my shoe and sock and saw my ankle. It was swollen the size of a baseball. I started to cry. Because. Just because.

Then I got some ice and iced it. I also got a ankle compression sleeve and wore that for a week. It was black and blue the second day. I saw the doctor a week later and she said it was sprained and had me get a lace up ankle bootie and I wore that religiously. She said I could walk on it. I had taken a week and a half off. When the bootie arrived I went out for a walk the next day-if you own a husky you know that walks are not to be missed OR ELSE!! My ankle still hurt a little, but I had to keep moving. And walking wasn’t too difficult.

Fast forward to today. It’s been about 11 and a half weeks since the incident in the street and even though I am still walking, I am not pain free. In fact at the end of 2017, I went in to get an X-ray because I was still in so much pain. The X-ray’s showed no broken bones. Then 2 weeks later I saw a foot specialist and showed him how I am completely unable to move my foot into a pointing position. Just zero mobility there. This is 10 weeks out from the injury date!

 

no pointing
I’m equally pointing both feet here… wah!

He told me to wear a different ankle brace, which he gave me, that offered compression and stability, which the lace up had only offered stability. He said that the compression should help with the inflammation that I was still exhibiting. He gave me some exercises to do multiple times a day, which I will just say have been difficult to do even one time a day because of the pain, and told me if there is no improvement in 3 weeks time I will have to get an MRI to see what is going on. I have another week and a half, but so far, the mobility has been minimal, if at all, in terms of progress. At least he told me I could walk Charlie 3-4 miles a day as long as it’s on flat ground. I already knew, from trying, that hills were just too painful and if not for Charlie pulling me up them I would have not navigated them at all.

So for now, walks it is and that is better than nothing.

Charlie walking
Run or walk, Charlie doesn’t care—just as long as we go!

I think about running while I’m walking, which is good, because I am determined to run again. People often tell me to stop running but I am not going to listen. Non-runners just don’t understand I am am not going to take the time to explain. It’s just not going to happen. There are tons of runners out there with worse hardships than plantar fasciitis and sprained ankles working hard and running miles and miles. I find inspiration in them. So, no… not going to stop even if it’s only 3 miles a day. It’s my sanctuary and I still see more miles ahead of me.

This is the first time I’ve sprained an ankle.
How have you dealt with a sprained ankle from running?

Has the pain lasted this long?

I’d love to hear from you!!

 

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Balancing Act

This past week has been a test of my will and strength. I had never experienced using crutches before and have always thought, in my simple mind, it can’t be that hard/bad. Boy was I mistaken.

I should add that I went snowboarding last weekend prior to my PRP procedure and in a “skilled” move, looking to take a rest break, I sat back in the snow and bruised my tailbone. Ouch! Not only did that ruin the rest of my ski trip-because I couldn’t risk falling again, but as anyone who has done this knows, sitting hurts and it takes weeks for it to heal. Now add crutches and only balancing on one foot. Yay me! 😊 

So this is how my week has been. It’s bad enough to have you foot totally immobilized and unusable, but having to sit and roll on your tailbone to facilitate getting pants on over said boot, bending to tie shoe on the good foot, sitting on hard tile in bathroom trying to pull plastic boot cover on so you can shower…. ouch, ouch, ouch. You get it. No fun. The tailbone hurts way more than my foot, which doesn’t hurt at all. That’s the most important thing.

In fact, every part of my body hurts except my booted leg and foot. Hobbling around in crutches for the entire week has been quite the workout! The first couple of days I could barely get around without breaking a sweat! Nothing like a swift reminder of just how OUT OF SHAPE one is!! My right leg has had to balance and hop, perform single leg squats and pretty much bare all my body weight, which has accumulated since I haven’t run like I once did. It took about 3 days for my body and mind to adjust to this new way of getting around.

I have found it very interesting how our minds and body adapt to our circumstances. Survival instincts kick in. Or at least our capacity to invent. Ingenuity. How will I get from point A to point B with the things I need to carry when I have no extra set of arms? (use a handled bag) It really made me feel how fortunate I am that this is only temporary. How so many other people in the world are faced with certain disabilities and adversities and overcome them. We find a way to move on with our limitations. We don’t just give up. 

I’ve learned to manage my way, figuring out that I can do quite a lot of things left to my own devices. When my boyfriend is gone at work all day I have no choice but to get up and help myself. I am grateful and fortunate that our bathroom shower has a seated area (which I hadn’t given thought to before) so I can sit to wash my hair/shave my leg, etc. That the tub edge is wide enough to sit in so I could dry my hair. The kitchen is set up well too. The island is just close enough to the back counter that I could pass a plate or glass back and forth and slide it along to where I would need to, so I could feed myself (somewhat). In fact, our house is fairly handicap accessible. It’s one level and the only hiccups were entering the garage because it has a step down and getting into the shower-slippery and a step up and over. That scared me the most, but I figured it out and managed not to fall. I was mostly limited by the balancing on one leg. An out of shape leg that got tired fairly quickly. 

One night I was adventurous (or determined) and committed to cooking dinner. I had my boyfriend get the dry necessities down from the pantry shelves and place next to the stove that morning.

When it came time, I gathered the remaining items from the refrigerator and since I couldn’t carry all of them, I threw them to my workstation I was setting up so I didn’t have to go back and forth. This is what it looked like:


With all the pieces in place, I dragged one of the tall kitchen chairs over (thankful for slippery wood floors) gingerly sat down (remember my tailbone) and set to create my famous minestrone soup. Yes, beer IS part of the recipe. And yes, I ended up having to get a second one out because I drank the first while chopping up my ingredients. I’m human. And it tastes so good.

The soup turned out great and I know my boyfriend was thrilled he didn’t have to come home from work and try to figure out dinner, which is NOT his forte! That’s my department.

I have watched A LOT of TV this past week. I’ve been reading a bit too. It’s been restful, trying at times, as well as filled with tons of time for contemplation. I am grateful for all I have in this life and the ability to adjust to micro changes, temporary inability and self discovery. When faced with challenges it’s good to know that I can figure out how to make things work with limits. It has been a good lesson in not surrendering to defeat. It’s been nice to have help for sure but it’s also been nice to realize I can do things on my own as well. 

I’m hoping today is my last day on the crutches. I’ll be speaking with my doctor later and seeing how the foot feels. I’ve babied it all week and with that the hope is I will be able to bare weight on it and start my new job (I’m very excited) tomorrow with only the walking boot. I’m additionally thankful that my new boss already knows and is cool with it. 👍🏻