If the miles behind me could be put into words before you, you would feel my efforts, my struggles, my desires. Most of all you would see my joy. Watch me from afar run the trails and hills and miles upon miles and you will see ...

Thursday, April 29, 2010

On Monday the 19th I went and saw Dr. Green, the podiatrist, and we talked about how to get me back on my feet so to speak. First and foremost I needed to stay off it as much as I could and if I had to walk I would have to use a walking cast or air cast.

Also, I couldn't do my job at the firehall to its full capacity so therefore had to go on light duties, mostly deskwork if possible. There's nothing worse as a firefighter than being stuck at a desk doing data entry all day. It's more tiring than I thought but I think it's the boredom. It's also a great motivator to get healthy again. When he finally got the actual pictures of the scan he sent me an email (which is cool because how many doctors actually send and receive emails from patients??) saying that the stress fracture is more "impressive" than he thought. I guess it REALLY lit up the film. It's located at the 3rd metatarsal and kind of radiates along the bone, making it "impressive".

So one problem solved. I've been in the cast for a week and a half and I think it's helping. The weird thing is that it actually feels better when I'm moving around and especially after water running or being on the eliptical trainer. Must be the increased circulation.
Dr. Green also told me about this ultrasound machine that I could get which supposedly heals stress fractures up to 33% faster. I said let's do it! He said they cost around $1500. I said, whoa, that's a little steep. He said that it's usually used on a person if a stress fracture is taking three or four months to heal and that insurance won't always pay for it unless this is the case. I said let's try anyways. So the next day I get a call from the company Smith & Nephew from back east asking for my medical insurance info. He calls Sunlife and then calls me back saying that Sunlife has given permission for me to use the Exogen Bone Healing Unit. Great I said. They'll only cover 80% of the costs he said. I'm thinking 20% of $1500 is still a little high for me to pay for something that'll eventually heal on its own. I'm not willing to pay $300 I said. Well the machine actually costs $3000 he said. Holy crap I said. I'm definitely not willing to pay $600 for this. Well then we'll cover the other 20% says the guy on the other line without skipping a beat. Sweet! So I've been using the bone healer for the past week which could also explain why it's feeling better.

I'm thinking Comrades may be a possibility!

Friday, April 16, 2010

The All-Knowing, All-Seeing Bone Scan

Okay so my self-diagnosis of a neuroma on my foot was mistaken. I guess it isn't possible to get a doctorate in podiatry just by surfing the net. It's good and bad because by the sounds of it a few cortisone shots for a neuroma would at least enable me to run and maybe get through the year (good). Then the winter would be a time to get proper treatment (bad - surgery, alcohol injections). As the bone scan yesterday showed, and a call from Dr. Green the podiatrist today confirmed, the bright white spot on my foot is indeed a stress fracture. What does this mean? It means that now instead of amputating just a toe or two, the whole foot has to go in order to make it to South Africa in six weeks. Alternatively I can stick to water running and biking right now. On Monday Dr. Green and I will discuss such prospects as amputation or casting or I don't know what else.
On the upside I've rediscovered my love for cycling and have a bunch of long rides planned in the next couple months whether my foot is better or not - Whistler, Mt. Baker, and Penticton are all in the cards.
On the down side I've rediscovered my hate of water running.
Thanks to all those who have shown me support and advice with what I'm going through. I'm pretty sure people could just have a form letter on their desktop to send me when I get injured, it's happening so often:

Sorry to hear about your ___________ injury (insert latest malady here). Hope you get well soon, etc, etc.

I never get tired of the sympathy so keep it coming.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Update on the Foot

So Carrie remembered reading on Matt Hart's blog a few years ago that he had a foot problem similar to what I've been experiencing. He went through months of trial and error to get corrected and finally found out that he had Morton's Neuroma. I was at the sports doc again today with my x-ray knowing it would show nothing and it didn't disappoint. I did comment that on film it was a good-looking foot and he agreed - the bones looked healthy and strong. It didn't show the ligaments however. So I suggested it could be Morton's and he thought that's what it was as well. Off to the pharmacy to try a topical anti-inflammatory for the weekend. I have an appointment with a podiatrist on Monday to see what's next and if I should go with the nerve-killing alcohol injections. At this point I'm willing to have a lifetime of a numb toe to make it to Comrades and get back to running. For the experience of that race I want to be there, even if it's only to finish as the gates close behind me. I never thought that I would make that kind of decision but, hey, I've got nine more toes, right?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

If There Was Only Someone Else to Blame

Yes, I'm sure it comes as no surprise to anyone who's followed along here for any length of time that, amazing I know, I'm injured yet again. This one there's no hiding from. After not running much for three and a half weeks I guess I felt pretty good after the Dirty Duo and Chuckanut. Good enough to head out barefoot for 30 minutes two days after Chuckanut. Two days later I did another 25 minute barefoot stint. It was the second one where I felt like I had a slight bruise on the top outside of my left foot, almost like when your shoelaces are tied too tight. Not one to take a warning sign, I did a 2:30 run two days after that with no discomfort other than my legs felt like crap. Two days after that I did an hour in my racing flats and it was a bit painful, advil not helping. Tuesday I went out for 45 minutes in brand new regular-cushioned shoes and the advil didn't put a dent in the pain I was in. Okay something is definitely not right with me. Luckily I got in to see the sports doc, Dr. King, after my run on Tuesday and he sent me for x-rays yesterday. The tech there didn't see anything but my next appointment with Dr. King is on Thursday. There really is no rush because, fracture or not, I ain't running with it feeling this way. I guess the bottom line was too much barefooting too soon after not running for a few weeks. Weird because I'm not known to be one to overdo things. Really weird.
So it was to the pool yesterday for the first of probably many water-running sessions. 30 minutes felt like a long time but I know I need to do it. Luckily I can ride the bike without pain so I'm off for a three hour jaunt shortly. So after all this I can safely say that Diez Vista is out and probably the marathon as well. I have 8 weeks to be ready for Comrades so that's the focus.