Category Archives: Injury

The Pre-Surgey Appointemt

Appointment #1

Doc J (the podiatrist): “So about running…”
Me: “Is my marathon career one and done?”
Doc J: “Yeah. I would be happy if you would stick to 5Ks. Actually, I’d be really happy if you would stick to swimming.”
Me “…*disgusted face*”
Doc J: “I would be fine if you never played soccer again.”
Me: “…I wouldn’t be.”

This was the moment I realized that there wasn’t going to be a simple, easy fix for my foot. I’ve never had a doctor tell me I shouldn’t do something for the rest of my life. Sure, running another marathon isn’t at the top of my Let’s Do That Again! list, but I had been toying with the idea to join my friend Jen for the Honolulu Marathon in December because if I’m going to run another 26.2 I want to be able to cross the finish line and then head straight to the beach to recover while sipping a Mai Tai. Having someone say I can’t do it sort of makes me want to try. Yeah, I’m that kind of person.

Joey drinking a Mai Tai in Hawaii...it's loosely related to this story...
Joey drinking a Mai Tai in Hawaii…it’s loosely related to this story…

After x-ray confirmation of the injury, Doc J gave me two options:

1- treat it conservatively with rest, ice, supportive shoes, and a blast of NSAIDs

2- surgically insert a screw across the joint to hold it in place

Option 1 was basically what I had been doing for the past year, minus the blast of NSAIDs, which would be an attempt to get it to calm down after I had angered it by trying to play soccer. There was a small discussion about corticosteroids to reduce the inflammation if the NSAIDs didn’t work, but I’ve been on those bastards many a time for terrible colds and pneumonia and I try to stay as far away as possible from them. Option 1 would also never be a solution to the problem since it wouldn’t fix the ligament, it would just try to make living with the pain more manageable.

Choosing to have surgery when death isn’t imminent is not an easy choice to make, but after a year of constant pain and not being able to participate in the activities that bring me joy, I had a feeling it would have to happen. And let us not forget that I am currently studying for a profession that routinely involves 12 shifts on one’s feet while caring for others. One of my goals in nursing is to work in critical care, I can’t be limping around while my patient is coding.

Doc J: “You’re in nursing school? Then I’m going to treat you like a nurse.”
Me: “Does that mean you think I’m stubborn?”
Doc J: “Exactly.”

But I was still a bit hesitant, I hadn’t gotten my mind wrapped around it all. One of the things I like about Doc J is that he’s straight forward and won’t sugar coat anything (but in a nice way, not a rude asshole way), and he put it something like this, “if you spent all day at a desk and the rest of the time on the couch, you could probably deal with option 1, but you’re young (he says this a lot, I’m not sure he fully realizes that I’m almost 30) and if you want to lead the active lifestyle that makes you happy, you’re going to need this surgery”.

Picture of my active lifestlye- running Hood to Coast
Picture of my active lifestyle, aka running Hood to Coast

Next came the logistics. The schedule in an accelerated nursing program doesn’t have a lot of downtime when you can be on crutches. The only feasible time in the next 9 months would be in May during the one week break between spring and summer semesters.  The plan in the mean time was for me to try option 1 to see if I could at least get the foot to calm down a little and discuss with the school if surgery between semesters would even be a possibility.

There’s something relieving about just having a plan, even if that plan involves having a piece of hardware inserted into your bone. It was nice to at least have an answer to why my foot was still hurting and to have a doctor who 1- believed me when I said I was in pain and 2- wanted to do something to fix the problem. When he was walking out of the exam room one of the nurses was walking in. As he rounded the corner he yelled to her, “treat her like a nurse!”.

It’s nice having a doctor who gets you.

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Long Time, No Rambling

Holy radio silence, Batman. Sorry about that. I have an unspoken goal of posting 1-2 times a week and I’ve definitely failed at that the last few weeks. But I have some excuses, some of which might actually be legitimate. The biggest one is finals, I had 3 finals in 24 hours and my kiddo had an appointment between the second and third finals, and you can bet your ass I was there for the whole appointment. So there was that, and dog sitting for a friend’s new puppy,

Oh Kiki, you're so adorable, except when you try to use my ankles as chew toys

and going to Seattle for spring break, and having a bunch of family in town for my grandma’s 90th birthday. Oh, and I had to defend the world from the zombie apocalypse.

Take that suckers

Turns out I’m a pretty good shot.

Anyway, here are some updates in bullet form, because bullets that are not aimed at living things are actually pretty fun.

* While it may not be getting warmer in Portland (damn you rain, I’m over you), it is getting lighter, which means we can now have track night in the sunlight.

* Kiki chewed through my computer cord in under 90 seconds.

* I ran 90 miles in March. By far an all time high and I can really feel how much my endurance has improved. My legs don’t kill me after doing my long runs like they used to. I only feel like I’ve been run over by a bicycle and not a semi.

* I ate way too much sugar, but what else is new?

* I ran in the rain, a lot.

This is a picture of me sopping wet, though I guess it's a bit hard to tell, but you get the idea

* I got to spend some quality time with one of my best friends, which really makes my world better.

J'taime mon amie, even if you spent all night coughing

* I got to watch some of my teammates kick ass at Race for the Roses. Great job everyone!

* My family celebrated my grandma’s 90th birthday.

In true Tobin fashion we played a lot of Scrabble and got in a game of mini golf, black light style.

Now it’s the first week of spring quarter and it’s back to grindstone. I’ve already started it off in true clumsy Maddy fashion by standing up into the corner of a locker door and getting a giant goose egg on top of my head. I tried to run at track night tonight but only made it through half the workout before my headache got too much to run through. Guess I need to rest the ole noggin. I hate taking unscheduled rest days.

26 days until Eugene!

(Almost) As Good as New!

Guess who wore 2 cute shoes today?!

Hint: someone who really likes purple.

Answer: me. I know, that was a hard one to figure out. I ran today! A whole mile! Ok, yeah, so that’s not that impressive, but it was quite exciting for someone who’s been wearing an ugly shoe all week. Then I hung out on the couch all day with Tundra, which she seemed to be happy about.

She's good at keeping your toes warm.

Tundra is also happy about my moose menorah purchase.

Best menorah ever.

I’ve also rewatched all of Parks and Rec, which is literally, my favorite show right now. Seriously, go watch it. I’m going to find me a Ben Wyatt.

Something you should also do if you’re in Portland, come join Jen and me tomorrow at 10:00 at Water Avenue Coffee for our Mini Marathon. Get your running shoes ready!

Confessions From A Girl In An Ugly Shoe

I busted my foot on Saturday. No, it wasn’t while I was running 5 miles up Terwilliger, playing soccer, or running that 5k at midnight. No, I stepped on the plug to the vacuum with my left foot, tried to step back onto my right foot and somehow jammed my big toe into the ground and then flailed around for a bit. Somewhere in there I hurt my 5th metatarsal.

That's the culprit.

It didn’t actually start to hurt until a few hours later and I didn’t think much of it, but then it started to swell and bruise, which is never a good sign. So on Monday I hobbled to the doctor and got an x-ray, fortunately it was negative for a fracture. So woot for that. I am wearing this medically helpful ugly shoe.

So fashionable.

It helps to distribute the weight evenly around my foot, which is good since when I try to wear my regular shoe it pushes up into the 5th MT and hurts like stepping on glass. So, now without further ado, confessions of a girl in an ugly shoe.

* I want to get some purple puffy paint to decorate the ugly shoe but I’m holding back because I don’t want the ugly shoe to stick around for long.

* The perfect shoe height to match the ugly shoe is my cowboys boots.

Does it match?

* I feel like an 80 year old when I walk around.

* The most annoying thing about the shoe is that sometimes rocks get stuck in the bottom and make this awful scratching noise. It’s like nails on a chalkboard.

* I miss running. (I know, I’m shocked too.)

* I’m jealous of people with 2 good feet.

* It’s taking a huge amount of effort to not just keep running on it. I have to keep reminding myself about that time I broke my clavicle for the second time and didn’t go to the doctor for 2 months and then it took over a year for the pain to go away. Remember M, that wasn’t fun.

* I hate having that guilty feeling when eating chocolate when I know I can run it off later.

Can I run yet?