Category Archives: Uncategorized

Life, The Universe, Lisfranc, and Everything

Once upon a time, this was a running blog and one very hot day in October of 2012 I ran a marathon.

zombie

As someone who hated any running that didn’t happen in a soccer game for most of their life, this was a pretty big accomplishment. The marathon itself didn’t really go as planned (see knee pain starting at mile 6 and throwing up at the finish line in the last post) but thanks to some super awesome people (friends, family, and Team in Training teammates) I thoroughly enjoyed myself.

Afterwards I took a few weeks off to evaluate the knee situation and decide what I wanted to do next. After a few weeks away from the team I realized how much I missed spending my Saturday mornings with them and, though a little apprehensive about my physical health, I signed up for the 2013 Eugene Marathon with the Team.

goteam

My knee was still cranky and my body wasn’t loving running as the weather started to get colder, but my heart was happy being surrounded by the amazing people who are part of TnT. There’s something magical about being involved with the Team, though it’s hard to explain to those who haven’t gotten the chance to experience it. My second to last run with the Team before getting injured (foreshadowing) was 3 days after my grandmother, the woman I owe all of my athletic ability, mental toughness, nursing skills, and stubbornness to, passed away. I don’t remember a lot from that evening, mostly just running around the Duniway track in that dark with tears streaming down my face while captain Mike silently ran next to me, but it’s a memory that I hold in my heart to this day. It seems like a small thing when describing it, but thinking about it still brings me to tears.

Four days later this happened.

bumfoot1

I was playing soccer, like I did most weekend, with my beer team that had a soccer problem. I had the ball and went to take on a another player when we got tangled up. At some point the ref blew his whistle to call a foul on the the guy, at which point I tried to stop playing, but they guy didn’t right away. Somewhere in that mess the guy stepped on the mid-foot section of my left foot as I was pushing off of it. It hurt immediately, but being the stubborn lady that I am, I tried to take a few steps to walk it off, because seriously, who gets hurt by getting stepped on during a soccer game? Getting stepped on happens about every 30 seconds every game. After taking a few steps  the pain got worse, so I hobbled off the field while my teammates gave me a puzzled look and I just shrugged my shoulders.

I think at this point it would be fun to mention that at one point in my soccer career in Portland I was playing on 5 teams at one time. When I first started playing, my friends and family would come watch my games all the time. But when you’re playing 5 games a week, the number of games that people come to dwindles quickly. This game, however, was the one game I convinced my mom, her boyfriend Kraig, her roommate Pam, and my friend Kelley to come spectate. They got to see me play for all of about 8 minutes. My bad.

Back to the game. I got to the bench, took my shoe and sock off, didn’t see any visible injury, so I decided I was being a wimp about it and could just run it off. I waited until halftime to go back into the game. I lasted, at most, 30 seconds. It hurt fairly bad when running, but then I tried to pivot on it, and then it was game over. With the help of my mom, Kraig, and Pam I hobbled home, hoping that it would magically fix itself over night.

Spoiler alert, it didn’t.

Then started the most frustrating experience with the medical field that I have ever had.

I had a few hydrocodone pills left over from the time I got my appendix out, so I took one that night to help me sleep. It did nothing. I (gingerly) tossed and turned all night because of the pain, waiting until a reasonable hour to call my mom to have her take my to urgent care. At this point, I couldn’t put any weight on my foot. However, when I’m in a lot of pain, I don’t act like I’m in a lot of pain. The first time I broke my collarbone (yeah that happened playing soccer too…) and it was making a nice a-frame shape because it was in multiple pieces, I had stopped crying by the time I had walked off the field, which was maybe 2 minutes after it happened. I then sat in the ER making every person who walked in the room hit the button on the signing bass that was mounted on the wall. I am easily entertained. The nurses told my mom that when they had big tough guys come in with the same injury they would spend the whole time screaming. The second time I broke my collarbone (same side, same place while carrying a rowing boat down to the water my freshman year of college), it took me 2 months to go see a doctor, during which I ran, rowed, lifted weights, did push ups, and most painful of all, did bear crawls, because the athletic trainer said it was just a bruise, and who sees a doctor about a bruise? Not this stubborn girl.

So my mom and I go to urgent care, where I proceed to crack a lot of (slightly inappropriate) jokes. It becomes pretty obvious that the PA does not believe that I’m in a lot of pain. She orders an x-ray, which comes back negative, then says I can walk on it and wants to send me on my way, with an offhand, “you might want to follow up with an orthopedist, but I don’t think it’s broken”. I had to point out to her that, as I said before, it was too painful to walk on. She finally got me some crutches.

I didn’t have insurance at that point so I hobbled around on crutches and then in a walking boot hoping that if I rested it for a bit, it would heal. The boot, which I affectionately named Das Boot, came on many an adventure with me.

He went to pilates

bumfoot2

To Hawaii

bumfoot3

To the top of Mauna Kea at 13,796 ft

bumfoot4

To Curling for a Cure

bumfoot5

To a TnT aid station

bumfoot6

And many other not pictured places. After a few months of denial, I finally scheduled an appointment at a highly recommended orthopedic office in Portland. The first PA that I saw thought it was a Lisfranc ligament tear and ordered non-weight bearing x-rays and a MRI. The x-ray, not surprisingly, came back negative. The PA was so sure that the MRI would show a Lisfranc tear that he wouldn’t even discuss any other possibilities when I asked about them. Turns out, a MRI is not the gold standard when diagnosing a Lisfranc tear, especially 3 months after the initial injury. So when the MRI came back negative, the PA just sort of shrugged his shoulders and sent me to see a different doctor in the office.

I trusted this guy a little bit more than the PA, not because of the educational difference, but because this doc had read the MRI results to me without having read my file and asked me if I was a runner or a soccer player. He nailed that one. He thought he saw some arthritis in the area where I was having pain, assumed that I had chipped a piece of bone off when I first injured it, gave me a steroid shot to help with the inflammation, told me to wear supportive shoes, and that the pain should go away in a little while. While the pain did get better, it never fully went away. After a few more frustrating appointment, I decided it wasn’t worth my money to cry after every time I went to that office. But as long as I didn’t do anything too crazy, my foot was ok and that was what I could deal with at that time.

I then packed up my stuff and spent the summer in San Francisco taking care of my fabulous little niece.

littleA

The night before I left for SF, I played soccer for the first time since the injury. I had started running again and had made it up to a mile, which was the point at which the ortho said I could try soccer again. I lasted into the second half (which was a miracle just given my lack of fitness, but we had no subs) when, for some unknown and very stupid reason, I tried to cut to my left with the ball and push off of my left foot. HUGE MISTAKE. I knew immediately I was done and just walked off the field. Then my team scored 3 goals while playing a man down and won 4-0, so clearly they didn’t need me in the first place.

The foot got pretty swollen after the game, and then even more swollen the next day after flying down to California, but I was quite busy with the little munchkin, so I just tried to rest it and ice it as much could so it would calm down. I spent the summer taking the babe on walks through SF, up and down all of the hills, and though it hurt, I was used to it hurting at this point, and didn’t think too much of it.

SFview

At the end of the summer I went back to Portland for a few days, and then headed out to Nebraska to start nursing school. (Holy shit, big life change) Not just any nursing program, but an accelerated BSN program that is crazier and busier than I could have ever imagined. We started clinical a month into the program, and though my foot hurt even with wearing my Danskos, I didn’t have the time or energy to do much about it. And I could still function, which was the most important part.

nursingschool

On a Friday afternoon at beginning of spring semester some classmates got together to kick a soccer ball around at the gym. I was pumped to run around with them even though my foot hurt the moment I started running. I ignored the pain and had a blast with my classmates (seriously, I have the best and most amusing classmates ever). Afterwards it was pretty sore, so I went home to ice it, and then it proceeded to swell up. By Saturday morning I couldn’t put much weight on it and contemplated going to urgent care but figured they would just refer me to an orthopedist anyway so I might as well just wait until the student health center opened on Monday. On Sunday the foot was feeling a bit better thanks to some ice and probably more ibuprofen than my kidneys appreciated. Student health referred me to a podiatrist, whom I chose solely based off of location. Turns out, that was the best decision I ever made.

When I explained the story (in a much shorter version than this) to the podiatrist, he immediately went to a Lisfranc injury. We discussed the previous MRI, how it was a waste of time and money, and he ordered a weight bearing x-ray, which is what the ortho PA should have done in the first place. He came up with this:

IMG_4124

The pen is pointing to separation of the joint that shouldn’t happen but did when I put weight on my foot. Besides icing, NSAIDs, and supportive shoes, there’s not much that can be done for a Lisfranc injury besides surgery. So 4 months later (I had a tight schedule with nursing school and clinical), I had this done:

IMG_4389

That was 30 days ago. Summer semester started 20 days ago. To say it has been a long 20 days would be a slight understatement. I’m exhausted. My first week back at school I did 2 12 hour clinical days in the ICU on crutches. I think I was more tired after the second day than after I ran that marathon. Luckily my school has some very understanding faculty and my podiatrist is the best doctor I have ever had, so somehow this crazy plan has worked.

So that’s where I’m at now. I’m not really sure what sparked me to write out this (incredibly long, sorry about that) story, but I want to share my Lisfranc journey so that others going through it know they aren’t alone. I’ve just started the process of weaning out of the walking boot and can already tell that it’s going to be a frustrating endeavor. I probably won’t be running any time soon, so this really isn’t a running blog anymore, but maybe you’ll learn something about Lisfranc if you stick around. (Side note- the joint is named for Jacques Lisfranc de St. Martin, who was a surgeon in Napoleon’s army. See you learned something already!)

The Night Before The Marathon

Five months ago this happened

20121006-205652.jpg

I signed up for my first full marathon. I was pretty excited, in fact I was down right giddy about it. After two half marathons I was ready to push myself harder and farther than I ever had before and of course I signed up with Team in Training because cancer sucks and I want to do everything I can to help fight for a cure. The last 5 months have been filled with early mornings, long miles, and more fun than I could have imagined. I can’t thank everyone involved in TnT enough for helping me through this journey, our wonderful coaches Heidi and Wendy, our amazing captains Laura and Mike, my wonderful mentor Skye, and all the other mentors who cheered us on. Even last season’s teammates have helped, they’ve been aid station volunteers and have come to fundraising events, coach Mike still let’s me come to him for advice. It’s true, once you’re part of the Team you’re always part of the Team.

I also could not have done it without everyone who donated to my fundraising. Whether it was $5 or $100, every dollar makes a difference in the search for a cure, towards helping a patient with a co-pay, in providing support and information to a newly diagnosed patient. My kiddo just finished over two years of treatment while another friend is half way through her treatment. We all have a connection to cancer and those connections are only going to grow as time goes on. We must do all that we can to fight.

So tomorrow I’m heading out on a 26.2 mile jaunt around Portland in honor of Astraea and Karly, and for every cancer patient, past, present and future. My one goal is to cross the finish line smiling.

20121006-211633.jpg

It’s Almost Cupcake Time!

Tomorrow is Cupcakes and Ice Cream for a Cure!

It’s a great way too cool off from the crazy heat in Portland. So come swing by, say hi, get the chance to win some awesome raffle prizes and eat some delicious treats!
For those friends who live somewhere besides Portland you can still enter to win the raffle prizes! Just donate (click to donate button at the top of this page) and let me know which items you want your tickets to go to.
Raffle tickets are 1 for $5 and 3 for$10.

Hope to see your smiling faces tomorrow! Oh, and I may make you carry me around since I’ll be running 18 miles in the morning.

Raffle Prizes at Cupcakes and Ice Cream

Here are the deets on all the great raffle prizes and handmade crafts that will be available at Cupcakes and Ice Cream for cancer! There will be 3 gift baskets.

Wine and chocolate
A different version of wine and chocolate
I call this the Man Basket. Mmm, beer.

There will also be 3 desserts that will be raffled off, a Chocolate Lined Banana Cream, a Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Pie, and a Berry Cobbler. I don’t have pictures because they are being made by my awesome roommate Jenni fresh this week. Having been the happy recipient of many of her pies I can assure that they are going to be amazingly delicious.

For purchase there will be Healing Hats and Horses.

Thanks for being an awesome model Julio

The hats are hand knitted by my mom’s friend Judy.

The Healing Horses are handmade by my mom and have been given to our friends affect by cancer.

Raffle tickets are 1 for $5 and 3 for $10, Healing Hats and Horses are $25 each. If you can’t attend and still want in on the raffle you’re in luck! Just let me know which pot you want your raffle tickets to go into (each item will be raffled off individually) and if you win we’ll find a way to get it to you.

And as a special gift for reading this post, here’s an adorable picture of Bo.

Mid howl, so cute.

 

 

Cupcakes and Ice Cream for a Cure!

What’s the best way to help find a cure for cancer? Eating cupcakes and ice cream! Alright, so maybe the scientists looking for a cure might argue that, but they have to get their funding somewhere, and here’s a good way you can contribute to that.

There will be cupcakes donated from Bliss Cupcakes, as well as homemade cupcakes and treats. There will be a raffle for some homemade pies and gift baskets, so even if you can’t attend you can participate in the raffle! I’ll put up another post with details about the raffle items so that you can choose which pot you want your tickets to go into. There will also be some hand crafted goods for sale (again, another post will have the details once I can take pictures of everything). So come hang out, eat some delicious treats, and help fight cancer! Bonus cool points is you wear purple.


P.S. 60 days until the Portland Marathon!

2 Days To E Day!

I am officially dubbing Sunday “E Day”! I know, I’m soooooooo clever.

Hey, I’ve been on a lot of drugs this week, give me a break.

Speaking of drugs, welcome to day five (and the final day!) of Prednisone. Today has been full of depressed ‘roid rage. I grumpily popped up out of bed at 6:30am, 30 minutes before my alarm. I then spent some quality time poking around the digestive system of the cadaver at school before I had breakfast, which is totally how I should start every day (hello, sarcastic voice). Want to know how the digestive system works? Here’s how is all goes down.

Oh, that’s not correct? Damn. I may need to study more.

Breakfast afterwards was surprisingly delicious thanks to weird ability to block out cadaver images out of my head when I’m eating. The rest of the day has been pretty meh, the steroids sometimes make me feel very disconnected from the world, but I’ve also been reminded how awesome my friends are (love you A and Gina! You girls make my life complete). Speaking of Gina, she’s magically going to show up in my bed at some point to night and that makes me happy (get you head out of the gutter).

But anyway, back to Eugene. Tomorrow we have our last group run, just a two mile shake out run in Portland and then it’s off to Eugene! I’m getting really excited about picking my bib up, wandering the expo, getting to see some old friends, and going to the TnT Inspiration Dinner. Now I just need to figure out what to pack. Packing while on steroids is hard, I feel like punching my dresser. It’s going to be a long night.

3 Days!

3 days!

Kiki's excited!

Welcome to day four of Prednisone, I’m feeling very ragey and dinosaury today.

Rawr.

Did you know that side effects of Prednisone include: difficulty controlling emotion (why I’ve had to work really hard at not punching people lately and walked out of my teachers office hours yelling ‘just shoot me now Ed, just shoot me now!’ #overdramatic), difficulty in maintaining train of thought (why I did so poorly on my last test), facial swelling (hello chipmunk cheeks), unusual fatigue or weakness (explains why walking across campus seems like such a difficult task), mental confusion/indecisiveness (choosing where and what to have at lunch was really difficult), insomnia (I already had that one covered but somehow it’s gotten worse), anxiety/nervousness (I’m freaking out about Sunday), increased appetite (omg, that burrito was delicious, what else can I eat?), frequent urination (making it through class without getting up to pee more than once has been a challenge), sensitive teeth (ouch) and inappropriate happiness (awkward).

I also got so frustrated with not being able to fall asleep last night that I started violently flipping over trying to get comfortable and pulled a muscle in my side. I win at life.

What I’m trying to say is that with 3 days left before Eugene I’m getting nervous, really nervous. Two weeks ago I had an amazing 12 mile run and I was so ready for this 13.1, but it’s been a long 2 weeks and I feel like everything has changed. I know I’ll make it across the finish line, I just feels like it’s going to be much harder of a fight than I thought it would be. Luckily I will have 2 of my favorite ladies running next to me, but boy am I nervous, very nervous.

I don't think Kiki understands how nervous I am.

Best(s) and Worst of the Weekend, and the Coolest Marathon Recap

Bests: Jen and I met with Morgan from Team in Training to discuss fundraising ideas on Saturday and it was extremely productive. Our first event that we’ve already launched is the Yellow Bungalow Brigade Mini Marathon – Virtual Run/Walk! Check out the details, get your friends together, donate, and start the New Year off right. We also have a few other events planned for the coming months, some that might include free beer. That got your attention, didn’t it?!

With our first training run this Saturday and since winter is setting in here in Portland and will be sticking around until probably May, Jen and I went shopping for some winter running gear. First stop was Kohls, major success. Adidas shorts for $7.50? Yes please.

The next stop was Next Adventure because I had a $40 Portland Perks coupon. What can you get at Next Adventure for $40? Smart Wool socks, ear muffs, gloves, and reflective strips with blinking lights so I can avoid getting run over while running in the dark since the sun sets around 4:30 these days. Watch out winter running, I’m coming at you with layers.

Maybe I'll pull a Joey and wear everything all at once.

Worst: I woke up Sunday morning to my roommate’s cat meowing incessantly. I finally figured out that she puked in her food dish. Now, I’ve seen some bloody, gross things while volunteering in the ER, but I’ve concluded that there’s nothing more disgusting than cat puke, or any mammal puke for that matter.

Awesome NYC marathon report: check the NYC race report from New York Times cartoonist Christoph Niemann, so creative and hilarious.

Best and Worst, and a Halloween Fail

Best: by far my kiddo’s birthday party, she happens to be the cutest kid ever.

Worst: where to start… class on Friday night, class on Saturday (all for a one credit class called Interpersonal Violence in Youth and the Juvenile Justice System, a nice light topic for the weekend…), the 6 page page and 6 page take home exam for that class I need to write, the chem test today, the anatomy quiz tomorrow, and I can go on. What I’m trying to get at is that it’s a bit of a busy time right now. I was late to my soccer game yesterday because I was so into studying, the only reason I looked up was because my pen ran out of ink. I’ve also done no running what so ever since the 10k, which feels like forever ago. If only I could run and look at flash cards at the same time.

Halloween Fail:  did you know that the Fred Meyer’s one 39th Ave doesn’t have any costumes? Maybe they did earlier in the month but there were definitely none at 6:00pm. All I wanted was a pirate hat and sword, is that too much to ask for? I guess I’ll just save my costume for next year.

 

*Cough*

Umm… so… about that whole ‘here’s my workout schedule, I’m going to conquer it’ thing I talked about last post… well, I got sick on Monday and the only thing I’ve conquered this week is a box of tissues.

Dominated

Here’s how the week went down:

Monday: Planned: Pilates, run 5mi (2 waterfront loops) Actual: Pilates, ran 1mi

Tuesday: Planned: swim 3/4-1mi Actual: swam 1/2mi

Wednesday: Planned: Pilates, run 2.5mi (one waterfront loop) Actual: sniffled my way through Pilates, no run

Thursday: Planned: swim 3/4-1mi Actual: slept until 11:00am, then napped from 1:00-3:00

Friday: Planned: soccer game (at midnight, yuck) Actual: heh, yeah right, I’ll be lucky if I’m still awake at 8:30pm

Saturday or Sunday: Plan: run 5mi In reality: priority goes to letting my lungs heal (my asthma is never happy when I get sick) and studying for my 2 midterms and a practical next week (that’s all before Wednesday)

So, yeah, not so successful. I also had to miss my shift at the Doernbecher ER, which makes me very grumpy but I’m guessing parents will appreciate me not coughing, sneezing, and getting snot all over their already sick or injured children. I will now accept offers to come nurse me back to health and/or bring me treats.