If you didn't see the update on my Friday post, the results of the MRI showed that I have a stress fracture and a torn plantar fascia. While not the worst diagnosis I could have received (the worst would have been a ruptured plantar fascia and surgery), it felt like the worst because it immediately shut down any running and put most other forms of exercise in jeopardy. Believe it or not, when the nurse called to tell me the results and set up an appointment for me to come in and get a Cam Boot, the first question I asked was, "Can I run one more time before Monday?" The phone went dead quiet - then, "Absolutely not!" Of course my question came out of complete denial that this was actually happening. Before the MRI even the doctor had said that we were hoping for just a really bad case of plantar fasciitis. Now I know that unrelenting pain means much worse. Sigh.
I spent the weekend doing some things that I thought might be awkward with the boot (like doing a seasonal switch and cleanup of my closet) and now that I have the boot on, I am glad I did. The doctor I met with was a very nice young woman but not my regular doc who is out of town and that tells you right there how badly they wanted me to get the thing on. The first thing she said when she sat down was, "Nice to meet you although I wish it was under better circumstances. I hear you're a big runner and I know this is probably pretty upsetting to you." I guess my reputation preceeded me.... The next thing she did was give me a full explanation of the MRI results. Turns out I have not one, but TWO stress fractures in addition to the plantar tear and some tendinitis. First of all the plantar fascia is torn on the medial side (inner heel) but fortunately has not completely detached or ruptured. Then there is a stress fracture in the heel bone. Which came first? The chicken or the egg?. They simply don't know. One could be because of the other or they could be coincidental. Here is a drawing that I doctored up that shows the areas of concern:
The second stress fracture they figure was caused by altering my gait for all these months trying to relieve the pain on the inner part of my heel. It is on the top outer part of my foot. Also, the tendons that run in that area are showing "major irritation" which means I have tendinitis. I knew that, as that's where I've been rubbing the Penetrex, but was surprised about the second stress fracture. Here is a drawing of where it is, (though this a right foot because I couldn't find an illustration of a left one):
So, while it makes a whole lot of sense that I need the boot, I'm not very happy. It's not even that I care about how it looks, it's just cumbersome and of course, no running!
In the meantime, one of the things that remains important to me is that somehow I keep my appointment with exercise even if it's not running. It was interesting to me that the first thing said to me by many people was, "Oh, now you can sleep in!" Well, no. I don't want to sleep in. It's not like I'll never be able to run again so I am just going to replace my running time with other exercise. Like I said, exercise for me is an appointment.
Over the weekend I tried to come up with a plan to keep myself active. It wasn't the easiest thing to do since I hadn't even talked with the doctor and didn't know what I would or would not be allowed to do. But I started from the point that I could at least stand in place and lift some weights or do toe touches or something of the sort. Little did I know when I did talk to the doctor, pretty much the only other choices she gave me were stationery or recumbent biking or swimming. Which would mean a gym membership and I'm not sure I want to do that, even if it is for a month or two. My father-in-law has an old stationery bike that he's not using so Mr. Helen said he would go get it and bring it here. I'm pretty sure it's really old and I'm not sure if it will be too hard for me to use but it's worth a try at least to keep my legs somewhat exercised.
My head feels very cluttered as I'm trying to sort through all my thoughts and feelings and come up with something that is workable. I feel mad, sad, annoyed - pretty much any emotion you can conjure up. I know I'll figure it out and I'll fill you in once I do. In the meantime, my boss, with his wicked sense of humor, has taken to calling me Skippy. I'll allow it as he has also graciously told me I should park in the upper lot on the circle (which is normally forbidden) so that I only have a few steps to get into the office.