Tuesday, October 9, 2012


If you comment on today's post you will find I once again had to shut off the ability to comment anonymously. I have been getting so many spam comments that it was either that or turn on comment moderation and require a password, which I did not want to do.  So sign in it is.


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.

My left shoe for the next 4-8 weeks...


  1. Well, on the good news front:
    1. Sounds like you have a great doctor, who really explained things thoroughly to you, and understands your need to continue to exercise.
    2. At least you didn't have to wear that contraption during the sticky summer. Or on vacation at the beach!

    I suggested swimming to Shelley last year when her ankle was busted, and it seemed to work for her. Heck, maybe I should join you; I could use an exercise buddy to make me do what I don't want to do!

  2. Oh, Helen, I know this is not the news you wanted to hear. I am so sorry - how stressful for you.

    And I hear you on the spam. Driving me nuts!

  3. I'm glad you have an answer. Be a good girl and follow doctor's orders.

  4. You have the right attitude trying to find an alternative way to keep active. Are there any aqua programs in your area that might interest you? Just remember don't overdo it. The most important thing is to get your foot healed. Take care.

  5. I'm so sorry Helen. It's frustrating that it took so long to find out what was wrong. It's a great idea to keep your appointment to exercise. Anything is better than doing nothing. I look forward to you sharing what you end up doing as I'm sure Ill need to do the same. At least you are now on the road to recovery!

    I have been having tons of comment spam on my blog! It's so annoying! I need a new spam plug in to combat it.

  6. I'm so sorry Helen. It's frustrating that it took so long to find out what was wrong. It's a great idea to keep your appointment to exercise. Anything is better than doing nothing. I look forward to you sharing what you end up doing as I'm sure Ill need to do the same. At least you are now on the road to recovery!

    I have been having tons of comment spam on my blog! It's so annoying! I need a new spam plug in to combat it.

  7. You probably don't want this, but couldn't your Doctor approve a temporary handicapped sticker for you to park closest to your building, or when you are shopping? I don't know what the procedure is for getting those.

  8. Well, I'm sorry it turned out to be this, but at least there's no surgery needed at this point. Hang in there!

  9. Hopefully your healing is already underway. Maybe the universe has something else in mind for you for the next couple months and needed to slow you down a bit in order to "be available" for the message. That's the kind of stuff you hear in AA all the time - and I know it makes me want to shriek when someone says that kind of stuff. But the time will pass more quickly than you can imagine, though I'm sure it'll seem like eternity. Bravo for keeping you exercise appointment - inspires me, for sure!

  10. It's amazing the size of a boot that is needed to help heal a foot! So sorry about the results. I know you will make some lemonaid with this lemon!


  11. Oh darn! BUT...at least you KNOW what the problem is, and you know you'll heal in a matter of weeks without surgery. I know, small comfort. Speaking as a woman who had foot surgery in the spring and also wore stylin' recovery footware myself for 4 weeks, you DO get used to moving with it on, it does get easier, and the time flies by!!! Hang in there my friend!!!!

  12. I am so glad you didn't do that last run. You never know how close you were from a stress fracture to a displaced fracture if you kept running.

    I'm tempted to drive and bring my bike and trainer so that you can use them if the stationary bike doesn't work.
    Maybe you will end up loving biking? ;)

  13. I'm glad you had such a nice doctor who explained everything so well to you. And since medical terms are difficult for me to understand because English is not my native language, thank you for posting pictures which makes it more easy for me to understand where your fractures are.

    I'm proud of you Helen. Yes, you are depressed at the moment because you can't run and that's completely logical, everyone would be. But you don't let your head hang down but immediately started thinking of an alternative exercise plan. I hope the bike works good enough for you and you can get your exercise in.
    I suppose you don't have public swimming pools in the area where you can pay per visit?

    Take care sweety and big hug for you.

  14. Remember Moses from Season 11 on Biggest Loser?


    He was sidelined with foot problems for a month and he still continually lost weight - he even boxed sitting down. :D

    I know its frustrating, feel free to vent how life isn't fair and this is not where you want to be - we are here for you!


  15. Ack and ugh - but you already know how bad I feel for you with this. :(

  16. Your doctor can give you a form to take to the Bureau of Motor Vehicles to get a temporary handicapped placard. I found this very helpful for things like major grocery store trips and the mall. While my boot was on I was in Rochester MN with my youngest at Mayo, on the east coast apartment hunting with my oldest (grad school), and several trips to my middle's child's college for orientation/registration and move in day. All of that involved a LOT of walking, the handicapped spaces helped a lot.

    I was not allowed in the pool. I was allowed to do pilates and free weights and circuit class. I know the last two sound odd, but I figured out ways to participate with no weight on my left foot. I got very creative with alternate positions (knees instead of toes for plank stuff, on all fours, etc). The last month of my boot I was finally allowed on the elliptical.

    I have been back in shoes for two weeks now. I am still modifying in classes. I wear my shoes any time I am doing standing work. I have a plate under the insert to keep my left foot straight.

    The Even-Up I mentioned (for the bottom of your other shoe) is really important to keeping the rest of your body healthy/injury free.

  17. Ill spare you the SWIM SWIM as others have hit that---I shall just offer you a bigoleHUG.


  18. I am glad that you at least have a definitive answer as to where the pain is coming from -- what is wrong. I personally hate it when I am hurting and I KNOW something is wrong, but they cannot tell me what it is. Now there is a plan to get you well. I like the recumbent bike. I know you probably would think it was boring, but it is good for me and my pain issues. I am praying for a speedy recovery!