Saturday, March 15, 2014

Road to Recovery!


Yesterday I went to my ortho to get another set of X-rays, since it's been six weeks since my injury and about four weeks since the injury was diagnosed as a stress fracture.  Since my foot still hurts, I was expecting bad news -- that I'd have to be in the boot for another few weeks.  However, the doctor shocked me by saying that he had just "called down to radiology" about my earlier MRI and they told him that what he had thought was a crack in my first metatarsal was actually just "a bright spot" caused by "a lot of fat in the bone marrow."  (Did he just call my metatarsal "fat"? How insulting.)  So rather than a stress fracture, the correct diagnosis was edema, osteoarthritis, and tenosynovitis.  

He then told me I don't need to be in the boot anymore!  My reaction:

I have to admit that I've experienced other emotions in the past 36 hours since getting this news.  One is annoyance and regret at the misdiagnosis, since I could have been pursuing other treatment through Airrosti instead of just immobilizing my foot in the boot.  However, wikipedia tells me that treatment of tenosynovitis includes resting the foot, too, so maybe it was a positive thing anyways.  

As soon as I got home, I took off my boot and walked on my foot "normally" for the first time in almost six weeks.  Any time during the last six weeks when I wasn't wearing my boot, I would either hop on my left foot or walk gingerly on the outside of my right foot so as not to cause pain.  It turns out that walking on a foot that's been immobilized for six weeks is hard to do.  I felt like I needed to re-learn how to walk.  In the boot, I didn't need to push off the ground with my foot; I just rolled off the big heel of the boot and my foot didn't bend.  After less than one day of walking around in shoes, my foot and calf muscles were exhausted.

My goal for the end of this weekend is to be able to walk normally, without a noticeable limp or hesitation.  I tried to push myself towards that goal today by doing yoga, stretching my calves, and walking four miles at Hardberger Park.  Walking for an hour was tiring for my foot -- I had to stop a few times, take off my shoe, and gently massage it.  But to be able to go for a walk in shoes is a huge step, and I had a big smile on my face for most of the walk.  

I know the hardest part of my rehab will be not over-doing it and re-injuring myself.  I'm going to follow the guidelines and advice of my PT acquaintance, see Dr. Nick at Airrosti, and gradually re-introduce running. Hopefully Dr. Nick's treatment will be enough to quell the pain, so I won't need the guided injection recommended by the ortho.  My hopes are high now for being able to run at Brazos Bend in April -- although maybe I'll need to switch to the 50K instead of the 50M.  

One last happy dance!

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