Thursday, March 3, 2011

that time i hurt my ankle. and leg.

i've mentioned my leg injury before, but never really gotten into it. when i started to write a post about exercise, i realized i need to explain what happened first, because if i post it all together, no one will ever want to read that novel.

last summer, i decided i wanted to run the susan g. komen 5k with my mom and my man the day after my birthday in october. my mom is an avid runner. she runs in almost all the races in town, she has been running over half her life and she can outrun many people my age. i mean, she won a bronze medal in the senior olympics a few years ago. she's not playing.

so i started training (not straight up running, i had a plan that i was following) about two months before the 5k. my struggle was the same as it had been any time i ever tried to start running routinely. shin splints. people told me they would go away, my legs weren't used to running. stretch, ice, etc. so i kept on.

they seemed to get a little better, but my right leg always hurt more than my left after runs. i'd have to walk around for a long cool down because my right leg always felt like it was tight as a rock and on fire. pleasant. but i was determined to run that race, no matter how slow, so i never gave up.

in september i decided maybe i should try out new shoes. like, the more expensive kind where you go and have them look at your feet and how you walk/run and recommend shoes you should buy. so i got a recommendation (and found them cheaper online because i live on a budget), and they were here and ready to go the week before the race. well, i got to train in them twice. because the second time, bam. injury.

the tuesday before the race i was going out for my usual run, but decided to take a different route to mix it up (around the same area, just a different direction - i was getting bored with my runs). my cousin was living with me at the time, and as i was leaving, i jinxed myself jokingly said if i wasn't back in an hour to come look for me. HAHA right? wrong.

on my way home, i was loving my music and feeling really good about my run, i had gone farther than before and had only stopped to walk once! i remember the exact song that was on. 'eff you' by ceelo. (yeah, yeah. censored, the one on my ipod was not.) 

my left earbud fell down and out of my ear. i slowed my pace as i pulled the cord back up to pop it back in my ear, and noticed the squishy end piece wasn't there. i stopped, turned to look for it on the ground, and as i turned my ankle rolled and i felt and heard the loudest POP i had ever heard from my own body. oooohhhhh the pain. typing this is giving me shivers because i remember how awful it felt. i had never had an ankle sprain, injury, anything like that to my legs (fractured left wrist and broke right arm in 7th grade, story for another day). i was scared to look at my ankle, but i did. i was afraid it was going to be just hanging there. it wasn't, but my ankle was HUGE.

sitting there, i looked up because i remembered seeing a young guy walking toward me, and he was coming over to me to see if i was okay. i told him i wasn't and asked if he had a cell phone. he said he didn't (i remember thinking, what teenager doesn't have a cell phone?) and i asked if he could help me wave down a car or find someone with a phone. - oh yeah, i was running past the YMCA, so that was a little helpful - he asked if he could help me walk, i said there was no way i could stand on it. he said his friend was close and had one and he'd go get him. and then he said, 'don't go anywhere.' right, cuz i'm going to get up and run off. this is all a fun joke.

he came back with his friend and i called my cousin - who just happened to answer my phone because on this day, we were waiting for the gas company to come turn our gas on after they worked on the lines that day, and they had my number to let us know when, ... so she had my phone just in case while i ran.

i told her i fell and hurt my ankle really bad and i needed her to take me to the ER and told her where i was. she came and got me, and off to the hospital we went. my mom met us there, ya know, for moral support.


  so happy

i got my xray and some pain meds, and was told it was just a sprain. i remember thinking it certainly felt worse than a sprain, even though i had no injury to compare it to. they fitted me with crutches and a brace and i was on my way. the crutches themselves were a workout. ugh. (surprisingly, my blood sugars stayed in range during this whole ordeal, i thought for sure they would be out of whack from the injury and stress)

stupid splint that did nothing

the er doc told me to take it easy for a few days then start putting pressure on it as i felt comfortable. so i did. crutches for my birthday, and the following morning i hobbled on the crutches while mom ran the race. after the race i went to a picnic with my man's family, and kept my leg up most of the day.

taking it easy at a picnic with my man's family ... i sat in that swing almost all day

 by sunday i was hobbling with one crutch. it still hurt a bit but i was so over the crutches that i was toughing it out. monday i used one crutch, and tuesday i went without, but kept them in the car.

that night i was really concerned because my ankle still seemed really swollen, and i had been following the RICE rules. i showed some friends in the medical field a picture and they all thought i should follow up with someone.

yeah, it looked like this a week later. cankle alert. and green/blue foot.

i called my orthopedic surgeon (yes i have one, don't you? okay, he's a friend of the family but we also go to him for these kinds of injuries) and asked if i could come in. i had gone to the hospital and gotten the xrays in hopes of not having to pay for more. i'm glad i did that, because when he looked at the xray, he immediately said that he could clearly see multiple small fractures at the end of my tibia. WHAT? why didn't the doc in the ER see this??

i was irritated but glad at the same time. i got an awesome boot that i had to wear for three weeks, followed by a horrible brace for two weeks that didn't work with any of my shoes (i mean tennis shoes, not fancy shoes).

the week before thanksgiving i was boot and brace free. my wallet was also money free, thanks to all these unexpected medical costs. as if i need more of those, thanks diabetes.

after talking to some friends in the medical field, and one who was a trainer for a college football team, i found out that the fractures in my leg could have come from the shin splints that never got better, the pressure just made it worse and then the bone split (gross). this would explain why my right leg always hurt worse than my left. makes sense. i still have some pain sometimes, and some days i notice swelling, i can tell that i walk down the stairs differently and i wish i didn't, but all in all i am doing a lot better.

just goes to show that clearly i should not run because my body breaks when i do. oh well :D

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