Tag Archives: Ankle Sprain

Anniversaries & Graduations

Today is the 1-year anniversary of when I broke my ankle (I didn’t know I broke it until much later).  And while I’m not anywhere near where I want to be, running-wise, at least I’m running a little again, and for that I’m very thankful.  In fact, today my knees hurt more than my ankle, which made me feel almost normal again.  😉

 

It’s also springtime and graduation time, both of which make me think about how fleeting everything is (death and change everywhere).  So just remember that wherever you are in your running journey (or school or career or Netflix marathon session), it will change whether you like it or not, so enjoy the moment if it’s good, and take comfort in the knowledge that it will change if it sucks.  I also recommend eating an ice cream cone, because they are delicious.

 

It’s also Mother’s Day today – Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!  Did you remember to call your mom today?   What’s the best Mother’s Day present?  Does your mom run?  Share in the comments!

I got into the NYC Marathon!

It already has!

I was just finishing my dinner when my email dinged – I checked and my stomach dropped – I got into the NYC marathon lottery!  Hooooooo boy…  I did not see that coming.

 

First, apologies for the incredibly long break in posting.  I still can’t run due to injury, so I haven’t been in the running mindset, so this blog has been gathering as much dust as my running shoes.  I was going to write a post about what I have been doing besides running, but I kept putting that off because, well, it is profoundly uninteresting.  I’ve been resting a lot, and walking a little, and just started rowing and going to the gym again, but then I played tourist in this beautiful weather we’ve been having and overdid it, compressing my ankle and causing pain and swelling, helping keep my PT busy and my running shoes dusty.

 

On a lark, I applied for the NYC Marathon lottery two weeks ago – the last day they accepted applications.  The odds of a local resident getting selected for the lottery were only about 23%.  Well, apparently I am one of the 23%, because I got in!  (You might remember I was only 2 races away from qualifying last year, but I couldn’t make it because of the injury.)

 

I really didn’t think I’d get selected, and I was okay with that.  I still can’t even run a block, so the idea of running a marathon seems farfetched.  But I also rationalized that if I did get in, it might be a good way to test the waters – I ran the NYC Marathon in 2005 (good lord, has it really already been 12 years?!), so there would be no pressure to finish for my 50 States quest, plus it’s a local race so I wouldn’t have the added expense and stress of travel and hotel.  But now I’m realizing it’s only 8 months away, which seems so so so very soon to learn how to run 26.2 miles.

It’s making my stomach do flips, that’s for sure.

 

So, I just won probably the worst lottery in the world and I paid $255 for the privilege.  As the immortal Forrest Gump(‘s momma) said, “stupid is as stupid does.”  I guess I’m back to being a stupid runner, even without the running!  Huzzah!

 

Did you get into the 2017 NYC Marathon?  Have you ever won any sort of lottery or prize?  How much would you pay to not have to run the NYC Marathon?  Share in the comments!

2016 Year in Review

It feels like I have more range of motion now, but the photos don’t really show it…

There’s a bit of poetic symmetry (is that a thing?) in that 2015 was the best year ever and 2016 was the worst.  If you’ve been living in the woods this year and missed all the happenings, first, I’m jealous, and second, you can watch this trailer to catch up on what 2016 was like:

That was basically my year, but throw in a sprained ankle, a broken fibula, multiple weeks on crutches (spread across multiple months), multiple weeks in a aircast boot, a cortisone shot deep into my joint, and general declining health and a total loss of fitness, and that’s my 2016.

 

Before my injury, I was doing almost a marathon per month (the Mississippi Blues Marathon in Jackson, the Little Rock Marathon in Arkansas, the Garmin Marathon in Olathe, Kansas, and the Delaware Marathon in Wilmington), and I was convinced that 2016 would be the “Year of Ugly Medals.”  Sadly, it just became the “Year of Ugly.”

 

I still don’t know when (if?!) I’ll ever run again, let alone run a marathon.  But I really, really, really, truly, madly, deeply hope that 2017 is better than 2016.  It isn’t a high bar, but if 2016 has taught me anything, it’s that almost anything horrible can happen.  🙁

 

Luckily, there are only a couple more days left in 2016 (plus one extra leap second), and poetic symmetry (it’s now a thing) indicates 2017 will be a good year.  I wish all of you health and happiness and health in the New Year!  (Health twice because it’s so important.)

 

How was your 2016?  Are you super glad it’s almost over?  Did you make any resolutions for the New Year?  Share in the comments!

The Ankle Injury Continues

Mini nightmare on a sterile drape.

Mini nightmare on a sterile drape.

I haven’t been writing much here because there’s not much to say since I’m not running, and what there is to say just depresses me so I just don’t bother.  For those just tuning in, I sprained/broke my ankle on May 14th, 2016, and am still dealing with it now in December.  There have been a few new developments since my last update, so here they are:

 

  1. I stayed in the boot for 5 full weeks before going back to the doctors at HSS for a follow-up appointment.  My entire right side is now atrophied, and I basically forgot how to walk.
  2. At my follow-up, I got a cortisone injection (!) in my ankle.  It’s the first time I’ve ever gotten a cortisone shot.  As a needle-phobe, it wasn’t fun, mostly because my mind kept replaying how they explained the procedure – the doctor would “manipulate the joint and hold it in place” while the assistant would “drive the needle deep into the joint to inject the fluid.”  Yipes.  My ankle felt really bloated and stiff after the injection, and as soon as the painkiller wore off it started to really hurt the rest of the evening, but after about 9 hours the pain started to diminish and after a few days I felt like it was about what it was like before I ever got the injection.  So… meh?
  3. But in the weeks since I haven’t had my nightly swelling!  So ultimately I think it helped!  (I still have an overall thickness in my injured ankle that might never go away – yep, I officially have a cankle.)  And I know cortisone shots wear off, but the doctor said it might be the only thing I need to get back to normal… Yeah, it doesn’t make total sense to me, either, but in this one case I hope the doctor is right.  Otherwise he said I could get surgery to remove the scar tissue, but ugh I hope I don’t need that.
  4. I stopped wearing the boot after the injection, and have finally started walking around the city a bit.  The first time I rode the subway to midtown and ran some errands I felt like I had just been released from jail.  There were some snowflakes in the air and I bought chocolates and a hot cup of meatballs from a meatball shop and it was like the greatest moment of my life.
  5. I just started my third (!) round of PT with yet another physical therapist.  This place doesn’t take my insurance so I’m paying a bajillion dollars out-of-pocket for the therapy, but it’s more private and you get one-on-one attention for each 45 minute session (vs Professional PT where it was an open free-for-all).  It’s not as convenient as Professional and there aren’t any cute guys there, but I think the therapist is good and I hope she can fix my broken and withered flabby body.
  6. I missed my 6th marathon yesterday (the Baton Rouge Beach Marathon), and it was the last marathon (and race) that I had signed up for before my injury.  So now I have nothing on my calendar, which is good and bad.  Good that I won’t be missing any more races I pre-paid for, bad that I don’t know when (if?!?) I’ll ever get back to running.  I’m also feeling disturbingly ambivalent about running.  A part of me still wants to get right back to it, but a new part of me is really just meh and blah about the whole thing.  It just seems like so much work!  And I’m so tired.  And doing nothing is so easy.  (And I do mean nothing.  I’m not even cross-training right now.)  I totally get the whole non-running culture now.  Bring on the meatballs.

 

How was your fall running season?  What have I missed in the world of running recently?  Are you excited for the Westworld season finale tonight, or are you more devastated that it means no more Westworld for a long time?  Share in the comments!

Broken Ankle Update & So Many Cancellations

I'm Breakable Kimmy Schmidt. :(

I’m Breakable Kimmy Schmidt. 🙁

Since my last ankle hell update wherein I learned from my MRI that I’ve had a broken fibula for the past 6 months, I spoke with my new orthopedic doctor and visited a new physical therapist at Columbia.  I’m not 100% thrilled with the advice of either one and I have more questions that I’ll try to get answered next week.  In a nutshell, I’m broken and not healing and life sucks.

 

The doctor said I didn’t have to wear a boot or use crutches, despite my leg still being broken after 6 months.  She said I only had to wear that little Darco shoe that didn’t protect my ankle at all.  That seemed wrong to me, and since I continued to have pain, I put myself back in the boot and on crutches to take the weight off and give the bone time to heal.  Going back on crutches has been maddening, yes, but honestly the last 6 months have been such a nightmare, what’s another 6 weeks of hell?  She did prescribe physical therapy that included ultrasound stimulation, and said I could bear weight as tolerated.

 

I got a second opinion from my new physical therapist and he agreed with me that I should stay in the boot and on crutches for now.  He said this weekend I could start using a single crutch to give the bone a little bit of weight to promote bone formation, as it’ll have been 2 weeks since I took the weight off by putting myself on my boot/crutch regimen.  He also pointed out my fracture on my X-rays – YES, that’s right, the doctor (from the Hospital of Special Surgery, no less!) should have known immediately from the X-rays that my ankle was broken.  It’s truly astonishing the incompetency I’ve encountered in this debacle.

 

However, he disagreed with the ultrasound stimulation prescription, claiming it’s contra-indicated for fractures.  This led me down a google-hole of research on ultrasound & electrical stimulation for nonunion or delayed union fractures (aka any fracture that hasn’t healed in over 6 months, like mine).  It appears that contrary to being a contra-indication, ultrasound stimulation (or, even more so, electrical stimulation) is a well-established therapy for nonunion fractures.  Unfortunately it’s not a magic cure-all, and it seems like many nonunion fractures do end up needing surgery.  However, since surgery comes with all sorts of other risks and pain, I’m planning on trying every possible non-surgical therapy I can and using surgery only as a last resort.  Also, since the prospect of ankle surgery truly freaks me out (and not in a fun Halloween way), I’m trying not to dwell on it as much as possible.  Surgery!

 

Overall, I’m still totally dissatisfied by the incompetent medical care I’ve been receiving, from the initial orthopedist to the doctors at Hospital for Special Surgery to my various physical therapists.  No one has caught on to anything, and it’s forcing me to be my own doctor, which is outrageous and frustrating and ridiculous and maddening.  Sadly, I am learning an important lesson – don’t trust doctors with your well-being, let alone your life.  I dread the day when I’m sick and even more mentally incapacitated than I am now, because I won’t be able to spend hours on google reading articles and trying to diagnose and fix myself, and my illness will probably be more severe, and I will be royally screwed.  Ah, what fun things to look forward to in the future!

 

In other running news, I won’t be doing the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff tomorrow, of course.  But I picked up the shirt anyway, with faraway dreams of wearing it with an unbroken leg in the future.  I’m also not going to be able to do the NYRR Dash to the Finish, which makes 5 NYRR races and 5 marathons I will have missed due to this injury.  Oh, and for anyone keeping track, that means I’ll be 2 races short of qualifying for the NYC Marathon in 2017.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯  Again, I’m less upset about that than the waste of time and money, and the fear/constant dread that I’ll never run again.

Front and back of the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff shirt - it's a 50/50 cotton poly short sleeve unisex cut. Meh.

Front and back of the Poland Spring Marathon Kickoff shirt – it’s a 50/50 cotton poly short-sleeve unisex cut. Meh.

I also cancelled my NYC Marathon volunteer shift because even if I worked comms/dispatch instead of in the ambulance, I’d still have to be in a tent in Central Park, which would be a challenge to get to.  Plus I’d still be in the boot, so I’d be a minor liability during a mass casualty event – not a good thing.  I’m really disappointed about the marathon volunteering, because last year was truly such a high point for me (before I mistrusted everyone with a medical degree, sigh…), and it’ll be another full year before I’ll have that kind of opportunity again — an opportunity of which there are only a handful more of in my future.

 

I’ve also officially cancelled my backpacking trip to Patagonia this December.  It was a tough (and expensive) decision but ultimately it’s a huge relief.  Even if my bone was completely healed by then (which is actually unlikely), it still would have been too much for my atrophied legs to hike up to 8 hours every day with a fully loaded pack.  I’ve lost a literal inch of muscle from my calf compared to my normal leg – a full inch!  🙁  I can only imagine how many years of my life I’m losing by being so sedentary.  That plus the incompetency of the medical profession and it’s a wonder I’m still alive.

 

Happy Halloween!

 

How many races have you missed in your running career?  How much do you distrust doctors?  What are you going as for Halloween?  Share in the comments!

What to Binge Watch While Injured

The window into my soul.

The window into my soul. The fitness channels are there only for show.

So… what the heck do you do all day when you can’t run or walk or do anything fun with anyone ever? Watch TV!  And sometimes read.  Here are some of my more notable discoveries made over the last 6 months:

 

Crazy Ex-GirlfriendFrom the CW, available on Netflix – This is my spirt animal TV show.  It is amazing.  It follows a New York City lawyer who moves to California to be close to her ex-boyfriend from summer camp.  It’s cheesy, and funny, and has short random musical numbers that are hilarious.  Also, I deeply identify with the main character.  Does that mean I’m a crazy ex-girlfriend?  Maybe.  I don’t know.  Shut up!

 

Below Deck: MediterraneanBravo, available on Hulu and probably on-demand from your cable provider – This is one of those Bravo reality shows that might not be up everyone’s alley, but if you enjoy the occasional reality show you might also enjoy this one – there are beautiful people saying and doing ridiculous things, plus some fighting (but not nearly as much fighting as The Real Housewives of NY).  Plus, it’s all set on a yacht in the Mediterranean, so the scenery is great, and the people who charter this expensive boat are for the most part horrible, so that’s fun, too.

 

Man in the High CastleAmazon – I kinda forced myself to watch this one.  It’s based on a novel by Philip K. Dick (the same SciFi wizard who gave us The Minority Report and Blade Runner, among many others), but the show desperately needs more action and/or a more ruthless editor, since the entire season would have made about 2 decent episodes of TV.  Still, if you dream of a world in which the Nazis won WW2, then you’ll love this show.

 

Stranger ThingsNetflix – This was the big summer breakout show, described as Goonies meets Steven King set in the 80’s.  All of that sounds super promising, but for me it failed to deliver.  It suffered from huge character ability/motivation plot holes, shrill, irritating, one-note acting (I’m looking at you, Winona Ryder), and general sluggishness.  If I were you, I’d pass.

 

 

GirlsHBO – I really thought I was going to hate this show so I was surprised when I suddenly found myself binging all 5 seasons a few months ago.  It follows horrible, self-involved young women who live in Brooklyn doing stupid millennial things, but somehow it’s very watchable to this almost-40 single women doing nothing but sitting on her couch and eating.  The show includes a fair amount of normal-body nudity, which helped me feel better about myself.

 

Game of ThronesHBO – I read the entire Song of Fire and Ice series several years ago and enjoyed it (the key is to not worry about all the names and relationships but to just let the story wash over you — you’ll remember the important characters because he repeats them), but when I first tried to watch the TV show I quickly grew bored of what ironically felt like a flat version of the book (the Imp is a marvelous character, and Peter Dinklage is a terrific actor, but without his internal dialogue I felt like it was missing something).  But, after being so seriously sidelined with this injury, I gave it another go and ended up watching all 6 seasons in about two weeks.  I’m now caught up with the show, which is actually beyond the books at this point, so now I’m waiting for more TV and for more books, which is a little frustrating to this double-GoT-junkie.

 

CatastropheNetflix – I’m only halfway through season 1 of this 2-season show but so far it’s pretty funny, and quick, and easy to watch.  It’s a comedy involving an American and an Irishwoman living in London, so it’s fun to watch all the weird stuff the Brits do and the unending patience the obviously more advanced American has for all their funny ways (hahaha, just kidding… 😮 ?).

 

WestworldNew on HBO – I just started this show and since it’s new there are only 2 episodes available, so you can’t binge it yet, but I had to mention it because I’m already in love with and obsessed with this show.  It’s a SciFi show where people pay a bunch of money to visit an Old West theme park populated by hyper-realistic androids.  The “guests” do various horrific things to the androids, but every night the park is re-set and the androids go back to square one (like a video game).  But of course things go wrong, and that’s wonderful – for us, the viewers.  I hope this show stays as amazing as it started.  (Note – this show has more nudity and violence in its first episode than Game of Thrones had in its first season, but what did you expect from HBO?)

 

Some shows I watched before I got injured but continue to enjoy include The Last Man on Earth (so surprisingly good), Modern Family, The Walking Dead (although I’m enjoying that less and less, to be honest), and every naked reality show ever.

 

Books

I really enjoyed Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, who wrote Prep and various other novels that weren’t as good as Prep or Eligible.  I also finally read The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, which I enjoyed but not quite as much as I enjoyed the Gone Girl/Sharp Objects/Dark Places series by Gillian Flynn.  (Oh god, maybe I really am a crazy ex-girlfriend…)  I also read A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman, which was kinda cute and a little sad but obviously meant to be heartwarming.  As far as nonfiction goes, I recently read Peak: Secrets from the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson and Robert Pool, but I think you could get almost as much out of it by simply reading a summary.

 

I just started Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan, because that is a book you read after you finish a depressing book about WWI (Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks), while sitting on the couch eating popcorn and drinking gingeraid kombucha.

 

What do you like to do for long periods of time when you can’t move?  Any books or TV shows I should avoid?  What are your feelings about kombucha?  Share in the comments!

Graduation Party!

My final ice and my free "graduation" shirt from PT.

My final ice and my free “graduation” shirt from PT.

After only 15 weeks (since my injury) and 10.5 weeks of physical therapy, I’ve finally graduated from PT!  [heavy sarcasm on the “only”]  It doesn’t mean I’m fully recovered by any means – as you know from my last post, even simply walking 3 miles can still pose a big challenge, and I’ve only gone on two very short “runs” (aka a block or two at a time, with lots of walking in-between) since being allowed to run by my therapist.  I still swell up sometimes and it still hurts often, but it’s progress and I’ll take it.

 

I’ll continue to do the exercises at home as I have been, and I still have to ease into everything else — like running, which I’m barely doing; rowing class, which I haven’t tried yet; and standing up during spin class, which I tried for the first time today much to the relief of my derrière.

 

And what’s a graduation party without some music?  So here are 3 songs I heard during spin class today, all of which I enjoyed because I’m an Old they’re classics.

 

For finally standing up in spin class –

 

For the cute guy from PT – haha jk 😮

 

And the most appropriate one for this whole injury experience –

 

The real celebration will come when I’m able to do marathons again.  Oh gosh, I miss them so much!

 

Have you ever had to go to PT for an injury?  Do you think all graduation parties should have sheet cake?  Does all your pain go away while watching Bachelor in Paradise?  Share in the comments!

Percy Sutton Harlem 5K – A Pain in the Ankle & Bonus Candy Review – Aug 27, 2016

Waiting at the start of the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K.

Waiting at the start of the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K.

Today I walked my second NYRR race since spraining my ankle in May, and while it was a really nice race overall, my ankle started hurting more than I expected and now I’m a little worried I overdid it.  Good thing I have chocolate.

 

Race Review

Gradual uphill with views of Yankee Stadium in the distance off to the right.

Gradual uphill with views of Yankee Stadium in the distance off to the right (not captured but it’s there).

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K Run (honoring the former Manhattan borough president who was a supporter of the 5-borough NYC Marathon and NYRR in general) is a typical NYRR race but the course actually is in Harlem instead of following the typical Central Park loop.  It’s a pretty delightful loop starting at 135th and St Nicholas Ave, heading north to 155th, cutting west a few blocks, then south along St Nicolas Park before rounding back north at 127th to finish basically where it started.  The neighborhood looks beautiful, you can see Yankee Stadium in the distance for part of the race, and you get to walk run past some beautiful architecture that’s part of City College.  At the beginning of the race the announcer said that in the first year of this race there were only a few hundred runners, but in this, its 7th year, there are over 5,000!  (Actual total finishers was 4,803.)

 

The start of the hill at about mile .4.

The start of the hill at about mile .4.

The course does feature some hills, most notably a 1/4 mile hill about .4 miles from the start, but there are a few other shorter uphills and downhills scattered along the 3-mile course.  Despite the hills, I foolishly walked about as fast as I could for the first mile (slightly under a 15 minute per mile pace, too fast for my still-healing ankle), until about mile 1.3 when my ankle screamed in protest and I stopped to roll it around a bit, as if that would do anything.  As much as it killed me, I slowed down my already slow pace and tried to baby my ankle a bit, but by mile 2 I was pretty obviously limping.  I limped my way through the last mile, and despite the pain and the frustration, I was actually having a good time and even got a bit emotional from all the lovely people cheering all of us slowpokes.

 

Weirdest looking bagels I've ever seen.

Weirdest looking bagels I’ve ever seen.

He made me take off my shoe to "ice properly."

He made me take off my shoe to “ice properly.”

At the finish line we were greeted by the standard apples and non-standard deli rolls (I guess they ran out of bagels?).  I got ice from the med tent and actually sat on a park bench to ice my ankle while chatting with a friend.  My doctor friend told me to take Advil and my physical therapist friend told me to ice it, so I did both because I’m very obedient.

 

While I didn’t take a roll, I did have pizza after the race because my ankle hurt and thus I deserved it.  I also had some ice cream and the chocolate featured below, because I am a glutton.

Bonus Candy Review!

I didn't make the cleanest breaks but you get the idea.

I didn’t make the cleanest breaks but you get the idea.

I got this delightful chocolate as a gift, but you can actually buy it on Amazon.  It’s somehingsomethinggreek Ion brand milk chocolate with almonds.  (It’s not the first Greek chocolate I’ve tried, and it won’t be the last.)  The milk chocolate is better than standard American candy bar chocolate (ok, I know that’s not a high bar, pun intended), and the almonds are crunchy, but the best part is just how thick and large each square is.  Why is that the best part?  Because you’re basically forced to eat at least one large square every time you encounter this candy.  I mean, it’s not that you want to eat a ton of chocolate, you’re a delicate flower and only take the tiniest nibbles of things, but if that’s how the bar is divided, I guess you have to.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

Now I’m sitting on my couch, icing and elevating and wondering if I could eat more chocolate.  They didn’t mention that it heals ankles in this recent Runner’s World article on ankle sprains, but I’m pretty sure it helps, right?

 

Have you ever run the Percy Sutton Harlem 5K race?  Have you ever had Ion chocolate?  Are you able to justify your food choices based on lingering pains in your body?  Share in the comments!