Wednesday, September 11, 2013

MRI results (& further proof of my badassness)

I'd like to formally retract the statement I made in my last post where I secretly wished for something alarming to show on my MRI which would justify the pain I've been in for six months.  Be careful what you wish for, right?

So last Thursday I went in for my MRI, and I was happy to hear that I was only having a regular MRI and not with a dye contrast as I originally thought.  Some people hate MRI's but they don't bother me at all.  I just close my eyes, listen to some loud music, and even sometimes nod off despite the loud noises.  Every time you have an MRI, you have to go through a thorough interrogation 1. on the phone when setting up the appointment, 2. in the office with the person registering you, 3. on a paper questionnaire, and 4. with the MRI technician.  These questions are almost identical in each situation, and sometimes I think I'm going to get caught in a lie.  Samples include: Do you have any tattoos?  Do you have hearing aids?  Do you have any shunts or stents?  Do you have any metal in your eye?  I felt like responding saying, "you know, I did lose my paring knife this morning, thanks for reminding me!  I stuck it in my eye socket...there it is!".  Do you have any osteoarthritis? I said, "how about you tell me after the MRI?".

I anxiously awaited the results of the MRI, and in the meantime I took the opportunity to go for a run Friday morning in the nice cool weather.  Ever since before the Boston Marathon I've been feeling really burnt out from running.  I think running back to back marathons was probably not the best idea (mentally or physically), and I really didn't mind taking a break from running.  Lately though I've started getting the itch to run more, and Friday was a beautiful cool day and I took advantage of it with a 4 mile trail run.  Despite my heel pain, it was a wonderful run and made me realize that I do in fact still love running.  I hoped that I would get the MRI results, get a cortisone shot, and get back into a steady running schedule.

Monday afternoon I got a call from my doctor.  He started off by saying that he looked at the results of my MRI and now he knows why I've been in so much pain for so long.  Uh oh.  He said that the MRI confirmed plantar fasciitis and inflammation, but also a torn ligament in my heel.  He said that without complete rest, this ligament would never have a chance to heal, and my only option at this point is to completely immobilize my foot.  This means four weeks in a walking cast, and possible surgery if there's no improvement.  The one great thing, he said, was that fortunately there is no tumor.  Wait, what?  That's the good news?  Was a tumor even on the radar as a possibility?  

So, once again I find myself in the familiar place of being sidelined with an injury as autumn (and in my opinion, the best time of year to run) approaches.  It seems kind of cruel that this is the third consecutive autumn that I've had to halt running.  For those keeping track, in October 2011 I had hip surgery, in October 2012 I got a stress fracture, and now September 2013 I'm diagnosed with a torn ligament.  Unlike my previous doctor's orders, this time I plan on fully adhering to the requirement to rest.  The threat of surgery is enough to smarten me up, because that's the last thing I want!

Instead of doing all kinds of things to sidestep my doctor's orders, I'm doing other non-active things.  I paint my nails a lot.  I've been doing a lot of reading.  I've watched a lot of Tosh.0.  I'm thinking about going to buy some yarn and crochet an afghan.  Really just anything I can think of that will keep me busy and not thinking about all the running I'm not doing.  One thing I'm not doing is spending a lot of time on social media like Twitter or Facebook.  I'm happy that so many people are happy and out running, but I'm not, and I'm trying not to get too bitter about it.

The good thing is I have plenty of support from loved ones.  Like this guy --->

And this guy! --->

Isn't Rocco great?  He took me apple and pear picking in the front yard.  He's really good at sidepassing his way through the branches and helps me get the fruit that's waaaaay up high.

And one final thought:  Have I mentioned lately how badass I am?  Just to remind everyone, after tearing this ligament (most likely in the Boston Marathon), I still ran a half marathon in May, and completed my first triathlon in July.  I did those in some serious pain.  Just think of how great I'll be next year when I'm all patched up!  Right?

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