Friday, November 1, 2013

An Ego Killer, but Recovery Bound

This week has been a lot of Physical Therapy and transitioning out of the boot.  A few days ago I had my first PT appointment.  I was excited, I am really ready to get onto the next level and eventually back to running!!!

The PT first asked me my goals, I replied with: Distance Running, Hiking and a little bit of everything:)  She then took measurements on my flexibility and strengths with my injured ankle/foot area in comparison with my non injured ankle/foot.
We chatted a bit, and I found out she is also a Marathon runner who's written many medical papers on Achilles tendinitis.  I have to be completely honest, I was thrilled she was a runner and a marathoner.  It means she will totally get me!  That and I know I can completely trust her to help me!

I also found out that the team of PT who I will be working with also consist of other marathon runners. Again a big plus!  One of which earlier this year went through what I am going through.

At first I was comforted in that.  But then she said, yes he came to me and said "I have Achilles tendinitis, this is horrible, the end of the world... People never recover from this."
I asked her "But they do recover, right?"  She didn't answer that one directly, she just explained that he is back to running again.  But unlike most injuries, this is one of those things you have to stop running immediately and let it heal before you can begin again.  (As I learned:)

I already knew some don't ever recover from this.  But there is a big difference between myself and them, and I know why I will recover (as I have been told I will).  Some people just can't make the temporary sacrifice to stopping running for a short while to let it heal.  (But I get it, it's so hard to stop doing something you love, especially when you have races and goals planned.)
As for me, I've gone this long without running, I have nothing to lose by continuing that for a tad longer so that eventually I will be able to, and I will be able to be a lifelong runner.

Anyhow, I only mention that little conversation because if anyone is reading my blog who has this injury, or gets this one day.  Possibly they'll take action and avoid ruining their body forever, as well as get back into running as soon as possible by using proper recovery methods.

Well I won't bore you with all the details of the appointment.  However, I will tell you it was a very humbling experience (of sorts).  Truthfully, it was more of a killer to my ego than anything.  But I will deal...

All the series of tests that she put me through, I pretty much failed them all miserably.  The only one I really passed was standing on my injured ankle with my eyes closed.  But sadly I could only do this for 3 seconds, and she told me she was sort of giving me that 3rd second... (20 seconds is the requirement to pass this test.)  I know, I was seriously shocked I couldn't do this.  10 months ago, I had amazing balance, but now....

See I had been a girl who in my past, there wasn't anything I couldn't do if I wanted to do it.  I've never really had any major physical limitations or injuries like this before.
A few of the tests I failed miserably.
Believe it or not, I cannot even go up on my tip toes and back down, even once with my injured foot.
The other thing is, my non injured foot has been picking up all the slack and using more effort and even it isn't 100% up to par...

So basically if you put me on a scale of 1 to 100.  100 being fully recovered, and 1 being a long way from recovery.  When you take into account all the simple tests I failed or couldn't do, I am basically at a 1.
Which is sad, and the ego killer part.  But on the plus side, I really can't go anywhere but up from here!

Because I have such a long way to go, and have to build my strength back up before I can really get into the PT that will get me back to running.  There are only 2 exercises I can do right now.


Stretch one foot at a time for 2 minutes.  I need to do this 5 times per day.  Only limit, I am not allowed to push through ANY pain while doing this.


5 Minutes of this twice per day.  This one may (and does) cause pain.  But a little pain with this one is okay, because the pain I get from this isn't from the injury area, it's from the muscles/tendon's that have weakened during my past 7 weeks of being in the boot, and not getting used.

Yup, that's it!  But I do get to continue transitioning out of the boot.  Two days this week I even had it off for up to 4 hours at a time.
You'd think taking it off would be a welcome relief.  But the truth is, it hurts a lot to take and keep it off for too long.  So putting it back on is a relief.  This will change over the next week or so as I wear it a few hours less every few days. (So I have been told:)

Yes, it's discouraging to know I have so far to go.  But honestly, its a relief in a way too.  I mean the injury itself is healed, and if I take my time and do what needs to be done it will stay healed.  Not only that, but in a few weeks, I will be at a totally different place than I am now.  Who knows, I might even be up to a slow jog by December???  Time will tell!  But I am just excited that I can say I am recovering, rather than injured!!!

Last, I get to start bringing cardio back into my life:)  3 days a week, 20 minutes on the stationary bike, is the recommended amount.  (Although if there is no pain, I can do more:)
The only problem is, I don't have one in my home gym right now:)  So this is on my list to acquire cheaply from a thrift store or borrow from someone this weekend.
My next PT appointment is on Monday.  I am bound and determined to make some progress!

I'll leave you with this Halloween picture of me and two of my adorable Princess Nieces.  I am a very proud aunt, and I love them all to pieces!!!

Cinderella and Sofia The First Princess's - I went as a Rocker chick this year:)

Did you dress up for Halloween?  What did you go as?
What are your goals for the next week?

10 comments :

  1. I'm so sorry you're going through this. Injuries suck and the recovery time sucks almost as much. As hard and frustrating as it is (and will be) focus on the fact that your ankle is healed and always keep in mind that every little step no matter how slow will move you toward your goal of returning to running. Just keep thinking no boot!! Your great attitude will get you through this and when that isn't working tweet or email me. We'll both get back to where we want to be and being injured will stop feeling like it defines us as runners :) That's how it felt for me. Seriously. Email or tweet me!

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    1. Your so sweet, thanks Jill! I just may take you up on that!

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  2. I really enjoyed reading your post, I don't like the fact you have this to deal with. Thanks for showing the stretched, I will defiantly do them. My knee pain came back again :( Today I am putting my knee brace back on, the same one I used a couple months ago.

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    1. Thank you! Sorry your knee pain came back Caroline, hopefully you can get that taken care of so it doesn't bother you anymore!

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  3. You girls are so cute!!!!! Well, it's not great news for the ego, but it's a step in the direction you MUST go to get to where you want, so I call it a good thing!

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    1. Thanks, I love those cute nieces!!! But yes you are so right Karen!!!

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  4. Hello, I just wanted to cheer you up. I have seen lots of injuries because of my job, I am a physio, and, of course, you can recover from this and start running as you used to do. If you need any advice, I will be happy to help!!

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    1. Thanks for the cheer up! I agree with you, I am pretty sure I'll get back to where I was! I will keep your info handy in case I need another opinion on anything!

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  5. It's nice that she's a runner but doesn't sound entirely positive. She should let you know clearly if it was because the others didn't stop running like they were supposed to.

    I'm glad you get to do some cardio. I hope you find a bike!

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    1. I probably worded that all wrong. She's actually very positive, and extremely into the fact that I will heal.
      She was just meaning, sometimes others jump right into running too quickly or don't rest, and for them it may never heal. But when done correctly there is no reason not to expect full recovery.
      I believe she was telling me this, so I wouldn't try to go out for a run, just because I was feeling a tad better:)
      I hope I find a bike too!!

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