Saturday, August 24, 2013

Off Track...For a Long While...

I have been blogging about my running journey for over a year now.  I started out investigating the barefoot running style, which I am definitely an advocate of, despite an early injury.  I later moved on to distance running and it quickly became a passion.

Both of those running interests came to a screeching two weeks ago on the streets of Paris.  More specifically on three small stone steps going down to a street in Paris. While vacationing with my daughter, I slipped and broke my ankle in two places.  Two days before we were supposed to return to the U.S.  The same day we had climbed hundreds of steps when we visited the Eiffel Tower.

Breaking my ankle was bad.  Taking a taxi to the hospital was worse.  Being told I had to have surgery the next day to put a plate and a pin into my ankle was devastating.  I was very, very afraid that I would not be able to run anymore.

Even more afraid when I returned home and went directly from the airport to my own orthopedic surgeon.  I'm a strong woman, but admit that I burst into tears when she told me I needed a second surgery to basically finish what the French surgeon didn't do. That was not what I was expecting to hear at all.  My surgery was done on Monday and my follow up appt was Friday.  The surgery went well and my ankle looks like it should at this stage of the game.

What I know for certain is Sept's Half Marathon is not going to happen and Oct's 10-miler is not going to happen.  My surgeon said I can't even think about running for three months.  It's not the end of the world, but three months without training would take a toll on my abilities regardless of the reason.  Hopefully, only back to Square One, which to me means being able to run 1.5 miles comfortably.

It's the "comfortably" part that keeps bringing tears to my eyes.  What if running hurts now?

I'm not talking about hurts in the "I'm tired, but just have to push through this" way.  Or in the "I really should have stretched last night" way.  Or even in the "Yup, I definitely have shin splints" way.  What if...what if the physical action of running does not agree with my new metal hardware and just hurts?  I have to live with this fear for three or more months...and that is making me feel kind of sick.

My doc assures me that pain free running is in my future...with the caveats that a third surgery to remove the plate may be necessary, and that every 5 years or so I may need a "scope" of my ankle to clean up any debris that accumulates.  Neither of those sound like fun, but worth it if I can run.

For the record, my 17 year old daughter has been amazing throughout this whole ordeal.  She had to find us a new apartment to stay in and move our stuff herself.  She had to contact my job and our family to share what happened.  She had to sign papers saying she was responsible for her mother's medical decisions in the event I couldn't decide for myself. She had to watch her mother being wheeled off to surgery in a foreign country.

This is us in the Jardin du Luxembourg.  While I was hospitalized, she was metro-ing and taxi-ing back and forth from the apartment to the hospital like she was born in Paris.  Shopping for her own food, taking in some additional sights, taking care of herself...and me...  Definitely not what either of us had in mind for our vacation, but am so extremely proud of the way she stepped up to the challenge.

Looking forward to the time when we can laugh about it together and hoping that will be soon...