Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Game Changer

I was very pleased where the direction my running was heading. I had some exciting new goals for the second half of my race season. We had been selected for our 8th Saint George marathon. And I decided to slow down my pace and increase my distance. I signed up for lots of Aravaipa Trails runs and some other local races. All of these races where going to help prepare me to run the furthest distance I have ever set out to run before. I had finally gotten the nerve to sign up for Javelina Jundred 100k (62 miles)! I spent the last few months hitting the trails. I truly loved every minute out there. Such a challenge. I was happy to not have to stress as much about pace or heart rate. I truly felt free! On July 20th I was just over 10 miles into my run with my friend Kim. We were on a non technical section in the San Tan Mountains. Out of nowhere I just rolled my ankle. I knew instantly it was bad and heard a horrible pop. I wasn't able to bear any weight on my ankle. That part really scared me because this wasn't my first rodeo. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and usually can "walk it off". It was most likely going to take us hours for me to hobble out of there. We were literally saved my this sweet Cowboy and his horse named Thunder. He came across us and graciously offered to allow me to ride his horse 3 miles to the nearest parking lot so Nate could pick us up. While on the horse I didn't know if I should laugh or cry! It was right out of the movies. I was the damsel in distress laying on the side of the trail, and my trusty cowboy came and swept me off my feet. Well, maybe not so fancy. I was stinky sweaty in spandex, not a lovely dress. First, I am so so thankful I was with a good friend that morning who stayed with me. And second, I will forever be grateful to people who go out of their way to help others.

I am usually to stubborn to go to the doctor with an injury. However, I knew in my gut that I had to go with this one. I also wanted to make a smart decision because I had a race coming up in 6 days, and I was scheduled to teach a spin class the next morning. X-rays didn't show any new breaks, so next was to just wait for the MRI results to come in. I iced that ankle like there was know tomorrow. My goal was to get the swelling down, stay of it as much as possible, and then grit through the race Saturday night. At this run last year I placed 3rd overall female. I felt I was in better condition this year, and was more comfortable with trails this year. I really wanted to race to see what I could do. I got the phone call from my Doctor Friday, late afternoon, that was the total game changer. ATFL (anterior talofibular ligament) was nonexistent in the scan. The CFL (calcaneal fibular ligament) was hanging on by a thread. Nonexistent meant 100% torn. I hung up the phone and literally couldn't breathe. I am unsure how long I cried for. I had been whining all week about the idea of missing one race, and now this news meant much more than one race. It meant I couldn't run and play with my children, it meant I couldn't continue to work in a job I love, in meant I couldn't get that release that I get each day when I train. It meant I couldn't run side by side with my husband or dad in our upcoming events. I truly was completely devastated.

The week leading up to surgery was a lot of chaos and confusion. I actually am not going to blog the details of that because it still puts me in a bad mood thinking of it. The surgery had been scheduled, canceled, and re-scheduled multiple times and on various dates. However, the most important thing is the surgery went well. The Doctor was confident with the work. And we were fortunate to have it on a Friday so that Nate could be home all weekend. All the nurses and doctors were fun and helped lighten the mood. We were joking with them and having a good time prepping for surgery. They seem to treat us better when they find out that Nate is also a Nurse at their sister Hospital. It is hard to know exactly what you are getting into until the Dr. opens you up to see the true condition of the ligaments. Unfortunately, my ankle was in worse condition than he originally thought. The name of  the surgery the Dr. preformed is Brostrom ankle surgery. This is a fairly common surgery for athletes. He had to drill holes into my fibula to attach an anchor. The anchor is to told in place the newly repaired ligaments. Dr. Marshall described to Nate that my ATFL was completely mangled and frayed. He believes that this ligament has been damaged for years without ever healing correctly. He is confident in saying that all the tendinitis and instability I have had with that foot has been because of these ligaments never being repaired correctly. So after years of abouse, it seems my ankle just couldn't take it anymore.

Why my perspective has been changed from complete devastation, to gratitude and appreciation? First and foremost, my family has been looked after better than I would've EVER hoped for. I was so anxious on how it would be possible for me to take 10 days in bed, and another 3 weeks no weight bearing on my foot. To then be transferred to a boot for 12-14 weeks. What?! I have very active, young boys...I can't be on crutches?! But my family, friends, and church members have gone above and beyond to make sure we are doing okay. My room is full of balloons, & flowers from my awesome running group and mom. My kids have rides to preschool, endless play dates. We have had people bring in dinners, helping with my grocery shopping, and even with chores around the house! These things all seriously have fixed my broken heart. We have been so blessed in so many ways. Another thing I have to mention is that I am actually glad to finally know why this foot has been so troublesome. It has set me back one too many times. It basically was just dangling there. Yes, the timing was sad. But to be honest, when is it ever good timing? Yes, surgery is the last thing you want to hear. But I am glad to move forward and heal. I am going to follow doctors orders completely. I know I will get anxious and want to push it faster/sooner. But there is no sense in going through this in vein. I want to do what it takes to heal properly. I am currently on day 5 & trying to count my blessings daily on this road to recovery.

1 comment:

  1. Awesome post! aside from small teeny grammar and spelling errors lol... I love it. And I even made your blog roll! Now let's get people over here!