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.