Wednesday, December 14, 2011

ER EXPRESS LANE

After hearing a loud pop come from my ankle I almost froze in time.  I tried not to move an inch as I waited to see what was going to happen next.  I shouldn't have been surprised with what I was treated to after the pop, which was pain.  The pain was strong enough to let me know I was alive, but not enough to call for the wambulance.  Within the next hour the pain intensified and I couldn't put any pressure on my foot/ankle.  When attempting to wiggle my piggies it appeared they were all playing dead, no response.  My ankle and foot felt locked up and everything was very angry at me.  It was like I needed another pop to remedy the situation.

I texted Geo who was in transit from work and said "call me ASAP".  I also texted Nick as a backup escort to the emergency room in case I couldn't track Geo down before he headed to crossfit.  I was ready to scream and texted Geo with "I hurt my foot/ankle and might need to go to the hospital".  Within a few minutes he called and by then I was frantic.  Once he was home he loaded me into the car and off we went to the ER.  Every bump jostled things just enough that I would gasp.  After arriving in the emergency room parking lot Geo gave me a piggie back inside and I was quickly treated to a wheel chair as we checked in.  Geo parked me by a window and then seconds later we were off to explain what happened and get my vitals taken.  Shortly after we were escorted through a dead quiet emergency room where the nurse picked a spot to unload me.  Moments later after I changed into paper pants, such a comical invention, the doctor was ready to see me.  Now I was looking very stylish with my dress shirt and scarf from work on my upper body and paper pants on the bottom.  An even added bonus was that I had thrown on my trucker hat on the way out the door to help hide the tears. A few funny looks from the doctor followed by a few squeezes, pokes and questions and I was told I had a partial to fully torn Achilles tendon.  Ouch, yes because of the pain, but more for the recovery time.

Timber Taking "Good" Care of Me
As I sat with my legs dangling off the table so they could cast it the pain was perpetuating.  Finally time for some pain killers.  As the nurse went to hand me what looked like a thimble of water and a horse pill I accepted them and then said "I think I am going to pass out".  They took the water and pill back and had my lay flat on my back, but insisted they were going to continue to cast.  I was sweating like I was in a sauna and my heart raced like I had just injected an epipen inside it.  Again they took my vitals and the nurse said my pulse was 65, thus what she deemed "normal".  Geo was sure to let her know that was very high for me as I usually am below 40.  Once they were finished casting I was allowed to roll onto my stomach to help easy some of the pain.  While in this position I grabbed my phone and started emailing my orthopedic nurse practitioner Carol.  I filled her in on my latest and greatest injury and told her I was hoping to get in to see her quickly.   After a few minutes beached on my belly I was allowed to try the pain killers again, success!  I checked my phone and already had a response from Carol, a sense of calm came over me as I always know she will take good care of me.  With a few handouts and a prescription for more pain killers I crutched my way out of the hospital in record time of about an hour and a half.

That night I slept in the living room so to avoid the stairs to our bedroom.  As I began staring at the ceiling memories started flooding into my mind from when I spent three months laying in the same spot with my broken femur.  No! I couldn't allow my mind to go there, this wasn't going to be the same deal and I convinced myself that it could be a misdiagnosis.  I told myself that I wouldn't believe anything until it came from Carol.

One Lonely Salomon Shoe
The next day I was on my way to Associates in Orthopedics for my appointment.  After being put in an exam room the nurse cut my bandages and cast open and told me to hold still.  I really wanted to try to walk around, but knowing my luck I would get caught or hurt myself further.  I had a huge sigh of relief when Carol confirmed it was not my Achilles tendon that I hurt, but rather my peroneal tendon.   I was upgraded from crutches and a cast to a lovely black walking boot, you know boots are in this season!

For some reason the black boot made me feel like Hurman Munster as I tried to get my rhythm.  I left the doctors office feeling so thankful that it wasn't my Achilles, as I felt this injury to a tendon that I had never heard of was more manageable for my mind and body.  After just two days the boot was becoming a bother so I began to question "what if"?  My "what if" then turned to asking questions such as "What is the smartest way to be stupid?"  When those exact words came out of my mouth while I was at my physical therapists I was embarrassed yet knew they were truthful.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Honored & Humbled

I seem to have the ability to suffer through stomach issues, banged up body parts, blisters and dehydration, but when it comes to sitting with certain emotions I struggle.  About two months ago I received a phone call from the Director of Alumni Affairs at Tilton School, where I graduated high school from and worked for two years.  With excitement she informed me that I was unanimously voted into the athletic hall of fame.  Immediately my heart rate changed, images started flashing through my head and I began to fret about being publicly honored. Within that brief pause as my emotions became chaotic I lost my window of opportunity to even attempt to wiggle my way out of the ceremony.  Without hesitation she continued with the fact that she already checked my race schedule and noticed that I was free.

Giving sincere compliments to others seems to come easy to me.  I like encouraging other people as I take satisfaction in helping others achieve their goals.  I enjoy watching their journeys.  With this said, I find it both interesting and disturbing, that I often times have a hard time genuinely allowing myself to process and accept other peoples praise towards me.  Openly sharing my success with others can be difficult for me. I run because of the feeling it gives me and have a hard time seeing how that equates to anything particularly special beyond what the action creates directly inside of me.  All and all I feel like I shy away from attention.  Simply stated, I run because it is what I love.  Things have started to change though and with more attention for my running I have been trying to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable.  If I can pull it off I think it will be benefical to me in all realms of life.

The weeks leading up to the event helped me to recognize that I have some work to do.  This whole event has helped me realize that despite the difficultly and uncertainty I need to affirm and validate my feelings, whether good, bad or indifferent.  It is okay to feel the way I do, but I need to work on believing in myself.  If others feel that I am deserving then I need to allow myself to accept that I have earned that honor.  On that Saturday morning as I accepted my recognition as an individual I felt odd, but I did my best to soak up the cheers from the crowd and the smiles from my peanut gallery.  My feeling of uneasiness did change when my family stood next to me as I felt that the group of us better represented my achievements.


Without their continued support and belief I wouldn't be the runner and person I am today.  I am also grateful for my close friends who attended and supported me as I navigated the day.  In the sport of ultrarunning we race as individuals, but without my friends, family, training partners, fellow competitors and sponsors I wouldn't have the same ability to do what I love.  I can say that I do feel honored to have become a member of the Tilton Athletic Hall of Fame and even recall as a student wondering if I would ever earn a plaque on the hall with my name on it.