Thursday, December 4, 2014

Broken Again

The "tendinitis" I had in my left ankle just didn't feel like tendinitis to me.  It hurt(s) considerably more than past cases of tendinitis, so I went to see my orthopedist. He ordered an MRI.

My fibula is fractured.


It's a distal fibular stress fracture that my doctor describes as both unusual and "not as bad as the last time." I don't know if he means the pelvic fracture of 2013 (probably not, because it was nearly runnable), the femoral fracture of 2012, or the higher fibular fracture of 2008. Likely, he's referencing the latter two. A femoral fracture is always all kinds of bad, and the 2008 fibular fracture was wide.

2012 Fracture Healing
Because I didn't rest enough after the marathon.

Because I did a hard workout on snow.

Because I have Crohn's disease.

Because it's what my body seems to do in response to stress.

Probably more the first two than the last two.

Now What?
I'm in a boot for six weeks. I can't do any physical exercise for two weeks. I was told, "Don't even think about running for eight weeks." My doctor told me I might use crutches for the first two weeks to help it heal faster. I've chosen a hybrid crutches/boot plan. I mostly crutched today.

How Do You Feel?
I'm angry. I'm really angry. I will make peace with it all in a few days, but since 11:42 A.M. yesterday, when my doctor called and told me to stop walking, I have been dealing with a storm of emotions that has not yet settled. I just have to have a few days to deal with those emotions and accept the situation before I can... I don't know... think properly.

Let me rundown the "I Knows" for you.

1. I know that I'm lucky this didn't happen during Monumental Marathon training.
Extremely lucky. I was uninjured on my training cycle. I got to run my race and experience everything that happened on 11/1. If someone had said, "Hey, would you like to fracture your leg in October or November?" you know how I would've answered. November, please.

2. I know that I don't have any major running events in the next few months.
Just like the vocal issues, this fracture is very timely.

3. I know that I should've taken a longer break after the marathon.
My body isn't like everyone else's. Check. Learned. Again.

4. I know that I have one tiny fracture in one bone.
Certainly, lots of people deal with much more difficult situations every day.

5. I know that my life is so much more than running, and I have a lot for which to be thankful.
Of course it is. Of course I do.

6. I know that it's just a couple months. This, too, shall pass.
Yes. But see, right now, it hasn't passed. It's a fresh open wound. All of this stuff will be a learning experience, an eventual distant memory, something that will make me stronger, and something that will make success sweeter. Yes, it will; yes, it will.


Currently? Isn't.

Currently, my leg is broken. And. I'm. ANGRY.

Why Are You So Upset?
Life is beautiful, and life is pain. That's not a profound statement. Everyone knows it, and that's why everyone has his or her own coping mechanism for the pain. My coping mechanism is running. Running helps me control emotional pain, mental pain/stress, and above all, the almighty Crohn's pain. Therefore, being without running is a very scary prospect for me.

Luckily, I have other outlets I can use like singing (yay for the healed voice), quilting (already did a little of that), BNL basketball watching (three cheers for Coach Cobb), and writing (typing this blog is actually helping a lot), among others. My eggs aren't all in one basket. There are just an awful lot of eggs in that running basket.

There are also other little things that sting. Wendy (who is part of my active and wonderful support group including Ed, Mom, Dad, many other friends, and all of BMS), is venturing back into the running world just as I'm exiting. Folks have already approached her to join them on their runs "since Jo is injured." That's very nice of them, as I wouldn't want her to be alone, but it still hurts not to be a part of "the scene."

Just Stop.
This moment is when people say, "This is what happens when you run. You did this to yourself. You should just stop running. It would save you the pain."

No. As I mentioned above, it's just the opposite. It controls the pain. I guess the penance of using running as pain control is the occasional pain of running's loss. "Running is a fickle mistress," says the father of a friend.

So, there it is. Matched with tons of other little this-es and that-s, it's been a heckuva week or two.

Those of you who know me well (and likely those of you who don't), know me as a very positive, "look on the bright side" person. I promise she's still in there. I've seen her a bit today. She will soon work on a "Good Things That Happened Because I Broke My Fibula Again" list. She just has to find her way through all of these feelings over the next few hours and days. Until then... at least I can do a push-up. ;-)


  1. You are tough, and when you heal, run again, till it kills you if you want. Loving something any thing is good.

    1. That's one of the best things I've heard all week. Thank you!