Gimme a break

Back in January I decided to sign up for the Horse Capital Half Marathon, which would have been my third half. I really had no intention of doing another half, but I was having trouble forcing myself to make the time for exercise, as even on a normal day, my clock goes off at 5:20 a.m. (and I’m not a morning person, so exercising before work is brutal for me), and I’m not done putting children to bed and getting necessary household tasks done until 9 or 9:30 p.m., and it’s hard to want to exercise once that’s all done. But I needed to do something, so I committed to it, tricked The Husband into signing up with me, and training began. I quickly realized, while running in the cold winter temps, that my expectations were too high, and I allowed myself more of a walking or walk/run approach instead, which eased some of the pressure I’d put on myself. The Horse Capital also has a full marathon with it, so the time limit for the course was very generous for those doing the half. Even if I walked the entire thing, I’d still be able to complete it in less than 6 hours and 15 minutes. No problemo.

I endured running through the cold temps and the snow, and I was excited that the weather was becoming more spring-like; just last week I had a run in shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. Hooray! My mileage was gradually increasing and things were going relatively well. I am not fast — and I’ve got to accept that I never will be — but I was at least getting out there and getting it done, which was the whole point. A mile is a mile, right?

So yesterday I was going out for a seven-mile training run. I got up, got ready, and drove my starting point. Per my plan, I walked the first mile to help warm up, as I know that if I start running any sooner than that, my calves will get too tight. I waited at a light to cross a street, and I was going to start running once I got to the other side. On the other side, there was another runner that I was going to be approaching and I had to figure out how to get around her without breaking my stride or hers. I was about four or five steps into the running I’d just started when I stepped on a small but thick twig, causing my left foot to twist. I tried catching my balance, and my foot twisted again, I think, when it landed on the sidewalk, and down I went. That approaching runner was just a few feet from me when it happened, and another runner approached us within a few seconds, so they came over to make sure I was okay. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to just shake off the fall and continue running, but I’m not sure I knew quite how bad it was.

One of the runners suggested that I could go to the nearby doughnut shop and get some ice from them, so I hobbled over there and did just that, also calling The Husband on the way to come pick me up since I knew I couldn’t walk the mile back to my car. Being a Saturday morning, the doughnut place was crazy busy, but I went up and explained the situation, and they were so incredibly nice to me. They gave me a big bag of ice, a cup of water, and someone had some ibuprofen in the back that they went to get for me. Since I was fighting back tears, I went to one of the store’s outside tables to wait the 20 minutes or so for The Husband to get there, which felt like forever, but I know it really wasn’t. The longer I sat there, the more the pain and swelling were becoming apparent, and I soon knew we’d be making a trip to urgent care that day.

The Husband finally arrived, I sent him in to buy some doughnuts (since they were so nice to me, plus it was a good salve for my situation), and I finally broke down in the car, mostly from the pain, but also just because of the situation in general. He drove me back to my car, which I thankfully was able to drive home myself (since I’d hurt my left foot). With lots of support, I hopped straight to the bedroom and iced my ankle in bed the rest of the morning and early afternoon. I had two main areas of swelling, one on my ankle, and one a little higher up on the outside of my foot. The Big Sis had her dance pictures that I didn’t want her to miss, so I decided The Husband would take her for those, and then we’d head to urgent care after they got home from that. The fact that I wasn’t really resisting a trip to urgent care was a sign that something really was wrong, as I’m often stubborn about going for medical care (since it always seems like there’s not much that can be done). I contacted a good family friend and asked if she’d be available to come over and stay with the girls for the afternoon, and thank goodness she was.

She arrived at the house around 2 p.m., and The Husband and I headed to urgent care. During the afternoon, I’d heard a few anecdotes from friends who said they’d had instances when they too thought they’d broken their ankle but it turned out to be just a bad sprain. So I was trying to prepare myself for a possible ankle break with the knowledge that it’d likely “just” be diagnosed as a sprain. We waited a little over an hour in the waiting room, then I finally was called back. Somehow the urgent care center didn’t have a wheelchair, so I was still hopping on one foot this whole time (which made me nervous I’d injure my other foot), though later they did find a rolling office chair that they used to take me to/from the x-ray room.

The nurse came in to do the intake questions and initial assessment, then took me back for x-rays, which hurt just as much as I anticipated because of how I had to position my foot on the table to get the angles they needed. We went back to the exam room and the doctor came in to do her assessment, which was uncomfortable but she didn’t push my range of motion as much as I expected so it wasn’t too bad. She went to check on the results of the x-ray, coming back to tell us that the ankle was indeed broken. I will admit, I was surprised and a little upset to hear that even though I had been trying to prepare myself for that possibility. She also said she’d like to get an x-ray view of the rest of my foot since they didn’t get that the first time (!!!), so back to the x-ray room I went. That result came back with a break in my foot as well. So from stepping on a single twig I ended up with TWO breaks.

They got my foot wrapped, cleaned up my hand that I’d scraped when catching myself, gave me scripts for some pain meds, gave me some crutches, and set up an appointment at the orthopedic doctor for Monday morning at 8 a.m. to probably do a casting. I spent the rest of yesterday afternoon/evening in the La-Z-Boy recliner, icing my ankle and trying to move as little as possible. I was hoping I’d get to sleep easily, but I was in quite a bit of pain and had trouble finding a comfortable position for sleeping, so I had trouble at first, but the second half of the night was a lot better.

My ankle and foot are still pretty swollen today but it looks a little better than yesterday. The discoloration so far is a widespread but uniform light purplish/greenish — so far I don’t have any darker bruising at the break sites.

So that’s the update for now. I’ll see the ortho tomorrow morning, and the big question is whether surgery will be required or not. (Hopefully not!) So far I’m in pretty good spirits despite the situation. There’s quite a bit that still feels daunting as it relates to making it through everyday tasks, but I figure I can either choose to feel sorry for myself, or I can try to figure out a way to make it work, and hopefully with a smile on my face. That’s not to say I won’t have complaints or frustrations as I recover, but I’ll try my hardest to make the best of it.

Swollen ankle and outer foot:

Broken ankle:

Broken foot:

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One Response to Gimme a break

  1. Ronda says:

    That sounds so painful…. hugs!

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