I should have realized that doing that epic running post was just asking for trouble.
As those of you who follow me on Twitter or know me in real life know, my running took a turn for the dramatic on Sunday.
As I said in my running post, I’ve started doing 6-7 mile runs on Sunday to build my endurance. The first one had not gone great, mostly because of the route I took. Not sure how it ended up being all uphill, but it honestly was. So I mapped out a different route, one which went down to the high school, past almost all of Hero’s friends houses so I could properly embarrass her, then back through almost-country and into town. I knew this route from driving it a number of times and having run part of it with the running club. It was hilly, but they were up AND down, so I thought it would work.
The first thing I did was swap the arches out of my old running shoes into my new ones. I liked the new ones, but they just didn’t have enough arch support for my feet, and with my overpronation issues, I figured I needed them for that as well. Put them on and they felt good, so yay! Fashionable runner!
I got all my apps set up and running, then started walking my warm-up. It was about 75 degrees and 70% humidity, so not bad at all. Started running at my usual spot. As always, it took a while to get in the groove of the run, but the Zombies, Run! episode was really engaging (it was the last episode of season 1, so big doings!) and the route worked well. I didn’t like running at the high school just because there was no shade, but I was there less than 5 minutes, so it’s certainly doable. Everything felt good. The country stretch was pretty, running past all the tall corn in the quiet of a Sunday morning. I like Sunday mornings. No one’s in a hurry to get anywhere.
My app told me I had done 5 miles in about 56 minutes. It usually gives me credit for a faster run than I’m doing, but still, that told me in general my pace was pretty good. I felt strong. Confident. Just had a mile and a half to go, and then I could get on with the day. Take the kids back to school shopping. Clean the house. Maybe do some of the work on the shed I need to.
The next thing I know, I’m face down in the middle of the street.
I didn’t trip. I keep saying I stepped off a curb, but it wasn’t really even much of a curb. It was one of those ADA ramps they put on sidewalk corners. Zero entry. I’ve had to practically vault much higher curbs on other runs. And yet, when I stepped from the concrete onto the asphalt, my right foot rolled right as my body weight shifted left, and down I went.
I’ve had falls like this a lot. Ever since I got reactive arthritis as a teenager, my knees and ankles have always been a bit weak. Every once in a while one of them will just go, “Nope!” and down I go. But I’ve never had it happen at speed before, and with all my weight coming down on the foot that was turning. I heard that sucker pop and knew I was in trouble.
I picked up my glasses and dragged myself back to the curb to evaluate. A runner and a car stopped to see if I needed help, but I waved them off, as I didn’t know how bad it was. Stubborn me figured I could just carefully walk home. It wasn’t that far, after all. My first mistake was taking my shoe off.
My second mistake was walking half a mile with no shoe on.
By the time I got almost to Main Street, I was seeing black swarms in front of my eyes, which is usually a sign that I’m about to pass out. So I found a stoop and sat. I realized I was only about a block from one of the earlier mentioned Hero’s friends homes, so I called Hero to see if they were home that weekend. They weren’t. None of her friends whose parents I knew were in town. The people I knew from the running club were all out of town, too, and I didn’t have anyone’s number anyway. So I asked Hero if she would ride her bike down so she could at least walk back with me. (It only just now occurred to me I could have sat on her bike and one footed it home. Oh well.) Then, left with no choice, I called Eric to see if he could take me to the urgent care center. Thankfully he could, and asked if I wanted him to pick me up where I was now. I told him Hero was on the way, but if he wanted to come the route we’d be going home just in case, he could. After I got of the phone with him, I thought, well, I don’t want them to miss me, so I’ll just hobble to the corner.
I made it to the next house. Surrendering all pride at that point, I called him to come get me.
Hero showed up, and she blessedly brought a water bottle with her. I tend not to carry one on my runs as I’m well hydrated going into them and am not usually out long enough to need them (plus I hate carrying anything). So that was a blessing and secured her position as my favorite daughter. (hush.) Eric got there about 10 minutes later, we went back to the house to get my checkbook and wallet, and off we went to urgent care.
On later reflection, I wish I had gone to the ER instead, but at this point I figured it was just a sprain and no big deal. But I’d never had a sprain before and didn’t know what to expect. And there usually isn’t a long wait at the urgent care center, so there I was. They got me checked in and back in about 5 minutes, and within 10 I was on the x-ray table. By then my ankle was huge.
The staff were all very kind, but the doctor who finally saw me hardly talked to me at all. He didn’t even give me any instructions until I asked pointed questions. But the nurse who brought me my aircast was very nice and helpful. Take it easy, elevate it, ice it, yadda yadda. By 11:30, I was home.
Well, I still had that list of things to do, so. After lunch I took a nap, and then I took Xander and Hero to 2nd Avenue to do clothes shopping. It had to get done, and I could do it all leaning on a shopping cart, so I did. I gave them a budget of $50 each and a couple of things they HAD to get (picture day outfit especially, since their picture day is the first Thursday of school) and set them loose. Well, set Hero loose. I went with Xander to help him pick some things out. The score of the day was all his, though. A beautiful black long sleeve dress shirt that fit him gorgeously. He got compliments from 5 different people waiting in line at the dressing rooms! He got all his back to school clothes (although he could use another pair of dress slacks) and even a pair of shoes for under his budget. Hero didn’t do as well, but she got a couple of nice pieces. She doesn’t need as many clothes, as her drawers are overflowing. Once we get those purged, we’ll have a better sense of what she still needs.
I got a cane. It was only $2.50.
Then we went to the dollar store for the bare minimum in school supplies. There was no point in buying a lot until I know what they really need. So they got paper and pens or mechanical pencils, depending on their preferences, pencil bags, a couple of other knick nacks.
I got a couple of ace bandages. The aircasts are proven in studies to be better than compression bandages, but both together are even better, so I was going to use both. Knowledge, and how to get it. One of the perks of my day job. Then we went home, where I had Hero help me make dinner. I sat and chopped, she handled the stove part and made the muffins. Then I took my pain meds and crashed. Thank you, hydrocodone!
I was feeling pretty sorry for myself and didn’t sleep well with the cast and the pain, so I called out from work on Monday. Slept a lot, iced and elevated it, and made a comfrey poultice that I wore for a couple of hours. I’ve seen that stuff work miracles, so I figured a boost couldn’t hurt as long as I did the mainstream therapies along side. All was going well until that evening when I got a call from the urgent care center.
They’d found at least two breaks in my foot. I needed to come in and get splinted, and then I’d need to see an orthopedist.
I automatically went to my go to source for all my medical needs, and lo and behold, Penn Medicine ortho does same day appointments. Even though it was Sunday evening, I filled out the request form figuring I’d get a call first thing in the morning, and politely declined the urgent care center’s offer to splint it for me. It didn’t make sense to pay to have them do something that would just get undone and presumably done better the next day.
Tuesday I heard from Penn via email. My phone number hadn’t come through on my request, so could I call in? I did. And the rage started. The receptionist I was talking to said she could get me an appointment on Friday. For a broken foot. Seriously? She knew nothing about the same day service, and kept giving me the standard line of she couldn’t override the doctors’ schedules. I understand scheduling, honey, I’ve done it myself. But I also know for emergencies, you can find time to squeeze me in. “I can get you seen in Cherry Hill today.” Seriously? “The only other place I have any openings today is in Exton.” Fine, send me to fucking Exton. Yeah, it’s just as far and inconvenient, but at least there isn’t a bridge. “You’ll need to bring your x-rays.” I lost it at that point. You’re one of the most advanced care centers in the region, if not the country, with your own very impressive imaging centers, I can’t freakin’ DRIVE, and you need me to bring x-rays from a Podunk care center? Honestly?? She got an earful, poor thing. I know she was just doing her job, but I was too hurting and frustrated to care at that point. She went away for a few minutes, and when she came back, lo and behold, she had an appointment for me downtown that afternoon. I’d still have to get my x-rays, though. Fine, I’d manage.
I’d already been in touch with Deb about giving me a ride. She had another commitment at noon, but she could at least take me to get my x-rays and get me down there. I figured even if I had to camp out in the waiting area for a couple of hours, I could read or knit or take a nap, so long as I was there, and I could get myself home. The bus stopped right outside the office that would take me to the station, and presumably I’d be in some sort of a cast by then. Deb’s driving karma held out, though, and it took an hour and a half to get downtown. Midday on a Tuesday. What the hell, people? I felt guilty about keeping her so late, but she felt bad about not being able to stay, so the guilt balanced out. And I only had to wait about 45 minutes.
The center was very nice. The building is right across from where I’d worked for the National Board of Medical Examiners, and hadn’t even existed until a year ago. That area is building up so fast, it’s astonishing. For me the nice thing about going to Penn is that even though I was new to the practice, I didn’t have to fill out a ton of paperwork because I’m already in their system. I still had to wait until my appointment time, but that was fine. They got me back about 1:30, and it went pretty quickly from there. The resident was able to show me the break. It’s pretty straight across the bottom of my fibula. What urgent care thought was two breaks actually seems to be two ends of the same break. The doctor said that it was actually in a good spot, that that low the joint isn’t as unstable and doesn’t open up. Almost all of these kinds of breaks heal just fine. I did mess up probably all three ligaments attached to it, but we’ll worry about those after the break heals. I got prescribed a CAM boot and told to come back in 4 weeks for more x-rays and to discuss rehab. The nice thing is this doctor is a sports medicine doc, so he’ll know how to get me back running. Oh, but no driving for the next 4 weeks.
That’s the part that’s going to suck. Never mind that we can’t do the day trip to Assateague now. More important is no grocery shopping and I won’t be able to drive Xander to school for his first couple of weeks of high school. When I told him he would have to ride the bus, he said, “Can’t I just ride my bike?” So he’s going to do that. I’m sending him and Hero to test ride it this weekend and to find the bike racks. I’d like to get him a rack for the back of his bike so it’s easier for him to carry his backpack, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to afford that before school starts. Thank ghod we got their back to school basics done!
So this is Fred, my live-in companion for the next month. We’re getting along better than I’d expected, certainly better than I got on with the boot for plantar fasciitis a couple years ago. I’m actually relatively comfortable sleeping in it, although that may be the pain meds. I have an oddball pair (trio?) of handknit socks I’m wearing under it in rotation to keep the smell down, and I’m figuring out what shoes to wear on the left foot to balance out the height of the boot. No more flip flops for me! Several of my co-workers have been incredibly generous about driving me to work with them, so I’m back in the office on schedule, which makes me feel a little more human (and the air conditioning doesn’t hurt!) I’m easing into the new normal.
I’m just glad I didn’t pay for any of those races already…