Friday, March 9, 2012

Toe up.

About a year and a half ago, while I was training for my first half marathon, I broke my toe. We had just moved in to the new house and Jack was choking on something, so I rushed over to help him, kicking a moving box in the process.  Stephen was out of town, so I took some Advil and tried to forget about it.  I managed to get the kids to school the next day, but knew it was bad.  I couldn't get my foot into a regular shoe and was wearing rain boots. Plus my toe was looked more like a thumb than a toe.  Doc confirmed it was a hairline fracture on my 4th toe.

I was supposed to wear a special shoe the doc gave me, but it was so ugly I walked around in flip flops or barefoot, and ended up whacking the same toe on an end table a week later.  Still, I thought it was no big deal. It was just a toe. I was supposed to be taking a break from running while my toe healed, but that was really interfering with my training.  So the day after Thanksgiving I gave myself permission to return to running.  Because of the chilly temperature, I couldn't really feel my toe, or my feet at all, and ended up running about 8 miles because I felt so good.  When my feet thawed out, I knew I had done something bad...but still thought it was no big deal.  It was just a toe.

Then when Carter ran over my flip-flop clad foot with his little wooden lawn mower and I heard a big 'pop' and ended up on the floor writhing in pain, I figured it might be time to call the doctor again.

This time, the doctor I saw wasn't quite as laid back about things.  He looked me in the eye, and said, 'well, it might have started out as a hairline fracture, but you have managed to really screw it's a displaced spiral fracture.  I am considering surgery.  I'm giving you a boot and if you don't stay off your feet, wear your shoe and let yourself heal, I'm going to surgically stabilize your toe and then put you in a cast.'

WHAT?!  Surgery?  Casts??  I thought it was just a stupid toe!  What really sucked was I had to completely stop running for 8 weeks.  No half marathon for me.  Had I followed the doctor's advice the first time around and let my little hairline fracture heal, I could have kept my cardio up on an elliptical or stationary bike for a few weeks, then gotten right back into training.  As things were, I'd lost 4 weeks nursing repeated injuries and now was going to lose another 8. I was devastated, but had no other choice. Even now, my toe will ache when it rains or is really humid because the bones don't really line up anymore.

(Note: I finally got back into training in April of last year, and completed a 15 k, 2 half marathons, a 30k and then a marathon in January.  It was awesome.  I should do a post on all that.)

So the timing isn't terrible, I'm not in the middle of training for anything, but I broke another toe this week hitting it on the leg of the couch.  Unlike the last break, I knew right away it was royally screwed up because it looked like this:

I spared you an actual picture (you are welcome)  because, as innocuous as the drawing looks, the actual picture just looked wrong...cringe-worthy and really REALLY wrong.  In fact, it looked so bad, I ended up letting Stephen take me to the ER (even though it's just a stupid toe) because I didn't know if I could buddy tape it while it was pointing in the wrong direction.  In case you are curious, the ER had a very scientific and medical way of handling it.  They X-rayed it, and then just pulled it back into place (I almost threw up) and then buddy taped it.  So, for all of you taking notes at home, save yourself the $100 ER co-pay and just tape your toe back into place until you can see someone during normal business hours.

At the foot doctor yesterday, I got some interesting questions...I think they are convinced I smash my toes on purpose considering the frequency in which I show up with "displaced spiral fractures".  You think I'm kidding, but they really didn't seem to believe I just hit the couch.

So, I'm back in a boot for 3 weeks.  No running, no jumping, no bare feet and no flip-flops.  And believe me, I will be following doctors orders this time around.  He was the first to say the boot is over-kill, but like I said, I think he's convinced I go around bashing my feet on things.  Anyway, the sooner I can heal, the better, because I've been recently toying with the idea of another marathon. In the mean time, I'll be sporting this very sexy look.

At least it's still cool enough to get away with jeans...which means it's in the 80's.  We're in south Texas remember?

1 comment:

P.J. and Nola said...

Oh my gosh, Gina! Hope you feel better. I was cringing just reading this! :( BTW, you are my new running hero. :)