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The Diagnosis

Posted Oct 04 2009 11:12pm


Hi everyone, I am so glad to be blogging tonight.  I guess after a long day and week, it’s like therapy.  I should try and rally to go to a bday party tonight, but after waking up early to get to an eight o’clock xray, then dr. appointment, then work, then happy hour, then home, well spending some time at that last destination sounds like some kind of wonderful.  Plus I have a half marathon tomorrow morning.  Edit: my fabulous roomstars just got home, so I am off to play, will finish tomorrow.  Poor darlings, it’s alumni day weekend, so they have had a long couple weeks and a long weekend ahead.

Before I launch into that…***non-runners take heart*** I am sure you are probably bored to tears lately, as I all I seem to blog about it running, but Monday my friends, I will do a whole post that doesn’t once mention the r word!  I will announce three non-running workout reviews coming up and I will talk about this great music site I found.

Okay, back to running for a post or two.  I still have the rest of my maximizing your last month before marathon series!

So as mention, I have been having a lot of pain in my foot and ankle.  I have been resting a lot, running only a few times a week, icing and taking way to much ibuprofen. But things haven’t gotten much better. 

So after two fairly unhelpful sessions with the sports medicine doctor at the NYU medical center, I decided to go to Dr. Metzl.  I met Dr. Metzl at a running clinic last weekend, and I was impressed right away.  He was named one of NYMag’s best sport medicine and running injuries doctors three years in a row and he is a 25 time marathoner and 4 time iron man.

I was thrilled to get an appointment and a referral in a week’s time.  So at 8 am I was supposed to be in his office for xray and my appointment was at 9.  I totally forgot how far over East end ave is.  OMG it is like the end of the earth!  So after jog/walking at least a mile from lex to the office, I was no longer sleepy. 

I got my xray, only briefly freaking out when she asked me to remove a toe ring that I have had on since I was 11.  I was like, that will not be happening this morning, I would need some serious strength to open it up! 

I got called into the dr’s office, and let me just say, I have a wee bit of a crush on him.  He is kind of my Dr. MetzDreamy.  And I really hope he doesn’t Google himself too often. What can I say? I am a sucker for a runner, particularly one with 7 years of advanced education under their belt.

Anyways, he came in full of life and totally enthusiastic in a way I just could not be so early in the morning.  Have you ever met someone so full of energy and effervescent that you suddenly felt really boring? That was what it was like.

So after some small talk, I mentioned I met him at the ING Cafe clinic, and he was like I remember you!  You were in the front left, wearing the boots and you asked about your foot!  (Bingo.)  I was like, I want to help her.  (Opportunity granted!)  I will say that it is funny that he mentioned my hound’s-tooth banana republic goulashes because I was a hot mess that day—more so than the runners who had just finished a rainy 18 miles.  I mean I’m a hot mess most days, it’s kind of my look,  I do it well, but that day in particular, I even out-disheveled myself.  The boots were the only tiny thread of put togetherness that could possibly be complimented in that scenario. 

Anyways, in like 5 seconds, actually 4 hops on my left foot, Dr. Metzl said that my arch was totally collapsing causing tendonitis and maybe some PF and most off my pain.  I have high arches, so I was surprised to learn I pronated so much—and only on one side.

So I (semi-reluctantly) left the doctor’s office and headed straight to Super Runners Shop as directed.  I arrived and there was a store employee washing the door window, I waved and smiled widely.  He gave me a hand motion and mouthed that the were not open.  Which, based on the scenario, was pretty obvious. However, I played dumb and made a please take pity on me face.  He bent down, unlocked the door, opened it like 1 inch, and said, “15 minutes until we open.”  I was like, “I totally understand, but I just need one quick thing, i have a note from my doctor,” which I did and held out as proof, “ please I am already late for work.”  He considered this for a moment, and still through the 2 inch space said, “you know what you need?”  I said yes, handed him the sheet with the item.  He said, “let me see if we have it in your size.”  He then closed the door, locked it and disappeared.  I waited.  He returned, unlocked the door, let me in and let me purchase my new Superfeet!  I thanked him a bunch of times.  It was pretty nice, since as someone who has worked in retail, you really don’t want to do it one minute longer than necessary. 

So I tried them on when I got to work.  OMG, my left foot felt amazing.  Like a massage with every step.  but my right foot felt like I had half a tennis ball under my foot.  I guess they will take some breaking in.  I dropped off my anti-inflammatory prescription on my lunch hour. I guess I am on the path to less painful running.

Lessons learned: there is too much of a google-thing.

I learned you really have to be careful with too much googling and self-diagnosis.  I got pretty obsessed with trying to figure out my problem and absolutely everything seemed to indicate stress fracture, tendonitis never once came up when I searched my symptoms.  This was problematic in a few ways.  One, I tried to treat it incorrectly assuming RICE was the way to heal a stress fracture, when in fact, tendonitis and plantars fasciitis require a different plan of attack. 

Secondly, it was unnecessarily psychologically stressful.  I have not been the most enjoyable person to be around lately. I have been stressed, impatient, unamused, not my normal self.  Part of that is because I had a lot of the causes and risk factors associated with stress fractures.  I added mileage pretty quickly and I have very low bone density and osteopenia.  I also suffered with anorexia for a little over three years in high school and as a result, had amenorrhea for four years until I finally restarted my period with birth control.  Fortunately, now I have zero issues having my monthly friend visit naturally.  However, I definitely started to beat myself up and get stressed about something I rarely even think about as it is something so in my past—and gratefully so, it just drudged up a time I only want to forget.  While I can’t totally deny that I might somewhere along the line have a few repercussions from that time, and I am very lucky to have escaped the mental hell and most of the physical issues as well, I didn’t put in all the mental work of recovering and gaining about 40 pounds to have this haunting me almost 10 years later.  While I have never thought my blog was a forum for eating disorder discussion, I do hope to one day find a place to write about recovery since I was so confused about it at the time and I feel I can offer some insight into at least my own journey.  Just briefly I will say it had almost nothing to do with therapy, blood testing, nutritionist visits, two hospitalizations…actually the second one was useful in that it allowed me get to a someone stable weight range, but recovering was something that I had to do for myself.  Three things really made that happen, leaving a toxic environment and going to college with a clean slate, admitting that I wanted more from my life as I was miserable in every possible capacity and had already lost several years of my life that I could never get back including countless friends, and finally, committing myself to a goal greater than being thin.  I realized that if I was lucky enough to have grandchildren, I didn’t want to tell them the only thing I accomplished was being skinny.  And all the energy I was wasting (hours upon hours a day) could be used toward something much less selfish and more rewarding.  Okay, end of that discussion.

The good and the bad

The good is that I know what my injuries are and that they are not injuries that will keep me from running the marathon!

The bad is that I don’t have very much time to adjust to the orthotics, and that I am a little behind on my training, so I will go  into the marathon knowing that I can not overdo it with visions of glory.  The other bad things is that tendinitis, collapsed arches and plantars fasciitis are chronic, which means that I will have to deal with treatment for a very long time, perhaps forever.

Sorry for no pictures, I will be back later for a Grete’s Half Marathon recap!

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