A Quick Post-Surgery Update

05/13/2013

So my surgery was this past Friday and everything went according to plan…I think.

Ready to go!

Ready to go!

I was home by 2pm on Friday where I spent the remainder of the day in bed with my foot elevated.  Looking back, I don’t remember a whole lot about the ride home and the day is kinda foggy, so I was definitely more drugged than I felt at the time.  I do remember some pretty excruciating pain setting in  at about 7pm, which sent my sister to the pharmacy to pick up the pain meds I didn’t think I’d need.   I usually try to avoid pain pills but there was no avoiding them on Friday.  The doctor put in a nerve block on both sides of my foot and this wearing off was pretty darn uncomfortable!  Sleeping Friday night was somewhat of a challenge because I couldn’t get my foot comfortable in any position, but otherwise, the night was uneventful.

I woke up Saturday feeling a little woozy, but in less pain than Friday.  My sister was doing her first race of the season at Jetton Park and there was NO CHANCE I was missing it….she flies around the world to watch me race for Pete’s sake!  In hindsight, however, I probably shouldn’t have been driving 18 hours after anesthesia.  Thankfully, I arrived safe.  I was sure I could sweet-talk the cops into letting me drive down into the water since I was on crutches, but nope.  The (a-hole) cop made me park about 1/2 mile from the park entrance and crutch ALL the way down to the water.  I swear it was almost 2 miles.  It took me over 30 minutes and I only arrived about 5 min before Dawn’s wave start, but I made it.  It was fun laughing and watching the race with Leigh-Ann, Franci, Bill, Joye and Paul and great to see Kelly and other familiar faces out there cheering and racing.  After the race, thankfully I got ride back to my car from a much nicer police man who took a lot more pity on me and HOW far I actually crutched to get down there.   🙂

Later that day, Dawn and I packed up all the dogs and headed to my parents house for Mother’s Day.  There is truly no better place to relax and put your feet up than their house.

momdad

It was a gorgeous day at the lake!

So today is Monday and I still am not able to put any weight on my foot, which I’ll admit is somewhat surprising to me.  The doctor led me to believe I would, essentially, walk out of the surgery center in my boot and get “instant relief”.  He did say the scar tissue was very dense and required quite a bit of “fanning” which is a bit more invasive, but I still didn’t envision this!  Perhaps he downplayed it or perhaps my procedure resulted in a bit more bruising than some patients, but I would hardly say I’ve gotten “relief”…yet.  I’m hoping to be feeling better very soon.  I’ve been using my crutches religiously and for the first time in my life, I’m actually thankful for them.  The thought of walking on my foot, in a boot or not, makes me cringe at this point.

I still feel confident that proceeding with surgery was the right choice.  My foot felt absolutely terrible on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning before surgery, which confirmed doing something more drastic was 100% necessary.  I’m going to be patient and hope that I will be feeling better…at this point, walking with no pain in my foot almost feels like some wild and crazy fantasy that will never come true!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend.  Thank you to everyone who called, emailed, text and checked in!


Taking a few deep breaths – or a million.

05/03/2013

When life gets tough, it is not my nature to sit around and have a pity party for myself.   I realize life gets tough for everyone at some point and more often for others; even when my life provides me with challenges, I’m smart enough to step back and remember that I have a pretty darn good life.

That said, I have been somewhat quiet on the blog front lately because I’ve had quite a bit of stuff going on in that has pushed me to all sorts of new limits.  Frankly, my life just hasn’t been “blog worthy” lately.  I will certainly not get into details of all of my personal business, but what I will discuss is how challenging its been that I can’t fall back on my usual “coping mechanism” for stress – my training.

As most people know, I have spent the last 5 years of my life swimming, biking and running to my hearts desires – with the typical aches and pains here and there, but virtually “injury” free.  Prior to triathlon, I spent 6 or 7 years running…a lot.  And before that, playing all sorts of sports.  I had one injury in 2008, which actually led me to triathlon, but otherwise, I have never been sidelined for more than a few days at a time.  I have taken some downtime during those 5 years to throw away the training schedule and do boat loads of yoga, but its always been on my terms.

Which brings me to my foot.  My stupid right foot, that I’ve come to despise.

What we thought was a stress fracture, was not.  I had an MRI that told me the plantar fascia tendon was partially torn.  So I rested.  I ARP’d, I wore a boot, and I rested.  And I got zero relief.  As it stands right now, I haven’t run in 6 weeks and my foot doesn’t feel any better.  So I saw a foot specialist (it took quite a while to get an appointment with him), who finally told me what is really going on with my foot.  Hindsight is 20/20, but I should have seen him in August when my foot started hurting!

Basically, there is 2.8mm of fascia surrounding my left heal bone with “normal” being ~2 – 3mm.  The fascia on my right foot currently measures 7.46mm.  The dark spot / line seen on the MRI and classified as a “partial tear” is actually just an area of dense scar tissue at the attachment.  Scar tissue forms when you don’t get rid of the fluid and inflammation that builds when you have plantar fasciitis for long periods of time.  At this point, it is considered Plantar Fasciosis due to the presence of scar tissue (vs. inflammation as with standard plantar fasciitis) and hundreds of micro tears.  Though I treated  the symptoms all along, I never actually took the time off to let the inflammation and fluid subside because I had a race to do!  Stupid, yes – and I’m regretting that now.  I can rest, ice, APR, acupuncture,  laser, massage, ART, etc to my hearts desires…they will not help with scar tissue as they are all targeted on inflammation.  If I chose not to do anything, I will have pain for the rest of my life (per my Dr).  Until surgery, I can continue to do most anything except run and jump since at this point, I can’t make it any worse than it is.  :-\

So it’s confirmed – I will have a 2-part outpatient procedure next Friday.  The first part of treatment is called the Topaz Procedure (don’t watch that if you have weak stomach), which is more “surgical” and will require general anesthesia.  The doctor described it to me like boring dynamite through rock to break up the scar tissue.  The second procedure is called PRP (Platelet Rich Plasma) and acts as the perfect “compliment” to the Topaz.  PRP can be done with local anesthesia but I will get at the same time, thank god.  If you’ve never had needles in your heal, trust me, you don’t want them while you are awake!  PRP is a newer treatment that has reported some great results from studies.  Per my doctor, the combo of Topaz / PRP is “the cats meow” for advanced cases like mine.  He has only had 3 athletes out of hundreds of cases get this combo and not get relief.  Please pray I’m not his 4th.  🙂

I will be in a boot again for ~3 weeks and after that the course of action (unfortunately) is to be determined.  Unlike, say, a broken bone where you set it, put it in a cast and wait x weeks for it to get better – this isn’t the type of injury or procedure that everyone has the same results or time frame for recovery.  I hope that after 3 weeks in the boot I am feeling good and at that point will be cleared to do anything but run and jump for ~4 more weeks.

Unfortunately, after the procedure when I am (hopefully) pain-free, the story is not over.  The second phase of this injury is getting to the root of what caused it so I don’t end up back here in 6 months.  Obviously resting and getting proper treatment if I ever feel it coming on down the road are a given, but with the amount of running I do, I need to be sure I’m in the right shoes, have the right insoles, proper gait, etc.  The doctor and I will go through all of that in my follow up appointments.

Despite all of this, I am trying my best to stay positive.  I have a lot of other issues going on and would do anything to be able to pour myself into my training and racing, but for now, I am spending my time riding, burning up the elliptical, the step mill, taking body pump and working on some much needed core/glute strength.  I am confident I will get back at it when my foot is healed and am hoping this forced rest will be beneficial to my mind and body in the long run.  🙂