Tag Archives: foot injury

What I’ve Learned From a Year-Long Injury

yearlong injury

5 diagnoses. 4 x-rays. 3 doctors. 2 MRIs. 1 cortisone shot. That essentially sums up the last year of my life. Since Labor Day weekend 2013, my life has felt as if it has revolved around my left foot. From doctor’s appointments, to exercising, and everything in between, everything has been about my left foot.

I won’t lie. This last year has been trying. I’ve been in a walking boot three times, on crutches once for 4 weeks (but probably should have been on them when I was first diagnosed), and have been forced to put most of normal activities to the back burner on numerous occasions, all because of a foot injury that just wouldn’t heal.  It seemed like just as I was able to get back into a routine of exercise, and more importantly – riding a horse, my foot would start to throb, and I’d be at square one again. Since I was first injured, I’ve gained 20 lbs. And that’s after losing 10 initially. I should have eaten better. And I could have worked out with my upper body more, but I decided I would rather eat my feelings. I’ve always been an emotional eater. This injury completely interrupted my life, as they always do.

But this isn’t about how much my foot injury set me back. This is about how what this injury taught me.

I know. You’re probably wondering how an injury could teach me anything when 99% of the time, I wished it would just go away in my sleep. But reflecting over the last year, I have learned from this.

yearlong injurySource 

I’ve learned that it’s okay to rely on others. You are looking at a person who doesn’t like to ask for help. Who has NEVER liked to ask for help. I’m not sure why, I just never have. But with this injury, I’ve had no choice, especially when I found myself on crutches. And I what I found out was that people are always willing to help. I quickly realized that little things like getting dinner in the kitchen, grocery shopping, and just about carrying anything, wasn’t going to happen without help. Thankfully, I had a lot of people around me who were always happy to assist when I needed them.

I’ve learned that it’s okay to rest. I like to be on the go. Sure, I enjoy taking a break, reading and watching TV, but on my terms. When you’re in a boot and/or on crutches, it’s not on your terms anymore. It’s a forced rest. Accepting that I needed to be off my foot and on my couch was sometimes tough to take, but I stuck it out. But I found a new respect for my couch, and just being able to sit quietly without having to do something.

I’ve learned how necessary, and important, it is to be active. You know the whole phrase ‘You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone’? That pretty much sums up the last year. I never really enjoyed exercising. I rode horses and liked to walk. I was starting to get into running when I got injured. In the last year, my activity has been on and off, depending on how the foot was. I can’t tell you how many times I looked at my fiance and said “I wish I could go for a run right now.” Let’s just say, activity will be incorporated back in my day, almost immediately.

But one thing I already knew, I have the best support system there is. There have been countless tears, rants, angry text messages and swears thrown all over the place since I first was injured, and my fiance, family and friends, have always been there to remind me that this will heal and I will get better. And without them, I probably would have tried to chop my foot off lost my mind.

Most importantly, I’m on the road to recovery. I’m on the mend. I’m out of the boot, and off crutches. I’m slowly getting back to my normal activities. I should be fully cleared by 12/1. But in the meantime, I’m going to keep reflecting on what I’ve learned and continue to focus on healing.

New Signature

Back to Square One – Possible Stress Fracture… Round 2.

I wish this post wasn’t even being written, but it is. And if you’ve been reading the blog for awhile, you know all about my foot injury, which happened a year ago. If you don’t know, you can read the variety of posts here:

  1. Sweating Pink – The initial diagnosis and injury (Metatarsalgia)

2. Plans, Diagnosis and Patience – Learning about a potential stress fracture

3. A Diagnosis…. finally! – Navicular stress fracture

4. Reclaiming my Motivation – Coming to terms with my injury

5. Honestly… – Why I decided to seek a second opinion

After a year of treatments, doctors, various diagnoses and zero relief, I found myself back at my orthopedics office this morning. This time with a new doctor in the practice. I made this appointment because as we were running through the Madrid airport back in July to catch our return flight to the States, I felt a pop in my left foot, right where I’ve been having all of the trouble, and immediate pain. The pain lasted for 2 days before I called my doctor’s office. They were unable to get me in, but told me to put my boot back on and take it easy.

Here we are about 5 weeks later. The pain subsided a little bit (or I just got used to it), but I knew the fact that I was still having this much pain and so many issues nearly a year later were not normal.

The doctor and his PA put my foot through a variety of tests (hop test, flexibility, walking on my toes, etc.) along with x-rays. All with varying degrees of pain. And the pain seemed to be all on the left outer part of my foot (below my pinky toe and to the side) and all across the base of my toes on the top of my foot. I had been diagnosed with synovitis in my 2nd metatarsal, and that diagnosis still stands, but they seem to think that it a completely separate issue.

After tests and discussing everything from the last year, and not seeing anything obvious on my x-rays, he decided to order another MRI…. and spend some more time in a boot. Yes my friends, the boot is back. At least this one is shorter, and not as bulky.

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His thoughts?

More than likely the pop I felt was a stress fracture or reaction, and even though the pain is not localized now, but was right after it happened, it appears the pain is radiating. He also thinks that based on what I explained for symptoms from last year, I could have had a stress reaction or fracture in the same part of my foot, but for whatever reason, the bone edema was showing up elsewhere (could have been a possible reaction there too, but it’s hard to say since I didn’t have pain there).

I wish I could say I’m optimistic. I’ve had so many diagnoses in the last year that I don’t know what to think anymore. Part of me feels like I’m over-reacting and I should just suck it up and deal with it. Tell myself I just need to live with it. But the other part of me believes there is something wrong. I’m a hypochondriac. This is a known fact :) But I also feel like I shouldn’t be in pain all the time. It’s keeping me from doing a lot of things I love.  I’m just hoping that this time, I can get a firm diagnosis and a strict treatment plan. If it is a stress fracture/reaction, hopefully it will heal fast. I don’t think I could mentally handle another 3 months in a boot with feeling better.

What’s different this time?

I’m refusing to let it keep me down. Last year, I totally let it get the best of me. I didn’t want to move. I ate whatever I wanted. I sat around and moped. But this time, I’m still determined to keep moving. My good friend is a personal trainer, and I start training with her tomorrow night. She knows about my injury, and we’re going to work around it. I’ll go to the gym, and use the bike. I’ll do upper body and core. I’ll do my best to keep myself focused and know this is short-term. And hopefully the last time. I also know getting some weight off will drastically help my feet and joints feel a lot better. And hopefully alleviate some of the other foot issues.

So, here we go. Operation Possible Stress Fracture… round 2.

Have you ever dealt with a prolonged injury?

 

What’s On My Mind Wednesday [3.26.14]

We’re going to go right in to What’s On My Mind Wednesday today – hope you like the new graphic!

STATEMENT #35(1)

  1. MH370 – It’s been on everyone’s minds recently. I’ve been watching the reports, and as much I knew in my heart that the plane went down, I hoped for the sake of all of those people and their loved ones that it would be found somewhere with all occupants alive. Sadly, it doesn’t appear to be the case. I hope for all those involved, the wreckage is found soon and they can get some answers about what happened. So sad.

  2. Running – My foot pain is nearly gone. I say nearly, because it’s been bothering me a bit the last couple of days. I’m assuming it’s because I’m back to normal activity, but either way, I’m not trying to let it get me down. Last night was the first time in nearly 7 months that I was able to run. I’ve never been a runner, but I’ve always aspired to be a runner. After having this ridiculous injury set me back, I’m more determined than EVER to become a runner.

After work, despite how nervous I was, I hopped on a treadmill and started to warm up. I battled that little voice in my head saying just to walk for 30 minutes, but I knew I had a goal in mind. I at least wanted to see if I could do it; make sure I could do something far more strenuous without pain. And I did it. I managed to run for 3.5 minutes. It was a slow. But I did it. This may have been the longest stretch of time I’ve run for since I attempted Couch to 5K last year. I was shocked that I could actually breathe. Normally when I start thinking to much about my breathing, I panic, thus sending me into full on hyperventilating mode.

I kept up a routine of walk at 3.5 and run at 4.4 the entire time. I think in total I only ran for like 9 minutes. BUT I did it. Even when I wanted to quit because my legs felt so heavy, I pushed myself to do another round.

My quick notes while working out.
My quick notes while working out.

Now to just keep this up and bring it to the streets when it gets nice out.

  1. Weather – Which brings me to the weather. It’s official. I am so sick of New England. Well, I guess just the winter. It’s essentially been winter since November. I’m over it. It’s March 26th and the cape is getting hammered by a blizzard and it’s currently 30 degrees out. I’m sick of wearing my Ugg Boots, and my giant winter jacket and having to warm my car up before I get in it. It’s spring. Warm weather needs to be here… immediately.
This is a river.... not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.
This is a river…. not an ocean. Contrary to what it looks like.
  1. Running Sneakers and Workout Clothes – After I injured my foot, I vowed that if I really become a runner, I would get fitted for running sneakers. I want to make sure I never get injured again, at least in terms of my footwear. I’m running in my Nike Pegasus’s right now. I know they don’t have the best support for running, but for what I’m doing right now, they are perfect. And comfortable. And that’s what matters to me. Hopefully by summer I will get fitted.

I also realized last night that while my ratty old ‘Washington DC’ t-shirt is perfect for walking and the elliptical, it sucks to run in. It was totally drenched in sweat, and I’m pretty sure it added 10 lbs on to my already heavy frame (essentially the 10 lbs I lost already!). Needless to say, tonight I’ll be trying one of my UnderArmour tops – hopefully that will help!

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  1. Thinspo and Social Media – A hot topic around the blogosphere right now. Eating disorders are so prevalant and even more so now with social media. #Thinspo and similar hashtags are common on Instagram, but Instagram makes sure to have a disclaimer up about eating disorders and how to get help. I’m very impressed that social media sites are now trying to help those who are battling this. This very idea is what helped come up with the ‘Growing Up Alex’ series. She has an amazing story to tell, and I wanted to be bring awareness to it. I’m proud of her for telling her story and I hope you check it out. Part 3 will be up on the blog tomorrow!

I guess that’s it! Not too much on my mind this week.

Happy Hump Day my friends!

Clean your gym machines people (you never know who’s paying attention)

Happy Monday friends!

Today I’m all about the gym. Mainly because I had my first pain-free workout in nearly 6 months. I’m thrilled that the cortisone shot really seems to be working and doing what its supposed too! This morning’s workout was simply a ‘Let’s get used to being up before dawn and get your cardio back’. I did 35 minutes on the elliptical followed by some upper body lifting. I really like the nautilus machines, but since it’s been a long time since I’ve used them, I kept the workout small. I did tricep curls, bicep curls, the row and pulldowns – 3 reps of 10 at 30 lbs, except the bicep – I only did 2 reps.

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Anyways, on to the real reason for this post. Cleanliness at the gym.

We all know gyms are not the most sanitary places. People are constantly sweating all over everything. In reality, it’s pretty gross. But we all go, because we want to be in shape, or get in shape. Especially those of us in the cold arctic weather of New England who can’t work out outside basically from November until March (or evidently April this year). I mean you could… but it’s cold. And I just don’t like the cold.

I ALWAYS clean my machine when I get on it and off it. I’m not a germophobe by any means, but it’s one place that totally grosses me out. Just the thought of someone else’s sweat that I don’t know being all over me just makes me start gagging.

After finishing my workout on the elliptical, over to the weight machines I went. I sprayed down my towel, cleaned the machine and hopped on the first. I did this for the four machines I did. By the time I got to my fourth (and what I would soon learn to be my  final machine), I noticed a woman behind me lifting really fast. I had just finished my second rep and was taking a quick break. She got up from her machine, passed by GLARING at me, and jumped ahead to the machine in front of me. It was obvious she needed MY machine and was mad that I was on it when she was on it.

Okay….

  1. I was on the machine before you got over here so chill out and wait your turn and…

  2. There is an identical machine directly next to me. Use that one. You don’t need to go in a straight line. It’s not going to kill your workout. I promise. Just use that one.

Anyways, as I started doing my final rep, I watched as she whipped out another set on the machine in front of me, got up and proceeded to go back to the machine behind me. I immediately wanted to throw up.

SHE DIDN’T WIPE DOWN EITHER MACHINE! I was getting ready to get on the machine she was just on (the identical machine next to it was being used) and was absolutely disgusted. Okay, I know I wipe down machines before and after I use them, but I do it partially because I don’t know who used it before me. Watching someone as they use a machine and sweat all over it, and then leave it without cleaning it disgusted me so much I left. I know it sounds ridiculous, but I wasn’t about to clean the machine she just sweated all over. Maybe subconsciously, I didn’t want her to get the benefit of having someone else clean her machine, but come on people. How hard is it to clean a machine after you use it? It takes 10 seconds. I keep my paper towel with me and just re-wet it when I need it.

So thank you to the woman who didn’t clean her machine in front of me. I ended my workout early because I decided I’d rather be a germophobe then finish my workout and have to clean your sweat off of the machine. (I know. I’m insane.)

Moral of the story: Gyms are dirty places… even the cleanest ones, and you should all clean your machines. You never know who’s watching and ready to use your machine next. And who would rather leave than have to clean the machine you just sweated all over :) (AKA me.)

What’s On My Mind Wednesday

Yep – I am introducing a new ‘weekly’ (I say that loosely) post. Essentially, it’s an update post with a fun title and a little of what’s going on in my head. There are always lots of things going through my head so it will be a way for me to express it. Off we go!

My foot: Yes, this has made a regular appearance on the blog since September. And hopefully soon, the appearance of the issues will disappear and be replaced with happy exercise and possibly even running posts! Keep those fingers (and toes) crossed for being pain-free within a week! Why you ask? I went to my ortho yesterday and he gave me a cortisone shot.

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I knew this was probably going to happen since last week, and I was essentially dreading it since the moment I decided to do it. I’ve heard horror stories about the shot itself, but how much they helped in the end. So I prepped myself for the pain about to come my way. And the dreaded needle that was to be inserted into the joint of my foot. I hate needles.

Lucky for me, I didn’t feel a thing. And the so-called ‘giant needle’ was teeny. Like the smallest needle I’ve ever seen. Honestly, my foot pain has been worse than that shot.

So today, it’s turning all kinds of fun colors. It’s sore, but not the same kind of sore it’s been. It’s definitely more of a ‘you had a needle jammed into your foot’ sore. But this morning was the first morning since September, that I didn’t wake up and hobble to the kitchen because of how stiff and sore my foot was. I started to hobble, out of habit, and then realized that I had no pain. It was stiff, but not hurting. My morning immediately got awesome because for the first time in six months, I could see a light at the end of the tunnel.

And for the record, I’ve been diagonsed with synovitis.

Missing Malayasian Jet: I’m sure this is on most of your minds. This story fascinates me. And not in a good way. I’m GLUED to the reports. I’m anxiously awaiting news that SOMETHING was found. I just can’t wrap my head around how a jet carrying over 230 people can just disappear without a trace. I know things happen and it can cause a plane to disintegrate or crash, but wouldn’t they have found SOMETHING by now?! Anyways, my thoughts are with all those involved. It’s a horrible situation and I pray that they have answers soon.

Spring: I need spring. I need warm weather. I need the sun. It was 55 here yesterday. And I was practically ready to bust out the flip flops and shorts. (Okay, maybe not the shorts.) I had my sunroof open and let the sun just beat in on me. I felt so rejuvenated and happy yesterday. I caught an amazing sunrise on the way to work, and it was just a good day.

Copyright: eryn e photography; please no stealing
Copyright: eryn e photography; please no stealing

Today it’s back in the thirties and we’re supposedly getting 1-3 inches of snow overnight. It’s raining now. I want the sun back.

Books: No words needed. This book is available 4/1. You should pre-order it. It’s pretty awesome.

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Fashion by Mayhem: If you haven’t seen this blog or Instagram, check it out. I’m kind of in love with it. This little girl is amazing, and probably a future fashion designer. I just hope when she makes it big someday she continues to use Mayhem as her name. It’s pretty awesome. They’ve been featured on Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Today, among others. Below is one of my favorites… I did a screenshot of their IG page, but make sure you go check them out for yourself. They are amazing.

VisionBoard
Tropical vacation vision board dress – LOVE

Instagram: If you didn’t know, I love social media. So much, in fact, that along with my Master’s in Marketing, I have a graduate certificate in social media marketing. Unfortunately, Instagram was still pretty new to the game when I got my degree, and we focused more on Facebook and Twitter.

Needless to say, I’m trying to learn as much as possible as marketing successfully on Instagram, both professionally and personally. My personal one is a lot like this blog, just a glimpse at my life (it’s to the right of this post), but I still try to post things on their that people would enjoy seeing. I want pretty, whimsical and fun things on there, but can never achieve the effect I see on others.

Any ways, my current goal is to build my own personal Instagram up. I love it, and it’s easily become my favorite social media tool. I’m always working to build my professional (work) one. I would love to hear any thoughts/suggestions/ideas you have for both! I’m not a fan of doing the ‘follow4follow’, ‘like4like’ on my work page, so but haven’t tried it on my personal.

Also – I can’t stand the people that follow you, just to have you follow them back, and once you follow them, they promptly unfollow you…..

If you follow me, please don’t unfollow me once I follow you. It’s just rude. And totally spammy. (Rant over.)

If anyone has any thoughts/suggestions/ideas, please comment below. Would love to hear your thoughts.

PS – Follow me at erynecarter06 – I usually follow back.

Okay, What’s On My Mind Wednesday is officially over. :)

A Diagnosis …. finally!

Happy Monday all! I hope everyone had a great weekend. A little weekend re-cap before the fun begins.

Friday – The fiance and I just relaxed. I knew I had a busy day ahead of me Saturday, and just wanted to sit and read a book.

Saturday – I was up and at ’em early, ready to take on the day. I had my cup of coffee, read some more of my book before it was time to get ready and head off to the city with my oldest and best friend for her final wedding dress fitting! We had a great day (and she looked STUNNING) which also included lunch at Jerry Remy’s Seaport and a shopping pit stop at the local Marshalls. I got two new pairs of shoes, which I despreately needed!

Sunday – Ran errands, found the Fiance a new suit for Shan’s upcoming wedding, spent some time with family and relaxed. A good Sunday in my book!

And now it’s Monday.

I woke up this morning with a lot more pain in my foot than I’ve had. It was probably from walking around a lot more than I have been this weekend, but either way, it hurt. I was able to get a last minute appointment with the podiatrist and bump up my diagnosis appointment from Wednesday to today.

And we FINALLY have a diagnosis. A stress fracture in my navicular bone and some tendonitis. I’m in the boot for at least another 2 weeks until my next appointment, and then we will be going from there. Thankfully, I’ve been prepping myself for the final diagnosis so I wasn’t completely shocked. My first thought – ‘Time to bedazzle the boot!’

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Bedazzled Boot – Jessie J style.

(Source)

Okay. I probably won’t decorate it to that extreme…. but a little sparkle would add something to the currently very boring boot. And what girl doesn’t love a little sparkle! :)

At least now, I can head on the road to recovery!

Hope you had a great Monday!

Plans, Diagnosis and Patience

We’re going to cover a few different areas today – mainly because it will probably be the best way to organize my thoughts. I have a lot running through my head and I’m just trying to get them all down in one place.

Plans

For a while now, I’ve really wanted to blog. I started this blog as a means to express myself after graduating from graduate school in 2011. It’s progressed over the last couple of years, but I also neglected it on numerous occasions. It went from being a writing outlet, to a place to showcase my newly developed photography business, to a place to showcase my venture into healthy living. Numerous blogs have inspired me along the way, most have been healthy living bloggers, and I aspired to have a blog like them. But after speaking with a few of them, the number one thing they all told me was, ‘Just Be You’. I realized that I was trying to turn this blog into something it wasn’t. I’m not a healthy living blogger, but a person on a quest to a healthy lifestyle.

So my new journey, is to bring this blog back to it’s roots. Back to being a place where I write, I post a few photos here and there and just be me. What you won’t see here: Pictures of every meal I eat, discussion about my day job other than that I am a Marketing professional, and healthy living advice. It’s not me. What you will see and read is truly me. I’m a quirky, life-loving twenty-something trying to make the most out of my life with my wonderful fiance, family and friends.

Would I love for this blog to be the next big thing? Sure. It would be a dream come true. I would love to be Jen Lancaster and become a best-selling author from my blogs. Am I okay if this doesn’t happen? Of course I am. I just want this to be my creative outlet and a place where I can write.

Diagnosis

Switching to my quest for a healthy lifestyle for a moment. I’ve chronicled, albeit a bit slowly here, my journey for a healthy lifestyle. I had started another blog and quickly stopped using it when I remembered ‘I’m not a healthy living blogger’. This blog once again became my place to write. About three months ago, the fiance and I started ‘Insanity‘. It was probably one of the hardest things I have ever done workout wise, but a great experience. By week 6, I was down 10 lbs and several inches and feeling great. Then I started with a pretty nasty pain in my left foot. By Labor Day weekend, I could barely walk. After a trip to my primary care and an x-ray (which came up negative), I was on a week of rest and off to the podiatrist. The next week, he diagnosed me with metatarsalgia, prescribed me some pads for my f00t and an anti-inflammatory and told me to rest for a week. Less than a week later, I was back at the podiatrist because the pain moved from the bottom of my foot, to the top and it was swollen and discolored. I was ordered home with an aircast and an MRI for a stress fracture.

It’s been just over a week in the boot, and with two x-rays and an MRI under my belt, it looks like the diagnosis is bone edema/stress reaction (swelling of the bone) in my navicular bone. I find out next Wednesday what the course of treatment will be and how long I can expect to be in the boot for, but let’s just say, I’m not looking forward to any long term boot action. I’m ready to get back out and start training to run again, ride horses and take long walks. But instead, I’m resting, icing and trying to determine a workout plan that means no pressure on my foot.

Patience

I am SO FAR from a patient person. I’m a go-go-go person and thrive off my busy lifestyle. I’ve been forced to sit and relax with this injury and it’s testing my patience. I want to be enjoying the beautiful fall weather not forced to be icing my foot whenever I’m home.

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And yes, that’s an ace bandage wrapping my foot. There is ice underneath it and it is so much easier to do it this way.

It’s been just about 3 weeks since I’ve been able to exercise. I went through the total depressed and angry stage where I stuffed my face and ate my feelings. But now, I’m back to eating healthy and trying to look at the positive side. I’m still trying to focus on the long-term and what I can’t wait to do when the boot is off, but for now, I’m being patient and listening to my body. My foot will tell me when it’s ready to exercise again and that I’m confident of.

What’s the worst sports-related injury you’ve had? How did you overcome it?

Sweating Pink

Hi all – sorry for the long hiatus. It’s been a busy summer and I’m pretty shocked that it’s already September again. This time of year I always find myself reminiscing on going back to school. Maybe it’s the cooler air, the pumpkin flavors and the leaves changing, but I start to miss that rush of purchasing all the new items for school; especially the clothes! This morning was one of the moments of realization – I have plenty of summer items, but almost no fall items! Looks like a shopping trip is in my future – need some new sweaters, pants and shoes.

Now, onto the title of the post. I found out today that I have become a Sweat Pink ambassador!

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I’m SO excited about this. While I’m not in the best shape, I’m definitely working towards a healthier life and this is just the kind of motivation I need. Needless to say, the blog will hopefully be a regular part of my routine again!

Just a quick update on my progress. Since the start of Insanity, I have lost 10 lbs and several inches. A huge success in my book! Currently, I am sidelined with a foot injury (Metatarsalgia) and am being checked for a stress fracture. Unfortunately, this means no high impact exercise until it starts to ‘feel better’. Let’s just say I’m DYING to get moving. Just when I was finally feeling great, I get sidelined. It’s been about 2 weeks since I’ve been able to do my heavy exercising and I’m hoping this will heal fast! I’m chomping at the bit to start Insanity again and to start my running program. My goal is to run a 5K by the spring (Yes. Finally.)

Needless to say, in the meantime, I’ll be pushing myself with push-ups, sit ups and ab work. Potentially some yoga (as long as it doesn’t put too much pressure on my foot!) and keeping my fingers crossed that this heals and stress fracture is not in my diagnosis!

Until next time!