Broken Leg Week 4: Oddly Easy Things

Wow hasn’t the weather taken a turn for the worse?!  Where it was all sunshine and summer, suddenly we’re being lashed with rainstorms and wind.  Luckily I’m all tucked up on the sofa watching Murder She Wrote – there is no end to how cool I am – and busily directing blood flow to my navicular (i.e. I have a hot water bottle under my feet).  I hope either it’s far better weather where you are, or you’re similarly cozy!

IMG_5400I’ve had another lovely week; on Friday I caught up with friends from gymnastics whom I rarely get to see because Sarah just had (another) baby.  We had such a nice time at Patara!  Then Saturday – oh god – I went out drinking with my lovely friend Flora for a couple of civilised ones.  Let’s just say eight double gins, deciding it would be a good idea to hop with drinks from the bar inside to our table inside, McDonalds which I was too drunk to appreciate (my one regret of the evening, I absolutely love McDonalds double cheeseburgers and I didn’t even taste it), meeting amazing fun people, and making friends with 12 year old girls in McDonalds who were out on a night out without their parents and thought we were really cool ’cause they thought we were 19 (which I was … 17 years ago) – seriously such a fun night!  I absolutely loved it and can’t wait for the next one.

Physical State

Well, not much has changed really except that my wrists seem to be getting sorer by the day.  I suspect this may have something to do with attempting to dance on crutches on Saturday.  Otherwise though, I’m definitely doing well!  My foot continues not to hurt, and my muscles continue to be gone so that there is no more atrophy.  So all is really quite excellent.

Psychological State

Erm … this is more interesting.  In some ways I’ve developed an unhealthily dependent relationship on my crutches, my bionic leg and my boot, in that I can’t really imagine life without them now, but on the other hand I am simply hanging out for the next two weeks to pass.  I think the more used to the situation I get, the more I just can’t wait to be able to do normal things, like walk up stairs (or walk, period).  Whereas earlier in the process thing were harder and more upsetting, now they’re not as bad but I’m just kind of bored and have a sort of weary acceptance of it all.  I can’t even remember what it’s like just to run up the stairs or pop down to the store – or even pop to the loo!

However, one thing that’s cut through this slight apathy is that it finally occurred to me to wonder what would happen after my next consultant’s appointment – something that, inexplicably, I haven’t thought about before.  In my mind I’ve sort of assumed that it’s either healed, in which case I’ll be running ultras the day after, or it’s not, in which case it’s surgery.  But obviously it’s not that simple – six weeks without walking is hardly going to allow me simply to carry on where I left off!  I finally thought to look it up and, according to Dr Google, I have two weeks of normal walking around, then two weeks easing back into exercise and then two weeks of slowly increasing physical exercise which can *potentially* include “jogging”.  That means that in reality, I can kiss the Wadi Rum Ultra goodbye as I’ll only have seven weeks between being able to start training and the start of the race.  I haven’t completely decided not to do it, because it’ll obviously depend on what happens on 24 July, but it’s something I’ve had to start thinking about.  The realisation that I might not be able to do it even if my foot has done really well on 24 July has caused some moments of searing rage with my physio – probably slightly unfairly, since the fracture was there when I went to see him, obviously.  However if he’d taken me seriously when I said I thought I had a stress fracture, if he’d listened when I said there was pain on top of my foot, if he’d even bothered to send me off for tests after a couple of weeks when it was obvious that his glute/back treatment wasn’t working then I’d be starting to train now, and I’d have sufficient (if not plenty of!) time.  It can’t be helped though and I’ve got some good news on the physio front, as set out below.

Practical Stuff

So last week I focused on things that were oddly hard; this week I thought I’d mix it up and set out things I’ve found strangely easy.  It’s good to know that some things are better than you think they’ll be!

  • Not going to the gym:  This is one that I thought would absolutely kill me, but it really hasn’t been that hard.  You work so hard physically just to get around when you’re non-weight-bearing that I haven’t found I’ve missed the gym at all really.  Obviously I’ve been able to swim which has been amazing, but I thought I’d be gagging to get back there and I’m really not.  Maybe lazy is my jam now hahaha.
  • IMG_8148Maintaining weight:  I suspect that this is closely linked to the fact I’ve found it easy not to go to the gym, but I thought I’d absolutely pack on weight – whereas I’ve done nothing but lose it!  I think this is because it’s harder to snack (I literally cannot be bothered to go to the kitchen) and because it’s so much harder just to do day-to-day stuff.  On top of that I’ve had much more time to enjoy making food (hence the instaworthy layered chia pudding in the profile for this post) so I’ve enjoyed being able to eat more healthily … and I also have a relatively physical job in some ways – I’m a lawyer, but I’m always running up and down the road to court or to meetings, or even just around the office creating bundles for hearings etc so with getting around being so much harder, I must be burning a lot more fuel just to do STUFF.
  • Going out:  I actually did find this hard the first two weeks because it was so hard to get comfortable, but now I’m finding it super easy.  I’ve worked out how to sit comfortably and how to stand for a while and it’s soooo much better – it’s such a psychological boost to be out as well right?!
  • Staying in:  Again I thought this would be super hard; I’m out literally five nights a week minimum normally and that’s just supper, I also do regular breakfast hangouts, I love going out for brunch at the weekend and I’m often found gallivanting around the country visiting people.  However I can’t really do that – I’m meant to be sitting on my butt at home elevating my foot and letting it rest, and no matter how much it’s in the boot, it does move around when you’re out.  Therefore I’ve tried to limit it to plans which I already had and/or which were pretty easy to deal with.  The first two weeks again it was a bit harder but now I’m turning into a right hermit, it’s lovely here!  I can listen to endless podcasts, I’ve watched more news than you can ever imagine, I’ve cooked lovely meals, and I’ve read loads of books.  I am looking forward to being able to make plans again, but staying in has not at all been as horrible as I thought it would be.  I might do it more often when I get back to business.

I’d like to thank the Academy …

So I’m leaving this for a very special person to whom I referred very briefly above … my new physio!  So, everyone at my gym raves about this physio they have called Dave, and literally everyone has always told me how brilliant he is etc.  I’ve never bothered to investigate before because I had my own physio (grits teeth), but obviously I’m not that keen to go back to Kevin (weird that) so I made some inquiries last week and discovered that a) this guy specialises in limbs and, in particular, running injuries and stress fractures; and b) he is on AXA’s panel so I can get sessions with him on insurance.  I thought I’d get back in contact once I’d had my next MRI and session and didn’t think much more about it.

But then on Thursday last week there was a fire at the gym and I had to exit quickly, which isn’t that easy because there are two long flights of stairs to get up, everyone was pushing, the floor was wet and I was also trying to rush because fire (not a big deal fire, to be clear, but enough to evacuate the entire building).  I ended up skidding on the floor and someone caught me – I didn’t really see who ’cause I was totally flustered, I just flung out loads of “thanks, so sorry, thanks so much honestly such a klutz, thank you thank you yes fine now thanks bye” and then got outta there.  But then later when I got over the shock I was like “rude” – and I’d happened to see the guy’s shirt, so, the following day I saw the same shirt on this guy, and I was like “Hey did you catch me yesterday?” and he was like “Yes I did!”.  So after I apologised for not saying thanks properly we got chatting and it turns out he is the physio Dave.  He whisked me off to his room, examined it (still a little swollen but no pain woo), told me I’d been incredibly good with it, set my mind at rest over the surgery issue (“very unlikely, you’ve been so good with it and there’s no pain”) and gave me some prehab exercises which I can start doing this week!  Including writing me a programme which he sent to me after!  I’ll talk about that more next week because I have only been doing them for two days, but how nice is that?  And he knew so much about navicular injuries which was such a relief, he told me all the same stuff as the specialist and all the research I’ve done and he instantly guessed I was a long distance runner just from the injury pattern, PLUS he went straight to, not just the classic N-spot, but also the exact places on the side where I’d felt the pain in the first place.  So I think I’ve got myself a good physio for my rehab!  Such a relief!

Once again I’ve wittered on for absolutely ages about not much, so I’ll love ya and leave ya but next week I’ll go through the prehab exercises I’ve been doing and it’ll only be ONE WEEK to go!  One week!  And then I’ll be able to wear two matching shoes and also not wear trainers!!!!!!!  OMG!

Have absolutely fantastic weeks and see y’all next week.


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