I’ve been booted! The doctor put a boot on my leg!
Not something any runner likes to hear. I’d been experiencing a lot of pain in my shin for going on a month now and it was interfering with my running. I figured that I’d probably worn out all the cushioning from my running shoes and needed new ones, but I kept putting off getting shoes because there was so much going on in my life. School started and as any parent knows, there’s a lot of expenses associated with the start of the school year. So, I put it off.
Meanwhile I’d go running and have to ice my shin for a day or so after. I figured maybe giving myself a few days off from running would help. I took a few days off, then ran again. The pain would come back, but I’d keep running through the pain until I didn’t feel it anymore. Of course, once I stopped running it would come flooding back.
I decided to take a week off from running. I actually started feeling much better and stopped walking with a limp, so I tried again. This time I made sure to go out and buy some new running shoes. Saturday morning came and it was a gorgeous day outside. Excitedly I put on my brand new running shoes, hot pink shoelaces and all, and ventured out.
I noticed that I was still feeling discomfort in my shin while walking. Annoyed, I thought, okay stop being such a wuss and get through this. I ran. I pushed myself halfway through my five mile route when I finally had to admit that there was something to this and that I really should go see someone about it. The other problem I was encountering was the fact that my mother had been having a rough time in the past few months requiring several trips to doctors and even a hospital stay. I was already taking a lot of time away from work for her and also for my daughter with her school needs. I really couldn’t afford to take any more time off so I tend to put myself way down on the bottom of the list. Which is what most mothers do.
It was time to put myself way up on the top of the list, even if it was just for a short while. After all if I’m not healthy, how will I take care of them, right?? So, I made an appointment.
The doctor looked at my leg, poked around, watched me walk, sent me for X-rays then an MRI.
“Stress fractures,” he pronounced. “I’m going to put a boot on you to relieved some of the pressure on your shin while you walk.”
“I guess that means no walking or running for a while, huh?” I asked.
He looked at me with a raised eyebrow and a lopsided smile and said, “Nope.”
It feels like my leg has been put in a prison. The boot is so cumbersome and annoying. I’m getting irritable because I don’t like being told I can’t run. Actually I’m annoyed because every time I do try to run, the pain is so bad that I have to stop. I’m pissed off because the weather is cooling down and we are having some of the most beautiful fall days that are perfect for long runs and I can’t go. I’m just incredibly frustrated right now.
I know that I should have gone to the doctor as soon as I noticed that kind of sharp pain. Muscle aches, we all know those can be worked through with rest and icing, but this one felt like it was in the bone. I know it was partly my fault for pushing it to the limit and for not taking care of it immediately. It’s just so much easier to take care of the people around me than it is to concentrate on myself.
The lesson learned here is – if you neglect yourself long enough, you will reach a point where you cannot take care of those around you.
So, bottom line is I need to keep the boot on until all the pain is gone from my shin. Then hopefully I’ll be able to get back out there to run. The disappointing thing is, I’m going to have to start all over again with my running progress. Hopefully it’ll be very, very soon so I can enjoy the beautiful fall weather before it gets too chilly. The good thing is I’m in a warm climate so even if it gets chilly, we still have beautiful fall like days all throughout the winter months. So, I’ll just focus on that.