I've come a long way since the last time I was injured. About three years ago, I was training for a 10K and I suffered from a plantar fascia injury so painful, I could barely walk. The worst part was not knowing what was really wrong and going through several incorrect guesses by doctors and failed treatments. I never had heel pain like the textbook cases one always hears about. No, I went for the extreme and tore the fascia in the middle of the arch. Unfortunately, it wasn’t diagnosed correctly for months. I went through about 7 doctors, 3 drugs, 10 different orthotics and a walking cast all promising a cure and coming up empty. It was a very tiring, dark eight month period. One of the first doctors was so awful that he didn't believe there was a physical injury, despite the obvious hardened lump at the bottom of my foot. He actually gave me a sample drug and advised, "Sometimes, war vets lose limbs but can still feel the pain in a limb lost months ago. This drug treats the kind of phantom pain you are experiencing." Willing to try anything, I took it anyway and consequently zoned into a trance-like state for an entire day. It didn’t work; my foot still hurt a lot... I just didn't seem to care about it for 24 hours.
Finally, I came to accept the injury. I bought a road bike, and I learned to swim between the lane lines. I went on a vacation to Hawaii and kayaked and rode my bike. I sent my husband to the grocery store since it was too painful for me to walk and I bought a pair of crutches to help me maneuver at beer and wine festivals. Life was tolerable again and I began to fill the void left in my spirit when I could no longer walk with out a limp.
Then, I stumbled into something wonderful. I found an incredible podiatrist and his office had just moved pretty close to my home. In one office visit, he diagnosed my injury correctly and put me on the path to recovery. Six weeks later, the pain was gone and I began to rebuild. I could run again. Needless to say, this man is my hero.
Those were some of the darkest days of my life…but guess what? I came out of that much better and stronger. I became a triathlete with my newfound biking and swimming skills. I’ve met some amazing new people along the way.
Since then, I’ve completed 3 sprint triathlons, 1 Olympic distance triathlon, a half marathon, an aquabike, a duathlon and get this….a Half Ironman! All this from a woman who never thought she’d walk strong let alone run again. I’m actually in the middle of training for Ironman Florida in November…
...but I’m suddenly injured again. This time it wasn’t even training related. I hurt myself camping. Of course, it’s another bizarre injury that I’m pretty certain is going to confuse many doctors and cause a major setback. If only my miracle worker podiatrist would consider my injured thigh part of my “upper ankle” and take a look at it for me. If I can’t get help soon, I might ask him! In the meantime, I’m going to try to stay tough through this.