Thursday, September 6, 2012

"That's Very Unusual"

These are three words that you don't really like to hear coming out of the mouth of your orthopedist. Especially when he is looking at the X-Rays of your broken foot and deciding your fate.

"Hm... that's very unusual. It's definitely fractured big time... and in such a weird spot!" says Dr. Cutter.

I am sitting on the exam table with my back propped up against the wall. I have been sitting there waiting for 20-30 minutes and sweating. Literally. The medicinal smell of the exam room was starting to make me feel gaggy on top of my stomach being in knots with anxiety.

"Let me go consult with our foot surgeon specialist."

"SURGERY???!!!" I exclaimed as he headed out the door with my X-Ray CD.

"Oh no, you won't need surgery. I just want to run this past him."

"Don't use the 's' word around me, please!"

That was the scariest part of my appointment.

By the time I got to the Doctor on Tuesday at 2 pm I was pretty much resigned to my fate, so hearing the words, "You cannot even think about running for 6-8 weeks" wasn't a shock.

The verdict is that I have fractured my 4th metatarsal, which, in immortal words of Dr. Cutter, is "weird." Usually people break their 5th metatarsal or their big toe. It's even more strange because there was no specific incident that caused the break. I don't have a good story like "I fell off a ladder" or, "I stepped in a hole running on a trail," or "I was running from a dog and jumped a fence and landed funny," or "My husband stepped on my foot and the big lug snapped my poor little bones!"

Even though it's useless to theorize as to what exactly caused this break, Dr. Cutter and I both think that it happened in yoga class on Tuesday and then was exacerbated by me running oh... 26 miles on it afterwards (ha - almost a MARATHON. Will you look at that.) But of course we'll never really know what caused it, which is very disconcerting to me. Part of me is relieved it could have been yoga (it wasn't running!), part of me is upset that it could have been yoga (Sseriously, who breaks their foot doing yoga??? Also, I love yoga and want to do it again but will I always be scared now?).

Most of me thinks it was a combination of these things.

For now, I am not allowed to do any kind of weight-bearing activity on the foot.

Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zilch.

"Can I even swim?" I asked, hopefully.

"Talk to me again in 2 weeks," says the good doctor.

"Do you think that maybe I can run a marathon in March?" I asked, again hopeful.

"If this heals right, you totally can!"


I think that was the last time I smiled, other than when I was tipsy last night from drinking way too much Pinot Noir. By the way, I don't recommend drinking a bunch of wine and then trying to use crutches.

So far the worst thing about all of this has been, without a doubt, having crutches. I'm sure I will write 50 entries on the things I have learned from being on crutches. I am a very independent and hard headed woman, so having to ask anyone for help is KILLING ME. The fact that I can't get myself a glass of water is incredible frustrating. The other day I stood in the kitchen and yelled, "How can I run 15 miles one day and now I can't even GET A GLASS OF WATER FOR MYSELF TODAY?!?!?!"

And then I may or may not have thrown down my crutches and cursed profusely at them.

And I may or may not have done this multiple times in the past few days.

Aside from being independent and hard headed, I am also a pessimist. Three qualities that are not helpful in my situation. I am trying very hard to find some bright side to all this, but it's very difficult for me. So I'm putting on my best Susie Sunshine act right now and I'm going to come up with 5 things that I should be thankful for in this situation.

1. It wasn't my right foot. If it was my right foot I wouldn't be able to drive and then I'd really be screwed.

2. It doesn't require surgery.

3. I am using this injury as an excuse to wear Lulu Astro crops to work.

4. ...

5. ...

Ok that's all I got at the moment. Better than nothing, I suppose.


  1. I'm so sorry. My favorite Dr. Cutter comment/question is "Why are YOU here?" I was an athletic trainer for several years, and typically referred athletes to Dr. Cutter. I had suffered from months of ITB pain and I told him I couldn't fix myself. He laughed, and then got me on the right track.

    One more plus, you will build up some awesome upper body strength.

    1. Glad to hear that you are on the mend, and even better that Dr. Cutter fixed you up.

      Lord knows I need some upper body strength... but the whiner in me says, "but I don't WANT upper body strength, I want to RUN!" Still, I guess I'll take whatever I can right now!