I woke up just before 6:00 this morning, and I really wanted to sleep in longer--there was no reason for me to get up that early, but I just couldn't fall back asleep. So I laid in bed and checked my email on my phone. I got an email from my health record account to confirm the appointment I just made for the orthopedist, and when I opened it, I saw that it said the appointment was for Friday, April 10, at 8:30 AM. I KNOW that the receptionist told me Monday! I had written it down, along with the directions and suite number and all that.
I spent a couple of minutes trying to decide what to do, and then I figured I'd better go, just in case my appointment was actually this morning (it was too early to call to confirm). I jumped in the shower and got ready very quickly. Thankfully, Jerry was off work today and was able to be here with the kids!
I drove to the medical center, and sure enough--my appointment was TODAY. Thank goodness I'd seen the email this morning! There was no waiting at all, which was nice. I got checked in and everything, and then before I even saw the doctor, they had me walk to radiology for x-rays. I had to change into paper shorts, which were way too big, and walk down the hall in them. I felt a little ridiculous ;)
After my x-rays, I went back to the doctor's office, and he came in to go over the x-rays and figure out what's going on with my leg. (I love that x-rays are digital now! The images were uploaded into the computer before I even walked back down the hall from radiology.)
When the doctor came in, he said something like, "It's been a few years--how are you?" And I was really confused what he meant by that. It wasn't until I left later on that I realized that I saw him in 2012 when I had a knee injury! I should have gone to see him in February, instead of that podiatrist who told me to quit running, but this doctor's office is a long drive away and I honestly didn't think I had a stress fracture at the time.
Anyway, I told him the whole timeline of events with my ankle/lower leg. He looked at the x-rays and said that the x-rays looked normal. There was a teeny tiny shadow which he said was probably where the stress fracture was (the one that was diagnosed in February), but it was healed and he couldn't see anything new.
However, he said that stress fractures usually don't show up on an x-ray, so he also ordered a bone scan (which I'll have to get next week). From my symptoms, and where he could localize the pain, he said it sounds like it's a stress fracture. The good news is that it's on my fibula, which isn't a weight-bearing bone, so I won't need a boot or anything like that. He said that low-impact exercise is okay, as long as it doesn't bother my leg.
To get to the root of the problem, and avoid this happening again, he ordered a gait analysis. I'll have to go to a clinic and run on a treadmill, where they'll film me and analyze my stride and all that to see if there is anything out of whack. This should be good information to have for the future!
I asked about my shoes, because I was curious if he thought that they could be causing the problem, and he said the Altras are fine--there is no reason that those should be causing the stress fractures. If anything, they should make stress fractures less likely, because they cause a mid-foot strike. The only other thing would be overtraining, but when I described my training, he said that my training is not an issue, either. So hopefully the gait analysis will reveal some insight.
And as for the big question: Can I run Indy?
He asked if I would be okay with doing only low-impact exercise from now until Indy, and I said sure. So then he said that he thinks I should be okay to run Indy, as long as I do it at a very easy pace and not have any expectations of a time goal (I didn't anyway, so that's fine). So my plan is to do the elliptical, the bike, and deep water running 4-6 days a week to maintain fitness. I did a 10-miler last weekend, so I am confident I can handle a (slow) half-marathon in the shape I'm in now (if not for my leg issue). He basically said that if I were to try and run through the pain right now, it would likely get much worse; but if I can do only low-impact exercise for a few weeks, I should be able to handle the Indy half.
After the doctor gets the results of the bone scan and gait analysis, we can figure out a plan as far as preventing this from happening again. But I left the office today feeling a hundred times better than I did yesterday! I'm actually looking forward to doing the elliptical and bike for cross training.
It's National Siblings Day! When I was a kid, I wish I'd known how much I was going to enjoy having siblings when I was older. We fought so much when we were little, but now we have so much fun together. I wish that we all lived in the same state, but thankfully we can all get together a couple times a year. I love my siblings!