I don't think I've been this excited to go to the doctor since I was pregnant with my son. Today was the day for my appointment with the sports chiropractor. He's great. I'm a mess.
Yes, I have shin splints. He thinks I might have tiny stress fractures but we really won't know for a couple weeks until we see how I heal (tiny fractures don't show up on Xray). So far, I am healing, I'm better than I was a week ago, so it might not be quite that bad.
On a scale of 1-10, where 10 is stress fractures, he says I'm at least a 9.
So what happened?
I already had old shin splints from my short bout with the track team in high school. They healed up poorly and most likely formed a good deal of scar tissue where the muscle meets the bone. We'll deal with that scar tissue once I'm healed from this bout. Strike 1.
Then, a couple weeks ago, I dramatically increased my weekly distance. Strike 2.
This last one won't come as much of a surprise to those who know me personally. My muscles are really, really tight. All the time. I'm intense like that. Strike 3.
The therapy is a little intense, but it certainly could be worse. After pushing all over my legs to figure out where it hurts and how badly, he did a bunch of muscle massage work that involved a lot of his thumb going deep into my tissue. It hurt, but I've experienced worse pain. There was a lot of foot flexion (is that a word? I decree that it is now). There was a lot of sucking air through my teeth, which my husband will tell you I do so often I could put it down as a hobby, though in this case it was because I'm trying to be tough, not because I was being judgey (which is also now a word, so there). He showed me how to roll my muscles with a special tool and told me to do that three times a day. Then he put electricity through one of my legs (the left is little worse than the right) and heat therapy on both my legs. We do it all again in a week.
Then he said that I'm not allowed to run for two more weeks.
Shit. I've already been out for a week. I'm a beginner level runner, I can't afford three weeks of not running and still have a chance at the finish line. He pointed out that if I run, it will get much worse, and I'll be out for eight weeks and won't see that finish line until the next Team in Training season. Shit.
I can't run. I can't walk. I can't even do yoga. YOGA is too much impact for my legs right now. YOGA!
For the next two weeks, I have to limit impact on my legs as much as possible. Because impact can cause a fracture. I can get a freaking fracture just by walking around. Shit.
Here's where choosing your doctor well pays off: he told me that I can, nay SHOULD, run in the deep end of the pool every single day. It will help my legs heal to spend time with no pressure on them at all, and it will help me keep up my training so I don't fall behind. Guess I'll be keeping that gym membership after all. Running in a pool, especially the deep end-- we can't have my fragile freaking legs touching the bottom because the impact could
I'm disappointed that I'm that guy, the one who can't just be awesome. But the Doc says that running is one of the most intense sports, and that this is really just the beginning of my body learning how to do it right. It offers me a way to fix issues before I get really serious injuries. It's my body hazing me. That's fine. I'll do this extra work and have faith, if not confidence, that I'll be all the stronger for it.
Know what would help keep me going? If you took a minute, right now, to donate to my fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Because dealing with this injury is a damn site better than what all those kids are dealing with. I'll take a thumb in my deep tissue over chemo any day.
Will you be strong with me? Will you be strong with all the kids who wish the answer to their health problems was to run in a pool? I know you can. Stand with us and donate now http://pages.teamintraining.org/ky/sporthal13/nnashj