Christina is a guest writer for The Running World According to Dean. This is the second in a series of articles on her experiences with surgery and recovery. (Here’s #1) I hope her insights and candidness will ring true for many of you as well as keep your hopes high for any recoveries or comebacks you may be enduring. We’ll be with her every step through her journey to recovery.
The first week is relatively uneventful for my wart recovery. Unless you count the fact that I think I know more than the doctor, start to experience the pain from the surgery and cry because of the mean green stuff (read on).
I expected pain the first night following the surgery after the numbing medicine wore off but nothing happened. Woo Hoo! I was invincible. I learned that I can easily walk on the ball of my foot and I ditch the crutches after two days. The doctor said to stay off the heel because it slows the healing down. If I walk on my toes, I’m off my heel. He’s happy and I’m happy. Right? How is it that like every teenager out there; runners believe anything not clearly stated as prohibited means it’s ok to do?
The Monday following my surgery I travel to California for work. Before the trip, I was trying to figure out how to traipse through the airport with a suitcase and crutches but since I ditched the crutches, the problem solved itself. But there was a new problem arising, the arch of my left foot was getting uncomfortable. By noon, I was limping and worried I had caused a permanent strain on my foot and wouldn’t be able to run once my heel healed. At lunch, I ran into my girlfriend and explained why I was limping. She promptly went and tattled on me to another friend, Tracy. The phone conversation went like this:
Tracy: “I have a meeting that is done at 2:30 and then I’m taking you to the medical supply store to rent crutches.”
Tracy: “Are you there?”
Me: (more silence)
Tracy: “She hung up on me…”
Me: (sigh) “No, I’m still here. I know your right but I don’t want them.”
Tracy: “We’re going.”
End of conversation. I’m thankful for the people who force me into doing what is good for me regardless of what I want. So that’s how the love/hate relationship with my crutches began. I loved the crutches because I would stay off my foot, was faster on them than hobbling around, was good upper body work, they doubled as a machine gun and got men (sometimes cute ones) to open the door for me. I hated them because….well because they are crutches. What more is there to say?
I was in California with perfect running weather and unable to run. My friend, who is also training for the Tucson Marathon to qualify for Boston, emails me that she ran 12 miles at an 8:18 pace. Ever be happy for someone and not happy for someone at the same time? I was envious and jealous. First, she was running and training and I wasn’t. Second, she was running a pace that I couldn’t even come close to doing for 12 miles. I was already having my doubts about running an 8:35 pace for 26.2 miles and that was before the surgery! It won’t be long though and I’ll be out running again, I tell myself.
The word “PAIN” generally isn’t in my vocabulary. I try and use “discomfort”, “sensation” or “ache” to describe something that others would call pain. It’s the mind over matter concept. The discomfort started 6 days after the surgery and I quickly consumed a pain pill for the first time. Weak is the best word to describe the pills and on my follow-up doctors visit two days later I asked for something stronger.
At the doctors I fessed up about ditching the crutches. Although he didn’t scold me, I was given the speech about the benefits of staying off the foot. Yea, Yea, I know. We talked about the heel healing (he assured me yes, it would grow back but there would be scarring) and he had to be aggressive during the surgery to make sure the wart didn’t come back. I still think he was bored that day, drew a big circle on my heel and had fun taking a hunk out of my foot. I wonder if he used an ice cream scoop. Anyway, he finishes the appointment with putting green stuff on my foot and writes me a prescription for it. It will help it heal faster he claims. As I’m sitting there the stinging on my foot starts and I mention this fact to him. Because it’s a generic brand, some people experience stinging (Great! Am I one of the 7 – 10% of people who are affected?). He can tell I’m getting very uncomfortable with this new foot ointment and says I can wash it off if it still hurts when I get home. I cry some on the way home and 45 minutes later the pain becomes tolerable again. I debate filling the prescription because I don’t know if I can go through the pain each day but I talk myself into it. After all, its only 45 minutes and it will help the hole in my heel heal a whole lot faster.