When a Runner Can’t Run


Life kept moving and so did I. I became a running addict. If I ever felt stressed or angry, I ran. Ollie loved it because I took him along with. But eventually my right foot wasn’t loving it so much. I decided to see a podiatrist. Yep, I was divorced and had a Podiatrist at 21. I’m just an overachiever. Gotta get that kind of stuff out of the way!

His name is Dr. H. Ron Brown and he is amazing. He was everything I needed. At my first appointment he was so kind. He asked questions to get to know me as he examined my feet. Of course the question of if I was married came up. Enough time had passed and I had given the answer so much recently that it was a little bit easier to calmly and rationally tell him that I was divorced. He asked how recently and why. As I told him my story he stopped examining my foot, looked me in the eye and told me how remarkable I was and that any man would be lucky to have me. Like I said, he was exactly what I needed.

I walked out with my confidence boosted and my right foot wrapped with tape. He said if my foot didn’t improve we would try wrapping it again, but that regardless he still wanted to see me.

A couple weeks later I was back. We wrapped it again and left it on longer. Still no luck. After x-rays and some foot exercises we decided that surgery was the answer. I had a bone deposit on the top of the joint of my big toe. That deposit wasn’t allowing for my foot to push off or flex fully when I walked. My only concern was that I would still able to run.

He assured me that the healing time would be short and that eventually running would be easier and no longer painful. So I had the surgery.

My mom had to work that day. She dropped me off at the surgical center. It was so blastedly early. I filled out a lot of paperwork, paid a lot of money, and waited. The nurses brought me back and started to prep me. I changed into a beautiful gown (not) and I initialed my right foot. Then they informed me that they needed to do a urine pregnancy test. This is when I started to worry.

I am so incredibly regimented. I pee in the morning and I don’t go again until lunch. At the time I was working for a Periodontist. I would assist in long surgeries that didn’t account for a bathroom break. My bladder knew the rules and my bladder had already gone that morning.

Try as I might there was nothing to give the nurses. They hooked me to an IV and gave me a liter of fluids. Nothing….I’m telling you – regimented. Eventually they decided to place a catheter while I was in the operatory and then began the surgery. The cute nurses were making me laugh so much and Dr. Brown was so comforting, but as soon as I was sitting alone hooked up to monitors and IV’s I got scared. I wished my parents could be there. I wished my husband could be there. I wished I wasn’t alone.

I remember trying to fight the anesthesia. I totally lost that battle. When I woke up I was really emotional and really relived when my dad came to pick me up. I got to wear the CUTEST black boot all the time. Nah, it actually really clashed with my style. As the numbness wore off I quickly realized that I really had had surgery. The Lortab they gave me wasn’t working, so they gave me Percocet. The Percocet and my anti-depresssants didn’t mesh well and I went through withdrawal symptoms. That was so not fun. After lots of Dr. visits I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to have a speedy recovery.

My Little Black Boot
My Little Black Boot

The incision on the side of my foot struggled to heal and I struggled to be patient. Months went by. I longed to go running, but even walking without my boot was extremely painful. By the time my foot healed I was completely out of the running routine. Now my foot aches when a storm is coming in and I still haven’t gained back all of my range of motion, but I do have a wicked looking scar!

Hind sight makes me wonder if it would have been better to not have the surgery, but then I remember what my foot felt like before and I know that I made the right choice. Plus it allowed me to know Dr. Brown. Down the road Dr. Brown offered me a job and his son even asked me out……

I’ll fill you in on those details another time.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago and you will find me skateboarding at my dad’s house. My brothers are insanely talented when it comes to skateboarding. I think the fact that that kind of skill doesn’t run in the gene pool is completely unfair. Try as I might I’m just not made for skateboarding, or doing the splits.

What I'm sure I looked like....
What I’m sure I looked like….

On Father’s day David stood by me as I tried to ride my Dad’s skateboard. I was doing great, then getting kind of cocky, and then doing the splits off the end of the board and trying to catch myself. Of course a cute old man out walking his dog just happened to walk by as I showed off my new trick. Sigh. After I fell David made sure that I could move my arm, make a fist, all that jazz. I felt fine, just a little embarrassed. The next day I couldn’t move my arm. I saw a doctor and found out that I fractured my radius. Luckily I don’t need surgery, but I do need to not use my left arm for anything strenuous until 6 weeks have passed. This would be fine except for the fact that I signed up for a boot camp workout program an hour before I fell.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have a part of your body not work. Certain movements are still painful, but luckily for me I have an amazing husband who not only helped get me dressed, but put my hair in a pony tail when I couldn’t move my arm. I love him. And I’ve never been so grateful for a partner who really does take care of me. Thank you for being patient with me love. I know I’ve been a pain in the bim….(That’s an inside joke).

Here’s to hopefully having a working arm and foot sometime in the future.

– Arin


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