Step by Step

As with most things, no news is good news.  Things haven’t miraculously improved, but they haven’t gotten worse either.  I’m still running five days a week, with my mileage hovering around 20 miles a week.  My long runs are pushing past an hour and my pace is dropping down towards normal.  For days after a hard run, however, I’m sore and exhausted.  Recovery certainly is a slow road.

I met with Dr. Charlson recently and we evaluated the situation and my choices.  His take, based on the EMG and exam, is that I have nerves that get compressed in my left leg, at the fibular head and down by the incision at my ankle.  I notice is more while running because I’m moving faster and need more feedback from the ground to ambulate safely and efficiently. My complaint of a “missing” foot is a sensory issue resulting from damage from surgery (known risk before surgery) and from the continued compression of this nerves.  My choices are to wait longer and see if I improve, have surgery to release the nerves or do nothing.  For now, I’ve opted for Choice 1.  I am going to continue to build/maintain, run the half in October then reevaluate.  Boston registration is October 18th (I was wrong in an earlier post) and that is currently my goal return race.  If I feel like things are improving, I’ll just keep plugging.  If, however, I feel like the sensory issues are the same or worse, Dr. Charlson and I will discuss another surgery. The good news is that he doesn’t feel that running is causing damage, so I’m free to continue running as much as I’m comfortable.

Right now, I’m keeping a loose schedule, trying to run most days, some hard and some easy.  I am focusing on building up my long runs, as those are the core of most schedules, and on improving my fitness.  It’s hard not to start pressuring myself to get back into shape faster or to run bigger miles, but I am trying to be patient.  I want to come back strong and uninjured, and rushing is an easy way to mess that up.

I also had my DVT blood panel drawn and analyzed last week.  The great news is that I don’t have a clotting disorder.  Most likely, it was the combination of surgery (provoked cause) and taking oral contraceptives.  For future surgeries, I will need to be take prophylactic Lovenox and probably be on a blood thinner through surgery.  There are also some precautions for both pregnancy and post-partum periods that I’ll need to take when I reach that point in my life.

Note to other CECS-ers: Jenn, Erin, Leah etc…how are you all doing with recovery?  I’ve been missing from both here and Runner’s World and am curious how your recoveries are going as well.

One thought on “Step by Step

  1. Erin

    Sarah,

    It's inspiring to hear that you are running! Even if it is with some setbacks. I'm just getting back into a regular work out (spin class and attempting to run every other day). I seem to do this every month or so. I work out regularly until the pain/pressure gets too bad and then I stop for a little while. I'm prolonging my MRI's b/c I'm scared 🙁 And also waiting for my insurance to renew so when I have the surgery I will hopefully have met my deductible with all the tests prior. I'm worried I have the same problem as you with the nerve damage; which is why they want to do the MRI's to rule out everything else. My plan is to have surgery in January so I won't miss the holidays and I'll be ready for the first wedding of the year at the end of March. Keep posting and keep up the good work!

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