Injury Timeline

Thursday, July 13, 2017

2 Year Update

Hi Everyone!

Long time, no blog updates.  So, I thought I'd check in now that it's been about 2 years since my lisfranc ORIF surgery,

I think things are just about as normal as they ever are going to be for me, which I am totally fine with, by the way.  What have I been up to since the new year?  Nothing much out of the ordinary!

I've been doing a lot of getting back to just my normal routines.  I am hitting the gym regularly again, about 3-4 times a week.  There's not a whole lot that I find myself unable to do, unless it comes to a lot of jumping or high impact exercises.  I do a lot of weight training, spinning, yoga, and bootcamp classes.  I haven't gone back to the treadmill - I never really liked that anyway! - but I when do the cardio machines I spend a lot of time on the Stairmaster, since I think it helps continue to build strength in my legs and foot in general.  I also love doing the rowing machine, and there is a new rope trainer at my gym that I've been really excited about.  Think a never-ending rope climb, and a total upper body burn!  I have found so many things to do that I really don't think about what I can't do anymore.  If I'm in a class at the gym and we are doing an exercise that hurts to do or I'm not comfortable with - I just modify it, plain and simple.  There's no shame in it.  I haven't run very much since Ragnar; not that I don't want to, or can't, but a lot of that has to do with winters sucking in Utah and I don't dare run outside.  And, as mentioned above, I dread the treadmill and haven't really figured out how to effectively use it since my injury; I find it hard to get the right pace.  Now that summer is here, its regularly getting over a hundred degrees everyday.  I am a zombie in the morning and hate working out first thing, and that's really the only time I could run if I was going to do it.  I'm anxiously awaiting Fall so I can enjoy being outside again, and get in a few runs in the cool air.

I can now successfully do multiple single leg calf raises on my right foot.  Weighted, even! I focus a lot of my strength and weight training on my legs.  It is of course great exercise but also functional, since my lower body is where I really need to build the most muscle, strength and stability.  I've gradually gotten back in to practicing my box jumps, and even took a little video of jumping onto the Bosu balancer at the gym a few weeks ago.  It took almost two years to do that with confidence and without pain, but I eventually did get there.  Which is pretty much the motto for this injury.  You're going to get there, I promise.

I'm also right back to hiking every weekend, working every Sunday to log more and more miles during the hike.  I feel like my left foot/leg is still the dominant one, so I've been trying to focus on building up the right one more, but it doesn't come naturally.  I can actually come up on, and push off my toes when climbing a steep hill.  That was something that I wasn't able to do last year so it's definitely an improvement!  I used to feel super competitive about hiking, focusing on how fast I could do it and compare it to my previous time, and how fast I could fly up and down the mountain.  Now I just go at whatever pace feels good, not caring how long it is taking.  Going uphill, I take in the sights, and stop for breaks when I need them.  I'm still a little slow on the downhill and have to really concentrate on my footing so I don't slip on rocks.  As long as I pay attention to every step I take, I am fine.  But I get so distracted by the beauty of the mountains, the natural scenery and wildlife, that I need a little slip to remind me to stay focused! (OOO SHINIES)  I frequently stop and take pictures on the way down.    I at least try to set a goal of going faster on the downhill than the up, which usually works out!  I feel a lot more trust in my footing this year, and a lot more confidence.  But, I still get anxious when it comes to the steep downhill parts of hikes.   I am not joking in the slightest though when I say I have to pay attention to every step; I literally look right in front of my feet the whole time!  If I do slip, I'm not so great on the reflexes and catching myself.  I take it slow and do what is comfortable.  I try not to think about, or worry about, what anyone else is thinking of me, even if I'm going slow and I have to let others pass me on the trail.   Hiking is one of the things that makes me the happiest in my life, and I look forward to it every week, so I am going to do it my way!

My foot is still sore for pretty much the rest of the day after hiking though.  That hasn't changed.  The same with a lot of activity or a long walk or run; my foot gets tired and angry.  At times, painful.  It is what it is though; it isn't enough to stop me from doing what I'm doing or deter me from doing what I want.

I did "run" the Dirty Dash in June, about a month ago. It was just a 5k, and a lot of slogging through the mud.  I only skipped two obstacles, but pushed myself to at least attempt them!  It was a lot of fun, and I'm glad I did it!  The race was held in Soldier Hollow which was the first time I've done a race there since my injury.  A lot of feelings came back, but only for a moment.  I've moved on.  There are times when I re-live it, and think "what if I didn't fall that day?".  A lot of things would be different.  But this injury has changed my perspective on things in so many ways, taught me a lot about life, myself, and about others, that I'm not sure I'd want to change that.  I hate that I had this stupid injury, but grateful for all of the experiences and people that I've met, and been able to help along the way!

I think about my foot everyday.  Mostly in the morning in those first few steps getting out of bed.  Or when I encounter some stairs - which I'm about 200% better at - but I still have to think about it.  When a storm is coming, the metal in my foot swells and I feel the pressure change.  I feel like an old lady trying to get up off the floor or in and out of the bathtub at times.   I won't lie, I have pain in some fashion every single day.  Honestly though, it's such a part of my life now.  I'm not bothered by it.  When I read blogs of people saying they still felt pain 2 years later,  5 years later, I was crushed.  Here I am though, 2 years later, and so proud of where I've come, and all I've done to get here.  When I started this blog, I thought full on that I would be the miraculous recovery story and just back to my old self and exactly how I was before.  I'm not.  But to tell you the truth, I don't even remember what my foot felt like before my injury!  It really is all about perspective and living in the now.

What's next for me?  Keep setting goals, blasting through ceilings and breaking down barriers.  I will lace up for Spartan in 2018.  I will finish the race.  I may do it at my own pace and skip some obstacles, but I'm not competing with anyone here.  I'm not even competing with myself.  I'll be out there to face my fears and my demons.  I'm done thinking about what could have been, and embracing the health, and life, that I have now, no matter what the challenges are.

Thank you for reading, friends!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

New Year Check-in!

Hello Everyone!  Thank you for riding this healing journey along with me.  I do appreciate all of my readers and people I've found on social media who have found my blog.  Hopefully I have helped you or given you hope in some way.

When I first injured myself, I did what many of you do and sought out the blog world for support.  One of the many common themes was to always see a "new years" post, and I think that's the perfect time to give an update!

2016 was very much a healing year for me.  I didn't feel like myself for quite some time. I started off the year barely out of the boot and still kind of weaning out of it.  I found myself needing it still after a couple of months after being "boot free" because of the pain of walking around.  Finally around the start of spring, I started doing what I loved most, getting back into my gym routine and going hiking!  I for sure had to take it easy, but it was a relief to know I could still do those things I enjoyed.  It was painful at first, and slow progress, but I got myself there week after week.  And as I look back I am pleased of each and every step of progress that I've made this year.

I saw the doctor for a yearly checkup in July and got some great news that my foot was healing awesomely, and that I should still be able to occasionally run short distances again.  It was like the seas parted and my world opened up again!  He said my foot improvements usually peak at a year post op, then level off.  If I'm lucky, at the 18-24 months mark I might start to see improvement again, although not nearly as much as I saw in the first year.  Something to hope for and look forward to at least.

There were still those moments though where I was sooo frustrated with the things I still couldn't do.  I was at a bootcamp/circuit training type class that I attend regularly and could still do most things.  But, this particular class ended with me in tears.  We were doing a "sled push" type exercise where we basically pushed a 35lb plate across the floor from kind of a pike position.  It put so much pressure on my lisfranc joint and was so painful that I had to drop to my knees to complete the exercise and scoot along the floor feeling completely defeated.  To top it off, our circuit stations were on a rotation, and the plate push was the pace setter for the entire class.  So, I felt awful because I couldn't even do the exercise right, and I was holding the entire class up while I was performing the exercise.  Most of my friends at class are aware of my injury and a lot of my limitations, but there was a new girl there, who obviously thought I was just some out of shape slug and was yelling at me to just push harder.  To go harder.  Oh, how I wanted to.  How I tried to.  But I couldn't.  And it brought back familiar feelings of failure and tears, thinking about no matter what the progress I've made, I'm still not my old self.  But those moments are few and far between now.  I recognized that that exercise was difficult for me to do, so I started to slowly work on it on my own, not in a class setting, but in my basement.  Today, I pushed TWO 25lb plates across the floor.  Several times.  So suck it.  I'm a stubborn bitch and don't like failing.

And then, the last thing that I couldn't do..... the single leg calf raise on my injured foot.  Oh how I worked on it.  All year.  But it wouldn't budge.  The muscles wouldn't engage.  I tried nearly every week to progress, and nada.  Every time I tried it was like trying to lift a million pounds in the air.   So I just kind of stopped trying, for weeks.  But, today, TODAY I accomplished a single leg calf raise on my right foot!  Without holding on to anything for balance or assistance with my body weight.  It was an amazing feeling.  I literally jumped for joy!  I guess I really am starting to make progress like the doctor said!  Maybe...just maybe...I'll make more progress in the coming 6 months up to my 2 year post op anniversary.  My foot no longer dictates my life.  I don't hardly think about it anymore unless it's something that I find myself not being able to do.  I still find it frustrating when people ask me, "But like, when will you be healed though?"  Because I still get that.  It's hard response because this could be as good as it gets.  Which I am OK with, but other people seem not to be... hmrph.  I still limp occasionally, and its mostly depending upon what shoes I'm wearing and how active and on my feet I've been throughout the day.  And I still want to punch people in the face when they tell me I need to correct or fix my limp.  I've got a completely different foot now.  A new structure, a plate and 3 screws still.  I'm going to limp sometimes.  It may take a year to go away.  It may take 5 years to go away.  It may never go away.  I have accepted that, it's not an issue for me, and I am sick of explaining that to people.  There isn't a day that goes by however, that I don't have some sort of pain, or at least awareness that my right foot is different from my left foot.  Not in a bad way.  Just that it's there and everyday is a step in the right direction and progress in some sort of way.

And let's not forget that I did Ragnar!  People thought that I was absolutely nuts for even attempting it.  By far, it's my most cherished accomplishment this year.  It meant so much for me to finish that race, no matter how long it took and no matter the physical pain.  I wanted it so much. More than anything for a time.  So, I'm very grateful for my team and my support structure that helped me get through that in November.

So, I'm starting 2017 off right this year.  I feel really close to my old self and pretty much loving my new normal.  My job got really stressful around August when a co-worker of mine left and I absorbed a lot of his work.  It became really busy and I let affect my life a little too much, and I let my health and well being slip a little too much.  More than I'd like anyway.  I am not really a person who does new years resolutions, but I think the new year is just a great way to reset priorities in your life, and maybe change some things that were bad decisions and unhealthy habits.  I sunk into a funk and fell down a spiral leading to a dark place if I didn't fix it.   I am kicking all of that to the curb and refocusing on my health this year, and making sure I carve out time each day for myself and my health no matter how busy my job becomes.  As a very active person prior to this injury, working out was a way to relieve the stresses of the day and the stresses of life.  Without that, I fall into a depression that is hard to climb out of.   I made excuses to myself sometimes, that my foot was a little sore, so I shouldn't go workout, or that I was tired, or this or that, when I should have made more of an effort because I feel so much better doing it.   So, I'm refocusing this year on all of the things that made me happy prior to my injury and doing my best to pretend that my accident never happened!  And of course, spending time with the person nearest and dearest to my heart, my best friend, my rock, the person who has held me in his arms as I cried tears of pain, tears of sadness, tears of frustration, and tears of joy and has shared all the for betters and for worst with me.... my Nate.

Progress is progress.   It may take days, weeks, months, years.  But have hope and you'll get there.   Just take it one day at a time.

As someone recently reminded me, you can't reach heaven until you leave hell behind.

Much love....

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Run Girl Run

I cried through most of my 3rd leg.  Not because of the pain, but because I was going to finish what I never thought would be possible.

Let me back up a bit.  My lisfranc injury happened in June 2015, when I had an accident during a Spartan Race.  A week before that race however, my husband had decided to run the Ragnar Relay race.  I very much wanted to do it with him, but I was worried about doing those 2 races back to back, and promised to do it with him next year.  The next week though, I shattered my foot and changed my life forever, and those promises went out the window.

The doctor said my running days were over.  He said I'd never run again.  He encouraged me to take up biking and swimming; anything else but running.  I was devastated by the news, but eventually learned to embrace it.  I bought a spin bike, went to spin classes like a good basic white girl :)  I weight trained, I did the rowing machine, the stairmaster and mostly followed doctor's orders.  I started going on walks and hikes again in March, slowly improving every time I went out. I focused on exercises to strengthen my right leg.  Progress seemed to take forever.  And I missed running.

Nate did Ragnar again in June this year.  I was an emotional wreck.  I wanted to do it so badly, but knew I wanted to accomplish the impossible.  

But, when I had my yearly check-up, Dr. Van Boerum told me I could occasionally run short distances.  I was cleared to run!  Short distances only occasionally, but I heard that I was clear to run.  So I started slowly working some running into my walks.  It was painful at first, but the more I did it, the pain would start to lessen and I could recover a lot easier.

Then I committed to doing the Las Vegas Ragnar.  Yeah.

I didn't feel ready for it.  But I was doing it.  And I was going to finish all of my legs no matter how long it took me.  I was self-conscious about my pace (a 14 minute mile) and worried that I'd be too slow for my team.  I worried that my legs (3.1, 6.1, and 2.4) wouldn't be considered "Ragnar-worthy" and it hurt my pride to take the easy runner spot.

I didn't have to worry though.  My team was the most amazing group of people and they were so supportive.

I was the first runner out for Van 2, and started off my leg at noon in the middle of the Vegas heat.  Rachel slapped the sweaty slap bracelet on my wrist and off I ran 3.1 miles, adrenaline surging through me.  I mostly didn't care about my foot at this point, I was more concerned about the heat, which quickly creeped up on me and affected my pace more than I had anticipated.  My van-mates met me halfway through my run, dunked water on me and made sure I was doing OK.  I hit a stretch of gravely road, which I had to be a bit more slow and careful than I wanted.  The rocks made my stride a bit unstable, and I was super careful with every step, because my foot was going in all sorts of wonky directions.  With what seemed like a blur, I hit the one mile to go sign and blasted through to the exchange.  I handed off the bracelet to Nate, who was the runner behind me, and off he went to complete his leg in the race.  I sat in the van to recover, mostly happy that I'd completed my first run, but I knew it was going to get worse from here.

Eventually we got through all of our runners.  My foot was a bit sore, but I had it wrapped up tight during my run and it actually wasn't bad.  I also only ran 3.1 miles.  My next leg was over 6 miles, and I was terrified of that run because of the pain I knew was sure to come.  We grabbed some dinner after our last runner handed back off to Van 1.  Luckily, we were able to crash at an AirBnB place that the team rented, so I got about an hour of sleep.  I laid there, "What the hell was I thinking?  I'm not ready for this!  There's no way I can do 2 more runs!"  But, we soon got the call that Van 1 was ready to hand off, and adrenaline quickly solved my problem.  I was so pumped for my next leg.  Sure, it was 6.1 miles, and I was scared.  But I was also ready.  

We got to the next exchange to wait for our runner.  The atmosphere was electrifying.  There was music, people running around in costumes (I actually ran in my Guy Fawkes mask), and such positivity!  Also, sleep deprivation had set in for many of us!  Travis made his way through the chute and nailed me with the sweaty slap bracelet and I took off again.  The weather was amazing.  It was cool, and I started my run around midnight.  I blazed through my first 2.5 miles (I clocked a 12 minute mile!!!!)  but settled in for a slower pace during my last half of the run.  Which took me across a freeway and windy sidewalks.  I started getting a bit of foot pain with about a mile left, but manageable, and I pushed through to the end of my run.  I got to see my sweet husband's face again and hand off to him, as he started his 6.9 run.

I started to get a little cold.  I could tell I was dehydrated.  I started limping pretty good and was pretty sore.  I knew that was going to happen after doing my 2nd leg.  We ended up in Boulder City to finish out all of our runners in Van 2, and headed out to grab some breakfast after handing back off to Van 1.  I think my body started to shut down at this point.  Every step was painful.  I was sick to my stomach and couldn't eat.  I was anxious about running that last leg.  We headed to the final exchange to wait for our runner and try to get some rest.  I couldn't fall asleep.  The exhaustion and the heat were starting to get to me, and get into my head.  I didn't think I could do my last leg.  I was convinced I couldn't do it.  I had a full-on meltdown.  But my husband, forever my rock, held me and talked me through it as I sobbed.  It was only 2.4 miles.  That's all I had to do.  No one cared how long it was going to take me, even if I had to walk it.  Rachel was coming to hand off the sweat bracelet.  I got my clothes on, and I was ready.

I took off running, and ran as long as I could before the pain was too much.  I slowed to a very brisk walk, but kept pushing myself into little jogging sprints.  I started to cry.  Not because of the pain, but because I realized that I was going to finish this.  I was going to accomplish what I thought was impossible for the last year and a half.  Before I knew it, I saw the last mile marker.  I rounded the corner and saw Nate waiting for me.  I pushed whatever I had left into those final 100 yards.  I collapsed into Nate and handed off the bracelet.  He whispered, "You did it.  I love you!" and I sobbed in his arms for a minute.  It was so emotional for both of us.  I'm sure the people at the exchange thought I was a crazy woman and had no idea what had just happened.  He took off running and I continued some sniffly sobs with some of my very supportive van-mates!  They were so happy for me and didn't care that it had taken me over a half hour to run 2.4 miles.

We cycled through everyone's runs, and the sleep deprivation started to set in pretty hardcore.  We were out of our gourds.  We invented emoji games and broke out into song.  

We re-united with Van 1 and awaited our last runner's arrival at the finish line.  We ran as a team to cross the finish, and got all of our medals!

I catch myself wondering how I would have done pre-Lisfranc injury.  What legs would I have been doing, how much better would my pace have been?  But, I am very grateful and thankful that I had the opportunity to do this.  It was an unforgettable experience, this whole race, and the bond that I created with my team.  Thank you: Sunshine, Mindy, John, Travis, Calley, Joel, Kate, Tom, Bryan, Rachel, and Nate!  

You guys.....I DID IT!!

I already started looking at Wasatch Back.  Maybe I can try for a few more miles next time!

Monday, October 3, 2016


I thought it was time for me to make another blog post!

September was the month for redemption.

Last year, my Lisfranc injury caused me to miss out on a lot of things from July through December.  I am making up for all of the time lost with a fury this year.

I missed Comic Con last year.  So, naturally this year, we went all in.  We stayed at a hotel right across the street from the Convention Center, so we had easy access to the Con and it made for some great people watching!  I actually saw a couple of people on a knee scooter.  I didn't actually stop to chat with any of those people, but I thought that they were just so brave to attend Comic Con that way.  I found that it was pretty accessible friendly, and there were different lines and areas marked specifically for ADA needs.  I thought that was pretty rad, and had some immediate regret for not going last year.  I could have gotten a wheelchair and worked that into my cosplay somehow - Professor X??  I had a great time, clocked in about 6 miles of walking each day (3 days), met some super cool geeks and celebrity types.  I certainly was a bit sore at the end of each day but not enough to concern myself with it.  A nice soak in the tub and some foot rubs from my hubby did wonders!  Can't wait for next year!
Nate's Stormtrooper/Galactic Empire Flagbearer Costume
Meeting Billy Boyd!  (Pippin the Hobbit from LOTR)

Best part about the Con is the art!  Here we have a Cat Khaleesi with Kitten Dragons

Of course, my next redemption was attending the Utah Utes home games in the stadium with no crutches, no scooter, and no boot!  I didn't have to get into the stadium an hour prior to kick-off, just so that we could get to our seats and store my scooter at Guest Services before the game.  I also could leave with the crowd, not having to wait for traffic to clear so Nate could go pickup my scooter.  I always try to offer words of encouragement when I see people attending the game with assitance devices.  I've been there, admire your spirit, and just know it will get better and you'll be glad you came!

I of course also got to host and coordinate our annual rib-cook off for our tailgate group (which didn't happen last year because I was on injured reserve).  We had mountains of meat and it was awesome!

In the bleachers!  No boot.  No crutches.  No scooters.  No nothin'!  Just my own two feet in flipflops.

Teriyaki Ribs - smoked by Chef Nate

I got on the treadmill today for the very first time since June 2015.  Not to run on it - ugh never again - but just to try walking.  It was super weird!  It felt really unnatural.  I started out with a really slow pace, like 1 mph.  I didn't have pain or anything, but I had some serious balance issues.  Definitely not used to the ground moving at any sort of consistent pace, and I had to hold on to the side rails!  I eventually got the hang of it, and increased my pace ever so slowly as I felt comfortable.  I did about 15 minutes, ending at about 3.5 mph.  I think I'll stick to normal walking for now.  Or the stair stepper.  I've been working on the stair stepper as my main cardio at the gym.  I think it helps me practice pushing off my foot, which I still think is my weakest after all this time.  And it really is killer cardio.

No hikes this month.  I've actually been training for......

...........drum roll please.............


I may just be insane, that's what you surely must be thinking?  I know, I think I might be crazy too.  But, I really, really, really want to do it.  I've signed up, paid my race dues and booked my flight and hotel in Las Vegas for the weekend of November 4th.  So it's official, ,and there's no backing out now.  I took the easiest legs (Runner 7), which hurt my pride a bit, but I didn't want to push myself too much and get into a situation where I wasn't able to complete the race.  I'm at a slowish turtle pace of about 14:00 minutes per mile, and I'll be clocking in 11 miles total, over the course of about 30 hours or so.  The first leg is 3.1 miles, the second is 6.1 (the one I'm most scared of), and the third is 2.4 miles.  My team is aware that I can do some running or very brisk walking.  They know about my injury and know that I may or may not be able to complete or may need to skip all or part of some legs.  I'm giving it my very best though, and I'll go as long as I can, as fast as I can.  And I'll be a pretty awesome directions navigator and van cheerleader if nothing else.  I'm scared though.  I'm scared of not being able to finish.  I'm scared of the pain.  I'm scared of stepping wrong, or coming down funny on my foot.  I'm scared my teammates will resent me if I have to give up.  But, I'm doing it, and that's that.  It might be my "version" of Ragnar....but it'll be all mine!!


Oh wait......

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Pushing Limits

I finally got back to doing some hiking these past couple of weekends!  And I'm really trying to find out where my foot limit is.  I can push it further and further every week, as long as I keep challenging myself.

The last hike I did was in the beginning of June, and it was about a 6 mile round trip hike, and I was almost in tears by the end because of my foot pain.  I got myself back out there again, this time to Red Pine Lake.  This hike ended up being about 7 miles....and guess what?  It felt awesome!  Sure, by the end of the hike, I was pretty sore.  But, I felt so much more confident with my foot!  Especially with the descent.  Going up the trail, it was so steep and rocky, I was dreading coming back down.  It usually takes me a lot longer to go down on hikes than it is to go up!  But, I tackled the descent like a boss, and I descended about 1000 feet in maybe 15 or 20 minutes.  I definitely surprised the hubby.  We had a blast on our hike and I was so happy with my improvement.  It goes to show that I'm still making lots of progress.

There were also some demons tackled last weekend as well.  The Spartan Super returned to Utah, and it just so happened to occur on our 13th anniversary on August 13th.  I felt that the race was somehow doomed.  I didn't run in the race, but my hubby ran with some of his friends.  I cheered on from the sidelines, but this time I had my own group of friends.  I think that helped for sure with the depression and remorse I was feeling not being out there running.  I tried to bounce around the course, but this time there was lots of elevation gain so I wasn't able to hit as many obstacles as I would have liked.  Everyone survived and finished the race!  I was super proud of my hubby.  And I felt genuinely happy.  We are going to try doing a Spartan Race together next year in Phoenix.  I won't do any obstacles that I am not comfortable doing.  But I will be ready and it will be time.

I also managed to squeeze another hike in on Sunday.  It was a bit of a shit show, but I survived :)  We'd planned on doing a hike to Wasatch Mine.  Each hike available in the valley is charted out on my spreadsheet, complete with ratings, which include things like total roundtrip miles, elevation gain, maximum ascent, and special considerations.  I have been gradually increasing the difficulty week to week and trying not to do too much too fast.  So, this hike was carefully selected as the next step in progression and I'd mentally prepared for it all week.  We got all of the gear and food together that we would need the night before, and got up at the ass crack of dawn to head up the canyon.  We drank our coffee and pre-workout on the way, so that when we arrived at the trailhead, we were ready to crush it!  However, the US National Park Service had other plans.  On the way up the canyon, we saw a ton of smoke and a raging fire.  Upon arriving at the trailhead, we discovered that it was closed due to a "managed fire".  Are you kidding me?  We had to improvise and change plans.  Another hike close to the area was Lake Blanche, so we decided to head there.  It was a lot more difficulty and elevation than I had planned for.  I've done the hike before, and I thought that by the beginning of fall, my foot might be ready to tackle it.  But, those plans were thrust out the window and I plunged feet first (see what I did there?) onto the Lake Blanche trail.  It ended up being at least half a mile more, 600 more feet of elevation gain (with a different of 600 feet per mile to 913 per mile!!), and a lot steeper and rockier than planned.  I was scared.  Nate even said "We don't have to go the whole way, don't worry!"  Did he really ask that?  Does he know who he is talking to?  No.  We were going the whole way.

By the end of the hike, I was sore.  But not like OMG I need to ice and elevate and rest kind of sore.  I took it fairly easy for the rest of the day.  It was my other muscles like my quads and calves that were paying the price.  So, needless to say, I was super pleased with how the day turned out, because I felt like it had the set up for a disastrous, tear-filled morning.  We made it to a quiet, beautiful lake, except for the huge ass moose that was just hanging out...

I feel like I'm getting mostly back to my normal level of activity.  Between my two hikes and my weekly walk/jog, I managed to clock about 18 miles this week.  Yay!

I've got some serious training to do before a commitment I made in November!  Stay tuned...   Time to get my ass into gear!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

1 Year Post-Op Visit

This day has finally come!

I had my one year post-op visit with Dr. Van Boeurm at TOSH this week.  I got really positive news and I am feeling so relieved after the appointment.  I have to admit, I was really nervous/anxious in the days leading up to the visit.  Was everything healing like it was supposed to?  Do I have arthritis already?  Is he going to tell me I need another surgery to re-align a bone that has gotten out of whack?  Have I been pushing it too hard with my workouts causing damage?  What's next?

It felt really weird to be back at TOSH, because I think my last visit was in February?  4 months is the longest I've gone without seeing the doctor and his staff.  I guess they trusted me not to screw my foot up too much in that amount of time.  I laughed because while I was waiting to see the doctor, I checked in on Facebook from my phone, it asked a couple of questions about TOSH so Facebook could learn more about it.  "Does this place have Wi-Fi available?"  "Are you at a restaurant?"  "Is this a good place for dancing?"  Dancing?!  If you are at TOSH, you are probably not doing any dancing.  In fact, it's probably an anti-dance establishment.

Anyway, finally I got called back, sat in the Dr's office for a few minutes and then got called for x-rays.  I've had.. I don't know.. 5 x-rays at least on my foot here, so the first thing I did when I got into the x-ray room was announce that I was not pregnant, just to clear that up.  Because she asks every single time.  I know she has to.  I got my normal set of x-rays taken; three pictures, all weight bearing with my foot in different positions.  I remember getting x-rays was always kind of painful, because I would be barefoot putting weight on my foot.  It would always ache afterwards.  But this time, it was just totally normal, and I didn't have any pain at all.  It was hard for me to believe that this was actually painful and stressful at one time.

I was told the doctor would be in to see me next.  However, while I was waiting, a surgeon ran back into Dr. Van Boerum's office looking for him.  He had a trauma patient that was just in a rollover car accident and needed his help.  I don't know exactly what happened to the poor guy who was in the accident, only that his blood pressure was dangerously high and that it was a bad accident.  There was a large projection screen in the front room where they quickly loaded up his x-rays and CT scans, and the two surgeons were talking it over.  I couldn't really hear anything but I could see the x-ray and the scans, and there were obvious serious fractures, bones going in all kinds of wonky ways.  It was scary.  I actually kind of felt comforted that Dr. Van Boerum was helping.  He is for sure amazing.  I don't know the fate of the gentleman in the accident, but I hope he's OK.

Finally, Dr. Van Boerum came to see me, and I reminded him that I was the Spartan girl.  He was so pleased with how my foot has healed!  He tested range of motion for my navicular fracture and was genuinely surprised at how much range I had.  He said that normally people with navicular fractures, especially like how bad mine ended up being, never get this level of motion back.  All my other bones in my Lisfranc joint have healed wonderfully and are all lined up like they are supposed to.    I don't really have any signs of arthritis yet, except for a small space between my navicular (in the above, the bone that has the bright metal plate over it) and talus bones.  He also confirmed that the plate and screws over my navicular bone will stay in place permanently.  The navicular just does not get enough blood supply to be able to heal on it's own the way it should, and it is risky to remove the hardware.  It doesn't bother me too much, other than I can feel it when I poke around my foot, and I can visibly see the bump where the plate is.  The only time it ever bothers me is when a storm is coming.  I'm more accurate than a meteorologist by most standards.  Hey... I always wanted to be a meteorologist !

He also cleared me to RUN SHORT DISTANCES!!!  Like a 5K.  In moderation.  No marathons.  I'm just fine with that news!  It is better than his firm stance of "NO RUNNING EVER UNLESS YOU ARE GOING TO BE HIT BY A BUS" in the past.  He recommended that I still take up biking, hiking, or swimming as kind of my main exercise and to steer clear of any hard impacts/jumping still.  

I still do have some pain in my big toe area (he referred to it as 1st MTP Joint) when coming up or pushing off on my toes.  He recommended that a stiff-soled shoe, or even a trail running shoe would help out with that.  And arch supports will still help, like my Superfeet.  Then our conversation kind of drifted off into talking about his hiking/climbing trip to the Grand Tetons, and I told him about Nate and I's trip to King's Peak.

He said that typically the one year mark is where most of my improvements will be, and that's kind of where my foot is going to be, as far as healing goes.  It will most likely plateau between 12-18 months post-op, and then I might see some minor improvements after that.  Then, he just shook our hands and told me that the foot is looking good.  And bye!

So... that was it?  No follow-up appointments to schedule.  No more check-ups.  Just to come in if something changes or if I start getting a lot of pain.  I guess I'm kind of an adult now.

I do have some fitness goals.  I will do a Spartan race again.  It will most likely be heavily modified, and there will be some skipped obstacles.  Anyone scoffing at that or any of you Spartan purists can very nicely go EAD.  You have no idea what I've been through this year.

I will summit King's Peak.

I will do Ragnar.  Someday.

I still blubber sometimes, mainly when I'm watching sports-y team things.  Or seeing someone getting injured and the team rallying around them (Spartan Ultimate Team Challenge, anyone?).  I wish the injury wouldn't have happened.  But there are no regrets.  I went through a year of hell and here I am on the other side.  

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about my injury.  I have some sort of pain or discomfort everyday.  Whether that is feeling stiff in the mornings, or trying to go down a set of stairs, or feeling like my foot is some alien otherworldly being from "Stranger Things"...But really it is not that big of deal, not anything I can't tolerate, and it doesn't stop me or even slow me down on doing a lot of the things I want to do.

My promise though is that I will keep updating, and checking in with everyone who has followed me for this last year!

Lots of love, and thank you all for your support,


Friday, July 8, 2016


The anniversary of my injury was 6/27.  I am 1 year post op today.  So I am calling this my "footiversary"!

I wish I had something profound or awesome to update.  But, I don't really.  I've spent a lot of time thinking and reflecting on what the injury has meant for me and what it has changed in my life.  I have had plenty of emotional moments over the last few weeks, but that seems to be passing and I'm back on track to being my normal self again.  Despite getting all of the "You have memories on Facebook today!" notifications on my phone, and seeing all of the struggles I went through last year during this time.  My first trip out with the scooter, the night of my surgery (where I was in so much pain, I posted a billion cat videos on my wall apparently to distract myself), getting discharged from the hospital.  I'll be getting those foot memories for a while!

I have seen some really good progress within the last few weeks as well, and I'm still amazed that I continue to progress even a year after surgery.  The doctor said one of the last things to come back usually was coming up on the toes, and that has been true.  I've seen some awesome improvement in being able to do that - the muscles are finally starting to engage and it is becoming second nature again with minimal discomfort/pain.  I thought I was never going to be able to come up on my toes on my right foot ever again.  But a year later, I can!  It is something so small that you don't even think about until you can't do it.

On the left, sitting in the ER shortly after my fall.
On the right, 1 year and 3 surgeries later!
Toes are still cute AF

I called Dr. Van Boerum's office at TOSH to schedule my yearly post-op appointment.  I've been so excited and anxious to go in, get my x-ray, and just talk to the doctor.  He is a really busy man, however, and the first available appointment wasn't until August!  So, the post about my year op visit will have to wait until then.

I've also started up my walking routine again.  I had stopped for a while, frustrated with progress and feeling remorseful about being unable to run.  I really do enjoy being outside and walking along the trails out on the lake near our house, especially with an earful of music and a pocketful of sunshine.  When I did my first attempt at a fast walking pace back in March, I walked a 5k in 1 hour, 17 minutes.  Now I can do it in just under 50 minutes.  I'm hovering just around a 15 minute mile.  Pretty good for a lisfrancer and I'm hoping to work at it so that I just get better and better.  I think I look kind of silly (I look like one of those race walkers that I've seen during the Olympics!) when I am trying to walk fast.  It feels awesome to be out there.  For the most part, my foot doesn't bother me during my walk...unless a storm is coming... and I'm not too sore or have much pain afterwards.  I'm only going maybe a couple of times a week for now.

I'm also very close to my pre-surgery weight again!  I gained quite a bit after surgery being unable to move, walk or be my normal active self.  Mostly that's been attributed to the ketogenic diet I am following.  That's for sure helped my confidence and physical well-being.

So, what's next?  I don't know.  I feel pretty normal.  Even though my foot feels alien, and I limp sometimes.  The new normal.  I'm always aware of my injury, but I refused to be defined by it.

Hang in there everyone!