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!



8 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey. I'm 5 weeks post Lisfranc injury. I fell 10 feet off the ladder of a hunting tree stand. I had an open tib/fib compound fracture, another tibia fracture close to my knee of the right leg, dislocated Lisfranc and torn ligaments to my left foot, and a fractured vertebrae. I'm non weight bearing on both legs. I'm very active and the two month sentence to bed and a wheelchair has been difficult to come to grips with. It's refreshing to hear of other similar situations as mine and the promise that it will get better. The depression comes in waves. Thank you for sharing.

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  2. I just read your blog.Made me feel a little better.My LF injury was Aug 10th 2015. I fainted & did a face plant on my hard wood floor.Mine was considered extremely severe,i broke all 5 toes & dislocated the entire lower metatarsals 3 mm to the right, something like that. All I know is my Dr said it was the worst LF he'd ever seen in his career to date, and he has been practicing for 29yrs & I just happened to luck out and live in the same city as him. He is one of the top 10 orthopedic foot surgeons in the US. So, I knew I messed it up bad. Im so glad youre doing so well, I think its wonderful. I guess i just want to know what shoes you wear working out, what inserts, what tips you can pass on, anything. I am going on 3 yrs, and I am still in pain. I read all these positive LS stories and I just want to cry, because EVERYONE is doing SO great, EXCEPT me. I did have my foot fused. But Ive come to the realization that my life will NEVER be the way it was on Aug 9 2015 and I want that back. I hurt a lot still especially when im on it too much. Im a flight attendant, and im trying to get back to work. i had some collateral damage injuries as a result of this(torn rotator cuff, total knee replacement Mersa) Don t ask, too long to explain, but Im afraid im going to have to quit my job, and that will just kill me! I realize I am a lot older, but I used to be so active. I am a retired personal trainer, the flight attendant is a 2nd career. I cant run,I have gained so much weight. I know I sound pathetic. Im sorry. Any encouragement or advice/ideas, tips would be greatly appreciated.Im running out of faith here

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    1. Hi there! I am so sorry, I just saw your message. Thanks for the kind words. I am doing well, thank you, but still not 100% what I was before on June 26th 2015. This injury is a life changer and that is for sure.
      I am glad that you were able to find such a great surgeon. This injury is just so unique that there are a lot of doctors that can't or don't even know how to treat the injury and perform the surgery so that recovery is successful as it can be. Take comfort that you received the best care / doctor that you possibly could have. I at least know living in Utah, there are 2 doctors in the state that are qualified and that specialize in lisfranc injuries and I was lucky to get one of the best.
      I'm not going to lie or sugar coat things, but, I'm still in pain every day. It's the worst mostly when I wake up in the morning or have late night bathroom trips, or when I've been sitting down for a while. It also hurts doing some exercises at the gym, like jumping, high impact training, or pushing off with my right foot. For example, doing a lunge with my left leg forward and my right (injured) foot in the back can be pretty painful so I have to take it slow and easy. I still am mostly doing the things that I want to do, but I still live with limitations even after 3 years. I've just learned to accept that as my new normal.
      As far as working out shoes, I use inserts with all of my shoes, and typically it is the green superfeet, which is the most quality support you can get without going in for a custom insert. I've considered going in for a custom insert consultation, but I find the Superfeet do a really good job when it comes to exercising and supporting my foot through it. As far as shoes go, my days of cute shoes are over and a proper funeral was held for them as they were taken to the local shelter. I wear shoes that give me as much support as possible. I have a pair of sturdy hiking boots I wear when I hike (Auhna) and also invested in a great pair of walking shoes by the same brand. They are expensive, but worth it. I found that my Nike Free shoes also work really well when I go to the gym, they have just the right about of flexibility and sturdiness for almost any workout. Since I live in Utah, we have a place called Salt Lake Running Company. They will put you on a treadmill and analyze your gait for you and come up with custom recommendations based on your gait of what shoes and inserts to look for. You may have a similar running store in your area, and I think that's worth checking out. I was impressed, they had a skeleton model of a foot, with all of the bones labeled, and I was able to explain to them which bones in my foot were broken and they were blown away that I was throwing around terms like navicular, and lisfranc, and metatarsals....

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    2. Please don't say that you are pathetic. As I said, this is a *life changing* injury both mentally and physically. I have gained a lot of weight too, partly because I'm not quite as active and have slipped into old habits because it's easier to not deal with the pain. I used to go hard at the gym everytime. Now I only go hard at the gym every once in a while and I'm not in the shape that I used to be.
      But, we can't dwell on that. We've got to focus on all of the things that you can do, and not what you can't. I used to love to run, and I'm happy that I was able to do Ragnar, but in reality that was the last run I ever did. But, I can bike, I can swim, I can go for walks, I can hike. Some of these things cause me little to no pain, and some hurt like a bitch the next day and it honestly differs from time to time.
      I think I've seen as much improvement out of my foot that I'm going to see. It's been many months since I've discovered a new thing that my foot has been able to do since the injury. I remember back in the day when I was having day to day progress. That turned into week to week, then month to month, and finally around the 24 month post op mark, I just stopped seeing improvement and figured that this is where I am going to be.

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    3. Not everyone is doing perfect, I promise you. A lot of these blogs out there highlight all of the great things that people are accomplishing. Maybe they aren't writing about their pain. There are probably loads of people that haven't written a blog that might be in the same situation as you, and believe it or not, there's probably people that ended up a lot worse.
      I know that having your foot fused does change things a bit as far as your range of motion and mobility. I have not hit the point where I will need a fusion, and that may come in 5 years, 20 years, or never, and the doctors can't tell me that. I just have to be careful in what I am doing and not pushing myself too far. I know I'm never going to run anything beyond a 10k ever again. That's fine with me. Most people with this injury struggle with things one way or another for the rest of their lives and it is how you handle it that makes all the difference. I feel the most terrible for the people that ended up with a Lisfranc injury, and it went undiagnosed or was missed in the initial x-rays as just an ankle or ligament sprain. Those people wasted precious time through no fault of their own beginning the healing process and at some point their injury became much more irreparable then if it was caught initially as mine was when I first went to the ER.
      Please don't give up hope. Try the inserts. Look for new, creative, and interesting ways to get exercise that don't involve too much impact on your foot but still get that heart pumping. Swimming, biking, Aquajogging, rowing, elliptical machine (ugh I know), hiking, spin class.....there are so many things that you CAN do that will give you the satisfaction you are looking for and less of the pain that is bothering you.

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    4. Stay positive, and don't give up! My Dr. had a very frank conversation with me. This injury is unpredictable when it comes to recovery. I have a limp that may or may not go away. It could. Mr. Dr. was very clear that most people see their last improvements between 18-24 months. But that's just an average, and he's seen people still improving after 5 years. It just depends on you, your body, and how well you are taking care of yourself.
      Make sure to each as much as a balanced diet as you can, and have your nutrition in order because I can say I feel a lot better when I am paying attention to what I'm putting in my body. I feel better when I cut back on sodium because it causes less swelling. I do great when I hydrate myself properly. I try to eliminate foods that cause inflammation. I take various supplements - calcium, bone grow, glucosamine chondrotin, this liquid berry stuff I found at Costco that helps with joint lubrication brought on by arthritis. If it helps, even a little, I'm willing to try things out. Most of all you just have to be consistent and patient, give things time to start working to see if you are finding that it is giving you any real benefit.
      I hope this was helpful (and long....sorry), but I am so confident that you can get through this. It's as much mental as it is physical. Stop dwelling on your limitations and your frustrations and celebrate the things that you can do, and those things that bring you enjoyment.
      In the 1800's, the solution was amputation. So, just give that a thought on how far medicine has advanced, and probably will still advance. We may see new treatments and things on the horizon in the years to come for this injury that will help. Just don't give up hope, please. You can still live a wonderful, full life with this injury, I promise you that. You just may have to change your perspective a bit, and stop thinking about the person you were on August 9th 2015. Accept the person you are on April 25th 2018.
      Good luck! You've made it this far. Keep going, keep trying new things and you'll eventually find success and a routine that works for you. You are stronger than you think, and don't forget that. Ever.

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  4. Very inspirational to hear about someone pursuing their dream and becoming successful instead of following the traditional path.
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