Tag Archives: injury

Update on the Ankle

Thanks to a cancelation, I was able to change my orthopedic appointment to today.  The doctor gave me the OK to resume training.  He added I’ll probably feel some discomfort until the ankle heals completely which may take another four weeks.

I’m so relieved and thankful I can exercise again.  (I stopped swimming after last weekend because my ankle felt pretty sore on Monday.  I thought I may have irritated it in the pool.)  For the past 12 days, as much as I tried to maintain a positive attitude, I could feel myself becoming increasingly lethargic and down as each day passed.  I hated that I couldn’t workout.  And not knowing when I could return to the gym or if I’ll be ready for Hawaii 70.3 made me feel even worse.

After my appointment I headed straight to the gym.  I didn’t push myself too hard because I definitely feel some pain still.  Also, I need to spend time strengthening my ankle.  So I worked out on an elliptical machine for a bit.

About 1/3 of the way into my session I began feeling good.  I know I’m going to sound a little on the crazy side but it was magical.  As my heart rate increased and I began to sweat, my attitude improved significantly.  For the first time since the accident I felt like I could seriously think about training for my races again.


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Back in the Pool

MLH and I haven’t done anything big for New Year’s Eve (NYE) since 2003.  We spent last  NYE with Noah in the CICU.  So, for me this weekend is just like any normal weekend; well as normal as we’ve been able to get since Noah died.  I know our lives will never return to our old normal but I’m not sure if we’ve found our new normal yet.

You may have heard about Ben Breedlove by now.  Sadly I just learned about him when he passed away.  His Youtube videos have been circulating quite a bit within the congenital heart defect (CHD) community.  His description of the vision/dream he experienced when his heart and breathing stopped for three minutes comforted me some.  What Ben describes in his Part 2 video sounds beautiful.  I hope Noah felt something similar as he passed way.  But it was the eulogy Ben’s sister, Ally, gave that really helped me yesterday and today.  She tells everyone Ben wasn’t sure he’s glad he came back.  Where he went during the last time he cheated death seemed so peaceful.  I now wonder if Noah is glad he’s in heaven and not down here with me and MLH.

Yesterday I started swimming for the first time since October.  In the pool I felt the tenderness of my injured ankle.  I also began to feel a stronger sense of awareness with my body and thoughts.  I had not experienced this since training for Nation’s.  I remembered the first time I pushed myself during a pool workout causing my heart rate to increase drastically and my breathing to become labored.  It was early May.  At that time I realized my high heart rate and need for oxygen connected me to Noah on a deeply meaningful level.  Heterotaxy Syndrome always impacts the heart, (which is why I’m now somewhat connected to the CHD community).  Noah’s heart had to work really hard while he was alive.  Just drinking a small amount of milk out of a bottle shot his heart rate up to the same level one hits after climbing a set of stairs.  He was so tired after such a short feeding.

I admit swimming is not my favorite discipline.  However, as I thought about Ben and reconnected with Noah in the pool I realized I actually like swimming once I’m in the water.  It’s everything leading up to getting in the pool that bothers me:  worrying about the number of people who will be in the pool with me, sharing a lane with someone who swims all over the place, (especially given my current injury) and the jolt I feel from initially hitting the cold water.

Thank you, Ben Breedlove, for the comfort you’ve given me.  I hope you meet my son up there. Thank you, Ally, for sharing the conversation you had with Ben.  May you and your family begin to heal.  And as always, thank you, beautiful Noah, for helping me once again with my training.

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Trying Really Hard to Keep a Healthy Perspective

My ankle has been injured for four days now.  The swelling has gone down a bit and the redness is gone, but I still feel pain when I try to walk normally.  I’ve twisted my ankle before but I’m usually up and about by day two.  So I felt a strong desire to do something crazy:  I felt the urge to educate myself via the Internet!  I Googled “how long does it take for a sprained ankle to heal?”  Of course I found a lot of information.  Various sites claim an injured ankle would need at least six weeks to heal.  And several others strongly urged people to have a doctor look at it right away.  I began to freak out.

What the heck?   I can’t put my training on hold for six weeks!  I need to continue building a base so I can officially start training for Hawaii 70.3 in January.  I must work out now!  This is not good at all!

I called my orthopedic specialist to make an appointment.  His next available slot is January 10th. I figured I shouldn’t schedule anything for that day.  I don’t know what that day will be like.  All I know is it’s the first anniversary of Noah’s death.  I made an appointment for the 11th; that may be pushing it.

The anxiety continued to build though.

Can I, should I wait that long before I have it checked out?  It’s very important my ankle heals correctly.  I don’t want to prolong the recovery time. 

I discovered the Minute Clinic will look at sprained ankles.  Yay!  I hobbled over to the closest CVS.  Two people were ahead of me.  The first guy took a really long time.  The nurse actually came out and informed us that she’ll need to spend more time with him.  I felt sorry for the gentlemen.  She ended up sending him to a doctor.  When she called me in she apologized again for the wait. I was fine waiting; I just hoped the gentleman who took a long time is ok.  After examining my ankle she wasn’t sure if my bone was damaged or not.  She recommended I visit a nearby urgent care clinic for an X-ray.  As I began hobbling back home I quickly grew upset.

My injury could be truly serious.  How would this impact my training?  I need to workout.  I must continue training.  I’ll be so disappointed if I can’t race.  I can’t lose this outlet.  What about Noah?  How will I continue to heal and take care of myself?

After a few minutes of these thoughts racing through my head, I somehow made a point of shifting gears to calm myself down.

The situation could be  much worse.  If I don’t recover in time for Hawaii, so be it.

I proceeded to remind myself of a painfully difficult lesson MLH and I learned with Noah: none of us are in complete control of our lives

I should wait and see what the X-ray looks like and talk to the doctor to figure out what I need to do to recover properly.

MLH drove me to the urgent care clinic.  The X-ray showed no bone damage.  According to the doctor my ligaments are probably stretched, and I’ll be able to resume training in a week.  For the time being I should stay off my foot. I can swim though.

I’ll keep the appointment with my orthopedic specialist just in case I experience any issues.  If I’m feeling a lot better late next week I’ll cancel it.

On our way home, I mentioned to MLH that I’m trying maintain the right perspective with this injury.  I should be grateful it’s just a sprained ankle.  What about that gentleman who spent a long time with the nurse at the Minute Clinic?

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December: My Most Intense Roller Coaster Ride Yet

About two weeks ago I began firming up my 2012 triathlon season.  My key races will be Ironman 70.3 Hawaii in June and USA Triathlon (USAT) Age Group (AG) Nationals in August.  (As a warm up for Hawaii I’ll compete in at least one other race earlier in the season.)  I’m really excited about both races.  Hawaii will be my first Half Ironman, and for the first time I qualified for AG Nationals.

I now have two concrete goals.  To achieve my goals I have to create a plan.  I’m so much more productive when I map out how I’ll achieve a goal.  For December I’m focused on building a strong base so I can really push myself when I officially begin my Half Ironman training.  (I’m also focused on creating the Half Ironman training program, itself.)  I’m now running 16 miles a week and spending 45 minutes in the spin studio a couple times a week.  I’m also doing strength training 3 times a week.  I’m feeling stronger every day.  That is until this past Sunday, December 25th, when I twisted my ankle.

A few weeks ago, MLH and I decided not to celebrate Christmas.  We spent our previous Christmas with Noah in the cardiac intensive care unit (CICU).  We actually have relatively fond memories of that time because Noah was doing well then.  However, dealing with Noah’s first birthday, knowing we’d celebrate Christmas without him and feeling the date of his death quickly approaching, I became increasingly anxious, upset and sad as Christmas grew closer and closer.  So after obtaining advice from a grief support group, we made the decision to skip Christmas this year.  On December 25th, we went for a long run outside instead. Well right when MLH and I hit our turnaround point a couple cyclists caught me off guard by passing us and I fell and twisted my ankle.

Now I’m trying to stay off my feet so the ankle can heal.  I haven’t worked out in 3 days and probably won’t be able to do any training for the rest of the week.

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