Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ankle Injury Report - 11/20/10

UPDATE: I had surgery on 1/6/11 to repair blown out ligaments and started slowly running again on 2/18. I look forward to posting on my first official race back!

I normally only post about the races I've run, but being that I won't be running for the foreseeable future, I wanted everyone to know why.

I made it a year and half since my last major injury. It was my right foot then. This time, it was my right ankle. It was a 50/50 challenge about midway through the second half of my soccer game. I was steamrolled by another player at which point my ankle must have rolled over. I knew without a doubt that this wasn't a get up and and walk it off injury. I made it to the side of the field and took off my gear, which I now know to be a mistake, and immediately my ankle had already swelled up significantly. My old team was there getting ready to play after, and a number of them rushed over and taped me up, gave me ice and ibuprofen, and even piggybacked me over to my team.

After the game, the general consensus was that I should go to the hospital given the pain I was in and the fact that it swelled up so quickly. I wasn't going to argue, I knew that this was the worst ankle injury I've had so far, and it could't hurt to rule out a break, and get some pain meds. Two of my teammates, Nora and Zoe, hung out with me at the hospital, even getting burritos delivered which was a great distraction. By the time the burritos came, the pain medicine was in full effect and my ankle was numb for the most part. The doctor, the nurse, the xray technician, and the guy who wheeled me up to xrays all felt the need to say "Whoa, that's swollen." Yes, thank you for confirming the obvious, that is why I'm here. Xrays showed there was no break, and I was released with the instructions to go see a specialist. By this time my dad had driven up, I needed him as I knew I was in no condition to take care of myself for the next few days. I couldn't even walk. We left the hospital as sheets of rain came pouring down, and thunder and lightening filled the sky. Appropriate weather for what I knew my mood was going to be for the next month or two.

By the time I packed my things and got back to Danville, my ankle was bigger than it's ever been, and the pharmacy was closed, so I'd have to wait until the next day for my pain meds. It's interesting what you think of when you first get injured. Naturally, the first thing I thought of as I lay on the field was that I was done with running for awhile, and then I thought why couldn't it have been my left ankle so I could drive. But it was when I was in bed that I really started to realize what this meant and the tears began to fall. I couldn't walk, I couldn't drive, I couldn't run, and I had no idea for how long. Crutches are helping me getting around, though I'm terrible with them and I've come close to falling numerous times, especially when trying to navigate around my parents dogs. Driving is going to be a problem. Luckily I don't drive very much these days, but I'm going to have to rely on my friends in SF for rides when I need them, and I hate more than anything having to feel dependent on other people. I've no idea how I'm going to get to work, and I'll probably have to work from home until I can at least walk with a boot or something.

The real issue though was of course the running. The day before I did a 16 mile run which kicked off marathon training for a marathon in Arizona I was going to run in mid January. I was excited because I had a fun training schedule all planned out that included numerous trail races. I was going to miss the Turkey trail race I'd signed up for on Thanksgiving, and the North Face Endurance Challenge half marathon on December 5th. Luckily those were the only two races I'd registered for. It was depressing to think of how far I've come with running in the past year and half and that I'd have to start all over again. I was down to an 8 min mile on all my training runs, and some of my half marathon times were getting pretty impressive. I remember coming back from my foot injury after 8 weeks and not being able to even run 4 miles at a 9:45 pace without stopping to take a break. It was going to be a long road back. But more than anything, running helps me to work things out in my head, it makes me happy, and it makes me feel really good about something. Not having that, even temporarily, scares me.

I woke up this morning (which is the day after) and as I look at my toes that are now swollen as well, I'm trying to have a positive attitude, but I'm having a hard time finding it. I've come up with three things. This is only temporary. The time off of running will let all my minor aches and pains heal. Once I can start walking without crutches again, hopefully a week or so, I'll talk with a personal trainer about what I can do to start working on my core strength which will hopefully put me in a good position to start running again.

This kind of thing makes me question whether I want to continue with soccer. I put myself at risk for this kind of thing every time I step onto the picth. My sports med doctor suggested I use a wobble board to strengthen my ankles since I've had problems with them in the past. For the past four months, four times a day I've used a wobble board religiously. Unfortunately, no amount of time on the wobble board was going to stop this from happening. The impact was just too strong. But like running, maybe to a lesser degree though, I really enjoy playing soccer. I enjoy the team aspect of it, and the social aspect, and I venture to guess that I'll be back once I'm healed.

I'm thankful for all my friends who were there to help me out, especially those from my old team who helped me immediately after the injury, and to those on my new team who stayed at the hospital with me. And I'm thankful for all those who checked up on me and sent me good wishes. Having those kind of old and new friends in your life that do those things for you, really make you feel good. And I'm thankful for my parents who will be waiting on me hand and foot for the next few weeks!

And now for a collection of pics on the progression of my swelling:

at the hospital

later that night. meet my cankle.

the next morning. attractive, huh?

27 hours after injury

3 days after injury

7 days later. Swelling going down, bruising/discoloration getting worse.

2 weeks post surgery.


  1. Wow - that's swollen! Sorry - couldn't resist! :) Seriously, though - that sucks. I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. Hang in there - hopefully you'll be back out there soon!

  2. Now this is Informative writing, Keep up the good work.

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