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Look Up, Look Forward

I'm going on six weeks in the boot. I recently had a follow-up appointment with my orthopedist, and it wasn't the happy-making experience I thought it would be. I have a tendency to put all of my hope and faith for recovery in one appointment, when really healing is a months-long process, which I've been reluctant to accept. I thought I'd be able to go in to the appointment, convince my doctor of my self-diagnosed neuroma, and get myself a cortisone shot. But that's not what happened. First, I don't think he was convinced I had a neuroma, but even if he had been, he wouldn't give me the shot. He said it could interfere with the healing of my fracture. Oh yeah, that. Probably responsible doctoring, but I wasn't satisfied. 

He had me get an x-ray to see what we could see. He said everything looked normal (which doesn't mean anything for my fracture), except that I had a sesamoid bone in my second metatarsal head. We all have them naturally embedded in a tendon within our first metatarsal head (I'm kind of a foot expert now), but I guess I have this extra one? I wasn't clear on what that meant. I don't think they just grow suddenly, but maybe I've always had it and it got shifted around and caused inflammation and irritation. Or maybe it was nothing. When I asked my doctor about how it was treated, he mentioned something about possible stem cell therapy, and I tuned out and gave up. I knew nothing could be done for at least another month, for which the doc wanted me to continue wearing the boot and then come back for another check-up. Before I left, he told me to look forward; don't look back on all the time I'd been out of commission and in pain, he said. 

It reminded me of what the sales guy at my gym had told me the day before, after I broke down crying when he asked me how my foot was (poor him). He told me, "Look up. Don't look down; there's nothing good to look at." So, with these directionals in mind, I tried to improve my outlook. 

This same gym guy (whose name I forget, but he's super nice) told me about a chiropractor who was "amazing." He'd told me this before, and I pretty much disregarded it, thinking, I've been to a chiropractor before and it was useless. I also kind of figured the gym had a referral deal with the chiropractic office, which turned out to be true. But this time I really had nothing to lose by making an appointment, so I thought, why not? Long story short, I saw him, I had a good experience, and I'm going to continue treatment to see if it helps. More on that later.

In the meantime, I've been trying to stick to a regular biking and swimming schedule, but it had started to get harder to stay motivated. I was going to go on a group ride--I even had a couple of confirmed "buddies" who would go my slowish speed--but I chickened out the morning of the ride. I was too afraid. And as it turned out when I later prepped my bike for a solo ride, I had a flat in my rear tire. This has never happened to me. The front tire is one thing, but the rear--I had no idea how to get the thing off. Several YouTube videos later, this is what my disassembly looked like: 

Just like the pros.

I eventually did get it off, changed out the tube, and got the tire back on. All said, it probably took a couple of hours. For frame of reference, bike mechanics do this in a couple of minutes. 

Good as new!

Later in the week, in untimely fashion, I attended a flat clinic at my local bike shop, Outspokin Tampa. I was like teacher's pet. I knew all the things that could go wrong, because for me they did, so I knew the good questions to ask. It was an extremely informative clinic, and I highly recommend that anyone new to cycling attend one (earlier rather than later).

I was doing really well with swimming--up to 3,000 yards in a workout, and then my left shoulder started hurting. So I had to back off of that for a little while, which was depressing. Swimming was my new happy sport, and it gave me confidence because, even though I was new and still had lots of room for improvement, it felt good and right to me. Well, until it didn't. 

But after some rest, I was able to get out to a group swim tonight and really push myself. I've never done anything but straight laps back and forth continuously until I'd met my desired distance. But tonight I did some interval training with a coach, Leo, and got to see what it felt like to go all out for time. I think I did 100 yards in 1:44, which, from what I know about swim times (not much), is very average. But I enjoyed the competitive feeling, which I haven't had since I last ran a race in April. And now I have a time to improve on.

We couldn't touch the ground. Some serious doggy paddling.

Throughout all of my difficulties with motivation and feelings of hopelessness about running again, I could never get too down because of these two loves:

Movie night! It was all fun and games until someone threw up :/

Depression is sometimes easy for me to sink into, but my nieces give me a reason to be stronger, to be a good role model, and to try to stay positive. They don't understand my fears and anxieties about my health; they care about what immediately affects them in their lives. They have questions that constantly need to be answered, and they need to constantly feel cared for and loved. These things help me stay present. Plus, they're just so darn cute. So spending time with them has been important to my healing.

"Tita this is for you and I love you."


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