Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Patience + Recovery

I saw the foot doctor last night and got the news I was hoping for: the surgical shoe did its job and I can begin six weeks of a rest/recovery protocol. I really like this doctor, so check him out if you’re in Orlando and need foot care! This visit he did an ultrasound of my second and third metatarsals (the bones that run from your toes back into your foot). This is what it looked like (image from Google, not my own!):

The white line at the top is skin, and the white line with the arrow is the bone. Mine looked similar, but instead of an actual break you could see spots (1 on the second metatarsal and 2 on the third) that looked darker. You could also see areas above those spots where new bone was growing. It was nice to finally visualize the injury and helped me to mentally accept the lifestyle changes I’ve had to make and will continue to make for the next six weeks.

The protocol for the next six weeks is this: figure out what my 100%, normal foot load is. That includes all my daily walking, exercise on my feet, standing, etc. For this first week I need to aim for 10% of that maximum, week 2 is 20%, week 3 is 30%. In week 4 I need to drop back to almost nothing, and even wear the surgical shoe again. Then in week 5 I jump back to 30-40%, and in week 6 I can try to get close to my 100%. Before the injury I was running 3-4 days per week, cycling once a week, and strength training on my feet for at least 3 days per week. I also took one 15 minute walk a day minimum and spent most of my work day standing at my desk.

It’s hard to figure out what to aim for, but I am going to be conservative. I want to be patient with this process so I truly heal and don’t re-injure myself. One of the bloggers I read, Laura at The Gluten Free Treadmill, is going through a similar injury and her posts about it resonate strongly. She talks about her frustrations and fears about gaining weight. I absolutely relate to that fear and have been struggling with modifying my food intake in response to less movement. I have found a good balance of strength training off my feet and cycling over the last few weeks, and will continue that protocol. On days where I know my foot stress is low I might add in a short walk or use the elliptical/ARC trainer.

Running and being physically active have become prominent parts of my life, and I've had to think long and hard about who I am without those things. The people I've met since I moved to Florida a year ago know me as super healthy and active, and it’s odd to step away from that role temporarily. I do worry that health and wellness is more like an obsession and I've had to confront a lot of my feelings and fears about food and fitness. Another blog I love is Choosing Raw, and in her Weekend Reading post this week she talks about her food not having to be perfect.

This is an ideal I’m trying to adopt again. I often feel like I’m doing something wrong if I’m not eating a big salad or soup full of vegetables for lunch/dinner. I also worry too much about portions and sometimes macronutrients. I need to remind myself every day that as long as I am eating mostly whole foods I am okay. Last night we went to our favorite sushi place so Carly could have it once more before she moved. I got the vegetable moriawase plate and since we were sitting at the bar talking to the chef he made it special, and by special I mean with lots of avocado.

Avocado is something I usually try to eat in moderation and at first I got a little freaked out, but then I thought about it and realized that avocados are whole foods that are full of healthy fats and nutrients. Eating a plate of raw veggies, rice and seaweed with some avocado is a good choice and will balance out in the end. I am being patient with myself during this process and am trying to embrace the choices I make instead of punish myself for them.

Thanks for sticking with me if you’re still here. I will keep the blog updated with my recovery, and with results of the other medical tests/appointments I've been going through. I moved up my bone marrow biopsy follow up to this Thursday so hopefully I will be posting some good news on that soon!


  1. I so know what you are going through - but your attitude is such an inspiration! Definitely will follow along - and good luck!

    1. Thank you Laura! I am finding strength in your recovery process as well :)