Friday, March 18, 2011

My Comback

Physical or emotional everyone has some kind of comeback. My fall, or my propeller, came on Sunday June 1, 2008. Enjoying a beautiful Sunday afternoon on my friend Hammertime's boat I took a dip-yeah to pee-when you gotta go ya gotta go into the river lol-on my way back into the boat I couldn't pull myself up so I kicked and I kicked the propeller (no it was not running). Now when I did it, it hurt but honestly not as bad as you would think but immediately I thought of all the horror stories of props and people mixing, I had the momentum now and jumped in. Immediately I looked down and saw this:
Except it was gushing blood. That is the top of my left foot. I look up at Hammer and said "we gotta go, I kicked your prop!" We were outta there in no time. I was taken up to East Port on a golf cart, rushed to the ER at OSF (where of course I waited HOURS) stitched up and sent home. The next day and for weeks after I looked like this:

That was after just over a week, after my 1st of many doctors appointments. They feared I had sliced through some tendons because I had zero movement but after an MRI it showed it was just broken so that meant 6 weeks in a walking boot and not surgery. You would think that was the end of story but it wasn't. When I was released I wasn't given any physical therapy and just sent back to my normal daily life but told to "take it slow". Well months later and a constant pain in my foot I went back to Midwest Orthopedic and there really is not any other way to say it but my doctor was the biggest turd burger that ever walked the planet. He told me nothing was wrong and that "these injuries take time to heal". It had been 9 months since cast off and the pain was getting worse, I was 30 years old and couldn't even spend one hour on my feet. NOT NORMAL. But "That's normal." was what they said to me. When I said I would believe that if the pain wasn't getting worse daily. He fired back that "that's the problem with people they think that they can heal right away, this could take a year to get better" so I asked "so its supposed to get worse instead of better in that year?" he said "Xrays show no broken bones." nice way to not answer the question. I say "but there is something else wrong" and this Dr. On A Power Trip fired back with this "well I can do an MRI but when it comes back showing nothing is wrong there is nothing I can do for you. I can send you to pain management so you can learn to deal with it, that's all I can do for." I swear on my life and yours that is his exact words to me. He treated me like I was a drug addict off the streets trying to get a prescription for pain killers, which I never then asked for or wanted or needed. I left in tears and feeling hopeless. I also swore I would never step foot in Midwest again, he already made up his mind there was nothing wrong. I know my body and I knew there was something wrong. I needed a 2nd opinion. The 2nd opinion decided he wouldn't look at me...why, I don't know they wouldn't tell me. So my insurance company found me Dr. Traina (who no longer practices in Illinois). It took another long, painstaking 9-6 months or more but he swore he would do what he could and find out what was wrong. Turns out there was a problem, go freaking figure. My last appointment he stuck me full of cortisone in that ankle ligament and I swear I felt cured. I was on my foot for HOURS and HOURS with out any pain. Of course cortisone is only a temporary fix. The ligament in my ankle, although not torn, was so stretched out that it was like a wet spaghetti noodle and may as well been torn because that was what it was like. Surgery was my only fix, they would take tissue from my ankle and make me a new ligament it was outpatient so I didn't need to stay in the hospital but recovery would be 6 weeks or more but the surgery was a breeze. So September 11 2009 I went under the knife. The next 3 months of my life was hell. The first 6 weeks I was in a non weight bearing cast and crutches, the next 5 weeks was a walking boot an physical therapy. I was miserable through pretty much all of it. Therapy was the one bright spot because with each session I could see progress. I still had little range of motion, an atrophied leg and I was starting to get depressed. But by Christmas that year I was finally released to get back to normal and I was an additional 10lbs heavy. I wanted to lose like 20lbs before surgery and now I had to lose 30! But at the start of 2010 I stopped making excuses I was given a new lease on life and going through a pretty rough break up. I needed a focus and that was me. I started eating right-with the help of Weight Watchers-and I read an interview from Jillian Michaels about how she hates to run but its the best way to lose weight so she forces herself to run 1 mile every day. So I started doing that, my first mile was about a 13 minute mile. Then I found the Nike+ and started to follow it's 12 week training program for a 5k to get me ready for Peoria's Race For The Cure. During the 12 weeks I lost over 15lbs! I continued running and did the Steamboat 4 mile race in 35 minutes, that's an average of 9 minute miles! In 6 months I went from 13 to 9 minute miles! Then a friend asked me to do a half marathon with her, I've always wanted to and always said "when I lose 20lbs". At that point I had lost about 25lbs and had no excuse not to, I signed up for the Mankato Marathon, my first half. I began training in August and on October 23rd 2010 I ran my first half marathon, 13.1 miles in 2 hours and 10 minutes! Today I've lost just over 30lbs, am at my goal weight, run about 30 miles a week and am 6 weeks into my training to do my 2nd half marathon. I feel the best I ever have physically, the ankle will hurt forever like anyone who's had major surgery, but I do my exercises every day and it feels nothing like what it did the years prior. I have a new found love and respect for myself and what I can do when I really try, focus and push myself. Oh and I've got a total of 3 1/2 marathons lined up this summer/fall. And once I know how the ankle holds up after them I will aim for a full marathon my first 26.2 in 2012!

This is right after surgery:
And this is a before after weight loss photo:

And this is my tattoo I got to remember what I accomplished and to never forget where I began, where I was and always aim further:

That is on my right inner wrist and yep when I do complete a full I'll get the exact same ink on my inner left wrist with a 26.2 in the foot with the date and time for it.
PS: My last run my average was 8:39!


  1. Its a good thing I love green beans, which I was eating when I saw your blog post.... I am also glad to say that I did not puke up my lunch.

    Glad you hear that a marathon is more of a possibility for you. When you ran the 1/2 with me you seemed as if you were leaning more toward a No on that one. I really hope that you are able to run in one in 2012!

  2. You done good girl!!!

  3. I am so very proud off you & all you have gone thru to get where you are today!!

  4. You have a great story! Very inspirational! I'm proud of you! Running is one of the few things in life that keeps me sane. And it also makes me (and you) SKINNY! ;) yeah for that! But mostly it's a way to push yourself. I'm glad you love it so much, I do too!