"The goal is to become the unique, awesome, never to be repeated human being that we were called to be." -Patricia Deegan

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

I Have Two Feet

I've been looking down at my feet a bit more than usual today. And instead of grumbling about numbness or muscles twitches, I'm feeling grateful that they're just there to grumble about.

I had a bone scan two days ago because there was still enough pain in my foot to question a stress fracture. The radiologist yesterday confirmed no stressie, so I was relieved. Today, I saw my sports doc for a detailed review of my injury.

She's good. Very good. And deals with Western Australian Institute of Sport athletes, so she's seen it all. She's not prone to drama. She's very practical, frank, and realistic.

So when she told me I was a very lucky girl and that she's seen anterior compartment syndrome result in amputation, I took notice. Forget fasciotomy, where they just relieve pressure with a few incisions that look gross. Amputation. From running.

There obviously seems to be a difference of opinion between the emerg doc I saw in Albany and my sports doc as to whether I should have continued running those last few hundred kms. In the end, I made it. I got the record and I get to keep both my shins and feet. And likely, any muscle/nerve damage should heal well by the new year.

I guess I felt a particular duty to post this, because since my event I've heard of 4 athletes who developed this condition during big events. They all healed and no one needed surgery. However, I don't want someone in the future to have read my story and think now that they should just push past this particular pain barrier.

At the time, I said I would only continue if there were no identifiable lifetime consequences, including surgery. And at the time, that's what I thought, with the information at hand. Knowing what I know now, I would have stopped on the South Coast Hwy. It wasn't worth the risk.

Play safe. It's a lifetime pursuit.

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