October 19, 2008
right on cue
I'm at the tail end of 4 weeks in the walking boot. This past week has been good, and there have been times when I've forgotten which leg was the injured one, since neither one hurt. I spent quite a bit of time yesterday discussing recovery and return to running with a friend. It was more a cross-examination than a discussion, and it left me discouraged. Among the points raised by my friend, the devil's advocate:
1) Although I am pain-free, the fact that I entertain any possibility that there might be any bit of pain when I first start to run is a sign that I need to to take more time off.
2) Although I am pain-free and can walk an hour just fine, I should take some more time off as a show of strength, just because I can.
3) Although the average recovery time for serious weightbearing stress fractures (like tibia, femoral neck, metatarsals) is up to 3 months, I should admit to the possibility that my (pain-free, nonweightbearing) stress fracture of the fibula might take longer than average, because after all average is just that, an average, and we must consider the upper mathematical limit of that average. So I should take some more time off.
4) I should listen to my body and not rely 100% on any return-to-running plan, unless my body happens to be telling me that it's ok to try the return-to-running plan. In which case I should follow the return-to-running plan, which states that the average healing time for serious weightbearing stress fractures is 90 days, and by the way, go back to item (3) above.
5) Although I am pain-free, the absence of pain might actually be a form of painless healing, so I should take more time off.
6) Although the first run of the return-to-running plan calls for 3 5-minute chunks of running, why not opt for 0 minutes instead? After all, there's no a lot of difference between 5 minutes and 0 minutes.
This last prompted me to suggest never ever running again, so that I might be good and healed by the time I die, but my friend the devil's advocate would not go so far as to agree with that. However, my husband thought the whole exchange was very cute and did an in absentia impression of my friend the devil's advocate (whom, btw, neither of us has ever met), gesturing a lot with his hands and speaking with a horrible accent that owed more to our Dutch friend Albert than to any Romance language. He was trying to make me smile, but at the same time he was trying to further the case of my friend the devil's advocate.
I didn't think it was very funny. In fact, I spent the rest of the evening stewing over these paternalistic guys who think they know what's best for me, what the hell do they know, they're not the boss of me anyway, they just want to be right all the time like paternalistic guys everywhere, grrrr. And as I stewed, I began to notice that my leg felt a very tiny bit tight. And as I drank my coffee (and continued to stew) this beautiful chilly 60F morning, my leg was still tight. And very intermittently as I walked for an hour, I felt the slightest bit of tightness in my leg. And when the hour was up I jogged half a block just to see what it would feel like, and it was the slightest bit tight.
Posted by joe positive at October 19, 2008 10:23 AM
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