As a runner, I’ve had plenty of “runner injuries”…stress fractures, tendonitis, torn meniscus, and strains and sprains of all grades. What I’ve never had though is a broken bone. Even as a kid, I never broke a bone. Keith was a rough and tumble kid and was always in a cast of some sort but not me. Well, I guess 40 isn’t too late.
Keith and I headed out for our run last Friday. We had debated whether or not we wanted to go then (it was 5 degrees) or wait until Saturday afternoon when I got off work. I really hate to put runs off so we decided we’d suck it up, bundle, and get it done. We knew we only had a few hours to get our run in and get home in time for Georgia’s acupuncture appointment so we decided to run the Wolf River trails instead of Shelby Forest. These trails we’ve done hundreds of times so we know exactly how much time it takes from point to point which makes it easy when you’re pressed for time.
We were about 1.5 hours in to our run and Keith was in front. I was feeling fine. Was a few minutes away from refueling, felt plenty warm, had my headphones in, and was enjoying the completely desolate trail. I was headed down a short but fairly steep downhill when all of a sudden, I was falling. It happened so fast, I’m not sure if I hit a root or a hole or what but it was very unfortunate that it all happened on a downhill because gravity was not my friend. I landed with all of my weight on my left knee and at the same time, felt (and heard) my right ankle break. I’ve had ankle sprains that have taken me to the ground but I knew right away this was different. The pain was different and was severe. I knew I needed to get to the car quickly but also knew we were 1.5 hours away and that was if we were running!
I was trying not to panic, as was Keith, but herein lies the dilemma of what to do if injured on a trail. It’s not as simple as sitting down and calling someone. I knew that it might take us twice as long to walk back to the car, assuming I could walk at all…..that would be 3 hours! Fortunately, Keith was thinking more clearly and knew we weren’t far from the Greenline (the trail we were on goes under the Greenline) so he thought that might be the best bet. I was a little panicked that we were headed the opposite direction of the car but I also knew Keith was thinking more clearly than I was.
In Keith’s defense, he offered to throw me over his shoulder and carry me out but I am stubborn and my adrenaline was kicking so I was just on a mission to get out of the trail. We tried the whole arm over the shoulder thing to get me out but it’s tough to walk 2 wide on a single track trail! It’s also hard to limp on both legs! Thank God my phone still had a little juice so he got in touch with my sister as we were walking out and she was able to come get us. She met us at the Penal Farm, just off the Greenline. It took us about 40 or so minutes to get to where she could get her car to us. By then we were both pretty cold but I kept telling myself it’s as if i was already icing my ankle and knee 😉 This was my first silver lining.
Allison drove us to our car and we went straight to the urgent care. Runners are notoriously stubborn and I’ve never gone straight to the doctor but I’m very fortunate that I did. Although I immediately told Keith that I thought my ankle was broken, the pain in my knee was almost worst so I was beginning to question if I was just being dramatic. :0
After x-rays, the final diagnoses was better and worse than I expected. I assumed I had torn my meniscus again and probably sprained my ankle. It’s actually quite the opposite. On the knee, the doctor feels it’s nothing more than a severe bruise behind the cartilage. Yay, can’t bend my leg and severe bruising behind the cartilage! Definitely better than a torn meniscus. Silver lining #2. The right ankle though is broken. What a f*&King bummer! It is however a non displaced break which is much better than a displaced break. Silver lining #3.
So, in came the nurse with the dreaded boot. Hate the boot but, they are allowing me a boot so they can re-xray in 2 weeks rather than casting me, cutting the cast off and recasting. When I heard that a cast was an option, suddenly the boot became my friend. Silver lining #4. The nurse was apologetic as she was fitting me for the boot…how awful they are and bulky. As someone who has had these in the summer when it’s a thousand degrees, I’m just happy it’s cold outside. Silver lining #5.
I’m beyond pissed, bummed, depressed….name it and i’m it…that I had such a fluke accident. It’s like the time Keith bent to pick up the paper and threw his back out and was in the bed for weeks. There’s no rhyme or reason to why it happened. I just had the perfect fall. Thinking I would have scored a 10 in a downhill, ankle breaking fall! Yay, me.
I am bummed that I can’t run some upcoming races I had planned but I’m just even more determined to do everything I have to do to get back out there….even if that means sleeping in this damn boot and walking with crutches, neither of which I am finding to be very easy.
I’m beyond grateful for Keith. I can’t imagine how stressful it was for him knowing that we were so far from the car and I know I wasn’t doing anything to make it any less stressful (thinking crying probably wasn’t all that helpful). I’m also grateful to him for all that he has to take on for the next several weeks since I can’t drive, walk, or really even stand. I am very fortunate he is as wonderful as he is 🙂 Thanks, KR, you’re still my favorite person.