Only 12 hrs after finishing my Ironbiker race report and really looking forward to going to my favorite race La Ruta de los Conquistadores in Costa Rica, I had a little incident that will keep me on the couch rather than on my bike for a while. Thursday morning as I was stepping out of the yurt, I slipped on the step with my sandal and fell. It seemed really silly, more embarrassing than painful actually, and I thought I would just be able to "walk it off". I hobbled in to the house while telling Eric, "I'm OK, I'm OK, I'm sure I'm OK". After laying around talking on the phone to my sister, not even mentioning the fall since it seemed so minor, I realized I couldn't put any weight on my foot. Well, my plan for the day was a 2 hour road-spin so after painfully squeezing my foot into my bike shoe I got on my bike and started riding. After about 2 minutes I made a U-turn since I realized I was probably not really going to have a good ride.
At 10 o'clock I drove myself to Los Gatos Community ER for some X-rays. I had a feeling that something was broken, but it seemed like such a stupid little fall, that it couldn't be.... About 1 hr later I crutched out to my car, with the x-rays showing the Jones' fracture, and my foot in a splint. A Jones' fracture occurs in an area of the 5th metatarsal (your foot bone that leads to your little toe) with very poor blood circulation making healing difficult without surgery. All I could think about was that I was going to have to miss La Ruta, my favorite race that I have been looking forward to all year.... I was so sad!!
On my way home I called Rob Naber, my friend, former boss, and sponsor who is the owner of Physical Therapy of Los Gatos. He immediately recommended me seeing Dr. Joan Oloff who is the ankle and foot specialist that he co-owns the medical building with. She has worked with many high level athletes including Brandy Chastain. Rob actually called me back after a couple of hours and had already set up an appointment for me to see her the same afternoon.
Since I did not want to sit around and cry and feel sorry for myself, I decided to go to work before my doctor's appointment. My client and friend Linda Higgins (happy hipaa) cheered me up as I made her work harder than usual to make myself feel better. We laughed as she walked me out to my car after her workout, who was the patient and who was the physical therapist??
Dr. Oloff looked at my x-rays, asked if I had researched Jones' fractures, and said that she recommended surgery. Since everything I read on the Internet said you have a 50/50 chance of healing with your foot non-weight bearing in a cast for 8 weeks, I didn't even have to think about it. Dr. Oloff quickly scheduled the surgery for the following afternoon. I am very fortunate to be taken care of so quickly!!
Friday morning I still hopped around on my crutches to work out my clients. I thought about going swimming, but decided against it since I wasn't allowed to eat before the surgery, and I didn't want to bonk. Eric drove me to the surgery center in the afternoon. I was a bit nervous about the anesthesia, since I had a bad experience with it during my elbow surgery in South Africa. At that time I ended up with fluid in my lungs, my oxygen saturation dropped and landed me in the ICU. This time was SMOOTH, I only felt a little dizzy and drunk when I woke up about 1 hour after they put me under. Under fluoroscopy Dr. Oloff had inserted a screw into my 5th metatarsal holding it together so it can heal faster. My foot was completely numb packed into a bandage and a splint.
I spent the night on the couch with my foot elevated per instructions from Dr. Oloff. So far I haven't had to take any pain medication, I am just uncomfortable with the splint and not being able to move around like I want to. It's very annoying to have to ask for help all the time and not being able to get around that well. Eric is a very patient "nurse" but I am sure he is getting tired of hearing me complain and having to take care of me. My follow-up appointment with Dr. Oloff is on Thursday, but she actually called me this morning to see how I was feeling. According to her I can get in the pool 10 days post-op (that would be 9 days from now) and hopefully begin weight bearing (that means trainer) in 2 weeks. If only La ruta didn't have so much hiking, I could maybe still make it......