29 July 2013

Date With A Killer

Despite the fact that I’m happily married, I’ve got a date coming up, and it’s not not with Dearest Spouse.  In fact, I’ve got two dates, really; the first with my old buddy, Dr. Foot Doctor, and the second with a killer.  Yes, I’ll be spending the weekend with a pain-killer, or more likely multiple such killers.  Gee, I can’t wait.

In the roller-coaster of life, there’s a dip ahead, and I don’t mean that slightly lost-looking guy down the street.  In my uneducated way, I saw hope in that seemingly devoid-of-white-spots MRI.  A high point, perhaps the pain was in my mind, perhaps I could beat it down with a few meds, beat it in general.  Then a drop in fortunes when I was reminded that I am not, in fact, a doctor, and just because an MRI looks pretty doesn’t mean all is pretty.

At that point, coming off the meds, feeling pretty good, yet having been told that Sir Achilles wasn’t truly whole, there was only one way to find out what was really happening:  run.  And so run I did, leaving Dr. Foot Doctor hanging for a week while I tested out the healed / no-healed state of the heel, not with easy jogs but with some real miles.  Within a few days it was right back to its old tricks, and the verdict was clear.  Once again Dr. Doctor had been right when he told me that this kind of injury simply wouldn’t heal by itself without less than about a year of inactivity – an option I’m just not willing to entertain.  Having absorbed the verdict, it was time for the sentencing.  I made the call.  Let’s fix the bugger.

And on that call, Dr. Doctor reminded me why he is such a favorite and why I recommend him frequently.  When last we’d met, we’d talked about treatment options, the best being the use of the Topaz wand, the very same device he used as part of my foot tendon repair five years ago.  This time, however, with nothing severed like before, the procedure was simply to use the wand to initiate blood flow to promote healing, since the reason that tendons don’t heal is that they simply have no blood flow – especially for an internal partial tear like this.  His thought was to do this as it is commonly done, right from the outside, simply piercing the skin for each Topaz puncture.

But during that week when I’d left him hanging on my intentions, he’d taken the initiative to contact the firm that makes the device and related the details of my case to them.  (I was tickled when he relayed to me that he told them that his patient was an ‘elite athlete’!  Really?  Cool!)  They advised him that additional precision was in order for my case, and despite the additional healing involved, he should open it up to see exactly where to apply the Magic Wand, rather than stabbing blindly from outer space.  A little more on the recovery side, but more likely to be effective.  I’ll take that trade-off.  And I’ll say thanks to the good doctor for making the extra effort!

All things being equal, once that decision was made, I’d just as soon get it done in the next five minutes, not stew over it, and be on the road to recovery that much sooner.  But life being as it is, there’s simply too much stacked into the next few weeks to make myself into an invalid right away.  Thus I’ve got another twenty-five days to think about it before we slice and dice.  And besides, Darling Daughter the Eldest might be having her wisdom teeth out at that same time, so what could be more fun than to down Vicodin together for a weekend?

With twenty-five days to wait, knowing I’m going to fix this thing anyway, what to do between now and then is obvious:  run, run, run, hike a bit, and run.  No racing, nothing foolish of course, but certainly running.  There’s simply no point in going into a long break in any worse shape than I have to be.  I’m already up a few pounds from cutting mileage and taking much of June and early July off.  Might as well work it off now and start from a better place.  Besides, when Dr. Doctor opens that tendon sheath, I’d like it to be real obvious which part he needs to fix!

The fall season is shot, no cross country, Mount Desert Island Marathon won’t happen this year, but if all goes as hoped, an eighteen-month nagging pain will become a thing of the past.  It’s time to live what I preach and worry about making sure I’m running in ten years instead of next month.

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