A few weeks ago, I noticed that my right ankle was purple and swollen. It didn’t hurt, but swelling is never a good sign, right? And purple foods may be fun, but purple feet are another story entirely.
“Please go away,” I silently begged the violet puffiness. Oddly enough, it didn’t listen. (Shocking, I know.) Since there was no pain accompanying the swelling, I decided to continue running like normal. But as the days passed and the swelling remained, I booked a trip to the doctor, just to be sure. Once there, I heard the words that every runner dreads: “You may have a stress fracture. I think you should see an Orthopedist.”
Stress fracture? No no no, please. Something else: a sprain, a strain, something where I can just take a magic pill and make it go away! I was aghast when I googled the recovery period for stress fractures: at least 4-6 weeks. Rationally, I should’ve been thankful that it wasn’t something worse (a broken leg! surgery!). But I wasn’t thinking rationally. The morning of my Orthopedist appointment, I glumly set off for what I figured would be a “goodbye” run.
Lesson #1: Don’t assume things.
After looking at the X-rays, the Orthopedist told me that I didn’t have a stress fracture after all. I wanted to hug him!
Lesson #2: Don’t get upset over something that you don’t know is true.
He examined my feet (Lesson #3: Get a pedicure before going to see a cute foot doctor!) and told me I was a supronator, or underpronator, meaning that my feet don’t roll inward enough, which can cause injuries if the wrong shoes are worn. Runners’ feet are classified in one of three categories: Overpronation, Neutral, and Underpronation or Supronation. I’d previously been told—by running store employees—that my feet were neutral.
Turns out that the swelling in my foot was due to Achilles Tendonitis. The doctor gave me some stretches to do and made me an appointment to get orthotics. He also said I can continue to run. Feeling as if I’d been given a second chance, I walked out of the office with a new appreciation for my health—and a new appreciation for my feet!
Lesson #5: Do NOT take your feet for granted!
Right away, I bought a new pair of shoes, because I’d never had any injury problems until I switched away from them.