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July 21, 2010

My Kind of Doctor

A couple of administrative notes prior to today's post ...

1) Before you settle into this one, take a detour to Gretchen's blog, because she just posted her race report from the Tahoe Rim Trail 100. Go read it, congratulate her on her awesome accomplishment, and tell her what a good pacer she had, so I might get invited back sometime.

2) Apologies in advance for the amount of type I’ve devoted to one small injury; bear with me for one more post, and I promise I’ll stop kvetching about my pinky toe. At least I'll try to.

When I first reported on my toe injury, I mentioned that I was too lazy and too cheap to hunt down a doctor in the middle of the Sierras who would take an x-ray, tell me it was broken, and that there was nothing I could do about it but to rest. There just didn’t seem like much point to it.

On the other hand, I didn’t mention that one of my friends at home is an orthopedic surgeon who also happens to be a runner, and who gets a kick out of throwing body parts under an x-ray machine just to see what they look like. So earlier this week, I stopped by his office, and this is what we saw:

In medical terms, they are nondisplaced fractures. On the picture, they're the skinny little white lines that the arrows point to. In practicality, they're the reason I’m still having a fair amount of pain.

My friend and I also had this exchange …

Me: Is there anything I can do for it?

Him: Not really. It will eventually heal on its own.

Me: How long does it usually take?

Him: About 3 to 4 weeks – but since you’re going to keep running on it, more like 6 to 8 weeks.

It’s probably worth emphasizing here just how completely cool this doctor is: there was no lecture about being more careful, no criticism about running mountain trails in Vibrams, and no questioning whether or not I’d keep running – it was just a “here’s the deal” explanation, and a standing offer to come on back the next time I manage to bust myself up.

Because we both figure it’s bound to happen again. Some things you just know.


Tuck 7/22/10, 5:15 AM  

"Because we both figure it’s bound to happen again. Some things you just know."

LOL. That is the funniest thing I've ever read on your blog.

Next you'll break the other pinkie toe, then you're probably OK, from my own experience and what I've read.

Feet, like people, seem to learn the hard way.

Nathan Seibt 7/22/10, 7:44 AM  

I think I have a stress (or other fracture) on the bone that kinda sticks out on the outside of the foot. I don't want to see a doc about it, because they'd tell me to stop running.

Now, if I had a doc like yours...

Ewa 7/22/10, 9:17 AM  

Oh, do, please do share the name of your doctor. :)

The Dude 7/22/10, 10:45 AM  

Great post! Look at the bright side: you can run through your injury. I have been out since finishing my R2R2R in May because of a knee injury (long story you don't care about). It better heal up soon though because I signed up for the 2011 Big Sur Marathon, woohoo!

Gretchen 7/22/10, 6:45 PM  

I'll never forget the time you paced me 50 miles with a broken toe. I can't decide if the appropriate adjective here is "bad-ass" or "dumb-ass." Seriously though, thanks for not bailing on me.

Okay, no more whining from you.

Darren 7/22/10, 8:11 PM  

Gretchen might have just called you a "dumb-ass"...in the comments on her blog I said you were a nice dude. My chances of getting you as a pacer someday just increased! Be aware that I'm nowhere near as fast as Gretchen so you could break a leg and we'd be fine.


Anonymous,  7/22/10, 8:17 PM  

OT: Have you ever heard of this guy ? David Goggins


21stCenturyMom 7/30/10, 9:32 PM  

Is it cool or cruel that these doctors are so lackadaisical about the way we beat the crap out of our bodies? Hard to say.

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