Sunday, January 8, 2012

Counting Your Losses

With the first day of classes coming up (tomorrow technically, but I have Mondays free), I know things are going to get really busy. My next appointment with the sports doctor is Friday morning (another day when I don’t have classes…I love distance learning). Hopefully I’ll be able to get off the crutches and just gimp around in the boot. It’s one thing to get to class late and have everybody stare at you; it’s another to do it on crutches. But, as my sister pointed out, at least I have an obvious excuse.
So what else would I do with the last remaining bits of my free time but Google stress fractures? And to my surprise I came across something I haven’t yet in the previous 20 Google searches: Vitamin D. I guess rewording “heel stress fracture running” is a worthwhile pastime after all.

Anyway, apparently vitamin D deficiency is a risk for stress fractures. Don’t get me wrong, I know the main cause is doing (way) too much, too soon. But it does seem a bit extreme to have them in both heels at the same time. Since the plantar fasciitis forced me to live on stationary biking and swimming, when the outdoor pool closed my only sunny activity was riding…and then it started raining. And raining. It snowed once, but the point is we’ve been indoors for a few months now. So where do I get my vitamin D?

Answer: What vitamin D? Before classes ended I walked to class, to the car, drove home (does sunshine through the windshield count?), and that was it. My total exposure time was probably less than 30 minutes. Plus, sunshine is hard to come by in winter, especially one as rainy as this one. So basically all the vitamin D I was getting when I started back running was from my daily multivitamin, and I’m sure that, as with calcium, there’s only so much you can absorb from that before you need outside sources.

So what do I do? Google, of course! What foods contain vitamin D? Well, according to the NIH, “the flesh of fatty fish and fish liver oils are among the best sources. Small amounts…are found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.” Umm, ok…not so encouraging for a vegetarian who finds eggs repulsive unless they’re in baked goods. But it goes on to say that most milk is fortified with vitamin D, as well as some cereals. I guess I’ll have to start checking labels for vitamin D now, too.

I just want to heal as soon as possible. I know I won’t be running for a while yet, but I would love to be able to maintain the activities I had before I tried to run again. That includes biking, swimming (for real, like kicking), and most of all, riding. I went to the barn today for the first time in a week, walking up to aisle on crutches to say hi to Sydney…and he was afraid of me. He didn’t recognize me for me, only saw the crutches. I couldn’t reassure him—he only came out of the corner when Zoe brought a treat from the tack room. I feel like I’m losing him, like he’s not mine anymore. And of all the things I’ve lost, that’s the worst.
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