Sunday, February 5, 2012

They Don't Study Normal People

So I think after mostly biking this weekend and not much swimming, I think I’ve finally sweated out the chlorine smell from my skin. Too bad it’s permanently attached to all my clothes now anyway. And my entire dorm room smells like the pool at the YMCA, because apparently their chemicals are more pungent than the ones at the Nat.

But I’m not posting just to complain about the way I smell. This is, after all, a blog about my feet. Which don’t like biking quite as much as swimming, unfortunately.

Not that they hurt—not exactly. They’re just there. I’d rather be like a normal person and be able to forget about those things attached to the ends of my legs for a little while, but I think I’ve made sure I’ll never be someone who can go about everyday life without thinking of everything my feet go through. Standing on a hardwood or tile floor? *Shifts feet uncomfortably* Walking down an incline on concrete? Well, that’s three times harder than asphalt. Stomping the snow off your shoes when you come inside? *Cringe*

Sometimes I wonder if I’m just hyperaware, or if I’m actually paranoid.

Anyway, feet aside—well, maybe not, because this has to do with my feet too. I’m participating in a stress fracture study in exercising women, carried out right on campus. My sports doctor told me about it and after hearing about the tests they run, I jumped right on board. For free, I get to find out my BMR and bone density/quality.

I go in for the metabolism study tomorrow morning at 7. Gotta get up early even when I don’t have class! But I guess it’s a good thing, because I’m not allowed to eat after 9 o’clock tonight…which could be a challenge in itself because I am a perpetual late-night snacker.

But I can handle it, because I’m really excited to go lay in a laboratory doing nothing for 90 minutes. I’ve always wanted to know my BMR. It’s information that you can really use to make an impact on your health. I haven’t always wanted to know my bone density, but now I do, and that’s also something I can use to make changes for the better.

It’s just a good thing my Super Bowl doesn’t center around parties and food. (Okay, so I don’t even watch the Super Bowl.) Enjoy the game!

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Healing Process

So at about 5.5 weeks post-diagnosis (8.5 weeks post-injury…), I had my most recent appointment with the sports doctor on Monday. Apparently my calcium OD worked to some extent, because the x-rays that I got actually showed the fracture lines this time—thereby confirming the left calcaneus, even though I already knew that’s what it was. Anyway, I wasn’t really expecting much because the doctor had told me that sometimes x-rays never show the bone healing, but there it was. The fracture on the right went about three-quarters of the way through the bone; the left, only about a third. Which would explain why I still couldn’t walk right even three weeks after the initial injury. If I’d gone much longer I would have a pin holding the two pieces of my heel together. 8O

Ugh. Just thinking about all that makes my feet hurt. So to focus on the good news: I’m cleared to bike now. And ride, I think. She couldn’t seem to make up her mind about that, but it’s not all that different from the stationary bike…except that the stationary bike doesn’t buck, spook, or need to be kicked.
Ok, so after establishing that the bike was a safer place to start testing my calcium-enhanced bones, I hopped on it for a half hour on Wednesday. It was a refreshing change from aqua-jogging every day, and it definitely felt all right while I was doing it. But my heels/Achilles area have been a little…not painful exactly, but noticeable. So I don’t know if it’s actually from biking or if it’s from me thinking it should hurt because I biked. Really, walking to class is higher impact. It shouldn’t make that big of a difference, right?

I also don’t know if it’s from walking around more without the boot cast. I kind of made two changes at once, which every experimenter knows is not proper practice. Oops. Well, tomorrow I plan to try out the bike again AND not walk a lot. Should be easy, with no class to go to.

I also RODE MY BUBBA (Sydney) today for the first time in two months! I’ll admit I wasn’t exactly attractive in my pink sneakers (old running shoes with Dr. Scholl’s inside) and half-chaps, but just thinking about walking around in my unpadded leather paddock boots made me want to cry. Plus Sydney doesn’t care what I wear as long as I give him food.

It wasn’t a long ride—less than 30 minutes, with a lot of walking—and I only went as fast as a trot. But that was enough. It’s been such a weird winter that we could ride outside, with the sun setting and making all the colors deeper and richer. It’s the first time I’ve been outside for the fun of it—not just to get somewhere. It was almost like a slice of my old life.