Hi all, Im guessing you’re all wondering why the hell you just clicked on a picture of the insides of someones foot, and I bet you’re now wondering why you’re still reading this. Id love to say that you’ve got past the worst of it, much like rolling out of bed on a Monday morning but ill be honest here and say that this is going to be a very long and convoluted journey.
This story starts on the 29th November 2015 when I broke my ankle in a climbing accident. Now that makes it sound quite extreme, in reality I fell from about 3.5 metres onto a impact matting but landed at just the wrong angle. What followed on from this was one painful drive to A&E, 7 mind numbing days in a hospital bed and 3 months spent trying not to go stir crazy around the house.
At first I thought it was just a painful sprain but was told I should get I checked out anyway, and boy was I wrong. After my first X-ray I saw a surprising number of doctors and nurses, some just popping there heads in to look at the “interesting” X-rays. Or make comments on how they hadn’t seen a break like that before. I didn’t know wether to feel flattered or pissed of, and I don’t do pissed of very well so I said thanks, glad i can be of entertainment. I was soon told I had broken my talus bone, which was described as the worst ankle bone to break due to its placement and very poor blood flow. And as I clearly don’t believe in doing things half heartedly I had fractured it in 4 places and displaced the whole bone by about and inch.
I was told very quickly that it would need surgery and that I would have to stay over night. “Overnight” turned into 7 uncomfortable days and nights as the consultants waited for the swelling to go down enough to operate. This time was filled with reading, playing games on my phone and visits from friends and family. After what felt like an eternity I was told I was ready to go to the operating room and my surgery was booked that afternoon. I was told by one of the surgeons that this was the first operation of its kind in Europe so they wanted permission to use a camera in my ankle during the surgery, being a wannabe photographer I couldn’t refuse. What happened next though was a short sentence that inspired me to start writing this blog. I was being given the standard risk of surgery chat by the surgeon and the consultant when he turned to me and said something that Ill never forget, “You should really stop climbing, and even after surgery you will never run long distances again”. Having only just run my first trail marathon that summer and looking forward to do many more this stopped me in my tracks and I didn’t have any response.
After the surgery and yet another day in a hospital bed being monitored I was allowed home and told not to put any weight on my foot and come in for monthly checkups. This then started the longest 3 months of my life. In order to stay positive I had to keep note of all of the small achievements I was making, like first time up and down the stairs, first time using crutches to go down to the shop and so on. Being non weight bearing has proven to make the most mundane tasks quite a challenge, but all the time in the back of my mind I was thinking about running, climbing and proving the doctor wrong.
Day 96 – Hospital check up and good news!
Finally my ramblings have caught up to the present. This morning brought yet another early morning check up at hospital and more anticipation than ever of what I was going to be told. Meeting yet another new doctor before my scan gave me some hope as he seemed more positive than the others, And I wasn’t wrong. The X-ray scans showed great reabsorption (feel free to tell me what that means) and no displacement. Even though it still has a long while to heal he said that I can start to slowly put weight back on the foot over the next 12 weeks leading up to the next check up where I will hopefully be able to literally get back on my feet.
I then asked the question that I feared the most, what his opinion on me running again was. Instead of saying a firm no like everyone else I had spoken to he calmly asked “what kind of distance” to which i replied “marathons and longer”. Expecting nothing short of a negative outcome I was surprised to hear him say that if I left it maybe a year or 2, And include steady rehab and training he couldn’t see why not.
“WHY NOT” Thats enough for me to obsess over. So I’ll end on that somewhat positive note. And just remember, every great achievement or adventure starts with one small step!
’till next time, Steve.