Two VERY important things for Physical Therapy…
Somewhere along the last 4 weeks or so in my training for Marine Corps Marathon, I hurt my right leg. I didn’t write about it because I decided to pretend the pain didn’t exist. I didn’t see my family physician about it because I thought he’d advise me not to run… at all, never mind the marathon itself. I didn’t have to not tell my husband Barry, or Jane, my daughter and sometimes running partner; they saw me limping.
I remember the first lightning rod of pain. I was running downhill in my local park when I thought my leg was going to collapse from underneath me. It was frightening beyond words; but I chalked it up to hard training. (Insert duh! here, if you like.)
From that day on, I was tentative about my runs, long or short. I felt the pain on the left side my right calf at the beginning of each run. I adjusted my stride to accommodate the pain. The accommodation lead to pain on the right side of my right calf, too. (Double duh!) But by 2 – 2.5 miles of my runs, the pain had subsided. Chalk that up to muscles warming up nicely. (Do I dare a triple duh! ?)
I ran Marine Corps Marathon on October 28th, 2012. I ran more slowly than I had wanted to. There was pain… but there was not one moment of that entire 26.2 miles that I wished I wasn’t there. The challenge, the “Peoples’ Race”, 35,000 competitors, my husband Barry and friend Tracey cheering along the race course, the thousands of Marines high-5-ing along the way and at each water stop, outrunning Hurricane Sandy, knowing that our son Keith and friends Jill, Joe and Bill were up there in the 4-hour range, my beautiful running partner running with me on the entire route, my daughter-in-law Nicole…
Should I have run? I don’t go there. I did it. I’m happy I did.
But as soon as I got back home from Washington, DC, I saw my family physician. He smiled a kind-of you would have run it anyway kind-of smile, poked around my leg muscles
until I nearly leaped from the table in pain a bit, sent me for x-rays, read the x-rays and prescribed Physical Therapy.
I’ve only had PT one other time in my life, after the removal of a cast from a skiing accident wrist fracture. That PT was rather simple; left hand and wrist exercises, no bare body parts that require grooming. Not really any hand holding. It wasn’t like a, you know… a date with a Physical Therapist.
A leg injury is right up there with hands-on fixing a leg with a, you know… a date, of sorts, with a Physical Therapist.
This means business.
This means shaved legs.
So, okay. Maybe I get a bit lax in the shaving legs department in the New England cold weather, all covered in long pants for months at a time. Sorry, Honey…
Maybe the beauty and luxury of a pedicure can wait until next summer, or at least ’til I’m wearing open-toed dressy shoes for a formal winter occasion; which is no time soon. But what if my Physical Therapist needs to check out my ankles and feet, requiring no socks and shoes?
A date with a Physical Therapist to fix a leg requires 2 very important things: 1) shaved legs; and 2) a nice pedicure.
SO. I checked out my toes and felt confident with my recent hot-pink October pedicure.
I shaved my legs.
I headed to PT.
Well, wouldn’t ya know that I did have to bare down to bare feet for lots of how you walk, how you stand, how you balance, etc. etc. etc.
I did have hands-on examination of my ankles, calves, muscles.
I did have deep muscle massage, stretching and all-over beginning to fix what isn’t a stress fracture or a muscle tear, but rather some intense strain from, duh!, running through the pain.
appointment date, I did mention something like thank goodness I had a pedicure and shaved my legs!
My PT-guy laughed and said something like do you know how many women say the same thing, or wish they had!
Bottom Line: Maybe 2 or 3 weeks of twice-weekly PT dates and daily home “lower body stretching” will have me out and running again. I hope so. I’m going crazy…
In the meantime, I’ll be keeping an eye on those pedicure needs.
And shaving my legs. Twice a week.