Today was the big day and I came out of my appointment with mostly good news. I'll warn you, you might want to get comfy and maybe get a drink or a snack, this is going to be a long post.
I'll start with the bad news and get it out of the way and over with: I cannot run for three weeks.
Here's the rest of the news:
My leg never fully recovered from being casted for an unrelated injury. My left leg is 1.5 inches smaller than my right and as a result quite a bit weaker. As a result, I've overworked my poor left leg, have a mild case of posterior shin splints BUT my doctor feels this has already more or less resolved itself (yay #1).
There were no visible fractures on my x-rays (yay #2).
My doctor feels this situation can be corrected and I will be able to resume my training after suitable rest and rehab (yay #3).
That said, I honestly cannot express how grateful I am to have such a wonderful doctor at this moment. I was terrified going into the appointment to the point I was actually shaking.
When I got to the office this morning, I of course had to have x-rays right away. As I walked back to their radiology department, I saw some TNT purple on the wall. Then I realized it was me. My doctor had hung a picture of me, all decked out in TNT gear on his wall next to all the other athletes he's treated. That was the first time I almost broke down. The second time was when my doctor walked in the room. I was so keyed up I could barely sit and the second my doctor walked in, the first thing he said was how proud he was of everything I've done since I got out of my cast last year. And near breakdown number three came while he was measuring my legs. This was when he noticed I was shaking. When questioned, I admitted I was scared he was going to tell me I needed to quit running. This is when doctor dear earned my eternal love and devotion. He sat down on the table with me and very seriously told me this: "My job is to help you find a safe and healthy way to achieve your goals, not to crush your hopes and dreams."
That's right. I have the best doctor ever. Be jealous, people.
Doctors orders are that we will approach this as a team: I'll shut up and actually do as I'm told; diligently rest, stretch and ice. He will help me find ways to stay active until I'm ready to run again and find a physical therapy program that will be able to heal my leg so I can still reach my goals.
So there it is: I'm not dying, I don't require amputation and I will run again. My short term goals need some reevaluation, I think I'm more or less done for the year, but next years' races are still on the calendar.