Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Dear Dr. G

Dear Dr. G -

This time last year, you performed bilateral fasciotomies on my lower legs to relieve my chronic exertional compartment syndrome. Before coming to you, I saw two doctors. The first seemed clueless and unmotivated to solve the medical mystery of the tightness and pain my calves. The second told me to give up on running, telling me that women always regret the scars from corrective surgery.

Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you and your team. It meant so much to me that you listened when I explained my symptoms, that you were eager to treat me, and that your vision for my longterm recovery was the same as my own. You never tried to talk me out of surgery. You never suggested that my passion for my sport mattered less to me than few cosmetic abnormalities would. Your goal to was help me run again.

These days, I am running again. The fact that I am seeing my old paces and distances just one year post-surgery is astounding, especially because I spent such a long time sidelined before I met you.

I am not a competitive runner. Maybe that's why other doctors weren't pressed to get me on my feet. But I use running to manage my anxiety and depression. Running is the only form of exercise I have ever enjoyed, so it is the only one that I have stuck with. When I can't run, my mental and emotional health suffers.

There were times last year when I thought I'd never run again. That was devastating. When I say you gave me my life back when you treated my legs, I really mean it. I cannot thank you enough.

Thank you. Sincerely.


Monday, September 3, 2018

July vs. August Miles

Today's post is just a quick update for the end of August and how it compared to July.
July: 26 miles
In July, I was still running 2-3 miles more frequently than I aimed for 3-4. My dedication took a hit from traveling and then going back to work. I was pleased that I got a few runs in while on vacation, though. I tend to slack while traveling.

Toward the end of August, I planned to add in weekend runs, but I got sick the last week of the month. I managed to still get my three weekday runs in, but I didn't see a benefit in pushing myself to run while battling the back-to-school crud, so I took the last weekend off. I also upped my weekday runs from 2-3 miles to 3-4, which made a big difference.
August: 48 miles
I nearly doubled my total miles between July and August, which is mind-boggling and incredibly motivating. August is by far my highest-mileage month in ages, and I felt good the entire month, without any aches, pains, or tightness.

I am tentatively planning to lengthen my weekday runs by a half mile or so until my base is 5 miles instead of 4. Despite the humidity and work-exhaustion, my runs have all felt really good and almost easy, so it's time to do a little more.

I am officially one year post-op on my right leg. Even though the process of diagnosis, surgery, and recovery felt long, in the grand scheme of things, I am pretty much back to where I usually am at this time of year and I feel great. I am grateful, amazed, and complaint-free.