Friday, July 11, 2008

Three Doctors, Two legs, and One Determination

Three weeks ago, I saw my doctor for my ankle injury in hopes that she would refer me to an amazing, all knowing specialist. A specialist who would tape me up, slap me on the butt and send me running again. It didn't quite work out that way...

Doctor #1
We will call her the GP for General Practitioner. She was able to see me almost right away for my ankle. In her office, she took a quick glance at my ankle after I told her of my goal to run this marathon. Without even touching it, she said I needed to see a specialist. 'Yes!' I thought. This is what I was hoping for! Referral in hand, I called the specialist to make an appointment.
"The earliest available appointment we have is July 7th", the receptionist said.
"That's three weeks from now!" I said.
"This is the earliest appointment we have".
"Ok, I will wait," I said. "He must be good if he is booked this far in advance."

Boy was I wrong!!!

Doctor #2
We will call him Dr. Negativity. He came in the office for my long anticipated appointment and didn't even look me in the eyes, much less the face. Staring at his clipboard, he asked what the problem was.

Me: I am training for a marathon and I hurt my ankle. I think it's because of my previous knee injury
Dr. Negativity: (with a nice layer of cynicism) You have a knee injury and you're running a marathon?
Me: Yeah, I'm running a marathon
Dr. Negativity: Were you a runner before this?
Me: No
Dr. Negativity: (laying it on thicker) But you're running a marathon.
Me: Yeah, Dude. I'm running a marathon!

Dr. N proceeds to fondle my ankle like it's a fish he has extreme distaste for. He asked a few times if what he was doing hurt. It didn't. He let go of my foot and started writing.

"You have an over-use injury, take Aleve and stay off it for two more weeks. After that you can run one mile, increasing it by 25% each week". When I asked about exercises I could do he said, (and I'm not exaggerating) "Do whatever doesn't hurt your ankle".

You need a degree for this? Discouraged, I walked out the door.

My trainer recommended this specialist, Jeff Waldberg. He said that this guy has performed miracles with other Team In Training participants. After researching him, I decided that he was worth the expense (my insurance won't cover it) and I set up an appointment. I was able to get in to see him within two days!

Doctor #3
He goes by Jeff and he is awesome! I came in, he listened to me and looked me in the eye. He felt my ankle and almost immediately found the tender spot in my joint. He videotaped me while I ran on the treadmill so we could analyze my running technique. After he filmed it, he put in his computer so we could measure the angles of my joints as I ran. Turns out, I was way to high on my toes when I landed. This was most likely the cause of my injury. He showed me a new technique and I ran on the treadmill again. It was completely comfortable. I felt like I could run all day! He then taped my foot and told me to get back to running. "We're not out of the woods yet," he said, "But let's try to get you past the three mile mark."

I nearly cried. I felt so elated and full of hope! If I had taken Dr. Negativity's advice, I would have been up to 8 miles by the day of the marathon. I could have kissed Jeff.

For the first time in almost a month, I am going to run with my team on Saturday! They are doing a ten-mile run, so I will go as long as I can and see how I feel.

Thank God I didn't give up. There's hope for me yet!!!


SonHui said...

That's awesome Jamie! Great news, your determination is paying off.

EFogarty said...

We love Mr. Waldberg!
Hang in there! One mile at a time!!
Good stuff!