Yesterday was a big day. I taught my first full class at Hour Blast, and followed it up with my first appointment with Dr. Stewart at Tulane’s Institute of Sports Medicine. With an injury like stress fractures that requires a very individualized healing process, it’s important to have a doctor who understands your goals of getting back to athletics, and who will listen to what you have to say about the level of pain you’re feeling.
In Massachusetts, I went to New England Orthopedic Surgeons, and I was supposed to have a follow-up bone scan just two days before I left for Louisiana to make sure my bones were getting back to normal. A couple days before the appointment, I learned that the nurse had accidentally scheduled me for an office visit rather than a bone scan, but it was too late to change anything. About half a week later is when the pain came back. If the bone scan had gone as it was planned, I could have rested for the days preceding the pain, but instead I ran on my legs which were apparently on the verge of re-injury. Talk about upsetting!
Now that I’m down here, I made it a priority to schedule an appointment with a doctor who could help me get back to normal. Luckily, my own school has its own sports medicine clinic! If you’re a runner and you’re injured, I suggest getting a sports doctor over an orthopedist. They understand our neuroses. More often than not, they’re runners or avid sportsmen themselves. They want you to return to your insane 80 miles a week schedule, and will do everything in their power to get you there ASAP.
By far the hardest part of my appointment was parking. Campus parking is terrible wherever you go, except maybe a community college where everyone commutes anyway. Eventually I just parked my car and got out, deciding the appointment and fixing my legs is more important than some stupid parking ticket. And besides, I’ll pretty much never be on campus, so what can they do to me? I guess I should read the parking services webpage and find out before I try this again.
One complaint I do have is that I sat in the waiting room for about 40 minutes. And I was really close to being late. Like, I arrived only 4 minutes before I was scheduled to be seen. That is no good. Turns out it really didn’t matter at all. Luckily, I still have nothing to do…so I relaxed and watched Tabitha’s Salon Makeover (which I will never choose to do, ever). I would have been a tad happier if I hadn’t run out of coffee, but I was really pretty upbeat.
The man who brought me to the exam room seemed very professional and kind of uptight at first, but as we got to know each other through my injury history, he opened up and told me of his adventures with the Red Dress Run, I got the feeling that I came to the right office. This feeling continued when my doctor came to talk to me.
Gregory Stewart is a true southern badass. Handlebar moustache, alligator skin cowboy boots, and confidence. The man listened to me, rounded up my height (MAJOR bonus points!), and asked what I wanted to do in terms of diagnostic imaging. So, I’ll be getting an MRI hopefully within a week, and begin appropriate healing asap. Until then, I’m going to be SUPER careful with my legs. As my dad pointed out: “taking it easy for you is not the same as taking it easy for other people. You should really try to give those legs a rest!” I got a thera band and some stretches and exercises to do to strengthen the muscles of my ankles and lower legs, so that they’ll help support the bones more. I left happy and got even happier when my car wasn’t ticketed =)