I run about 20 miles a week—sometimes more, sometimes less. But that’s been my average for a while. I love running. I run to avoid depression. I don’t take pills. (Not that I’m against doing so!). It’s just that running works for me. I run because it gets me high and makes me unbelievably happy. I can’t imagine not being able to do it.
A few weeks ago, I started to notice some pain at the top and center of my left foot. I continued to run, of course, because, if you know anything about runners, we tend to be a stubborn bunch. It was fine. I mean, it hurt, but I ran through it. I ran and iced and elevated and then last Sunday I hit Central Park for a NYRR 4-miler and finished in great time (for me). I was so proud of myself. I came home and immediately signed up for another race. Sure, I could barely walk at the time, but I figured I had time to get back to normal again. I guessed it was just a bruise but I made a podiatry appointment just to be safe. This time I even stayed off of it. I used the elliptical machine and lifting weights instead.
Today my doctor ran a series of x-rays and I have a stress fracture—a bloody painful one. When she touched the magic spot, I nearly puked. So, she put me in a soft cast and gave me a boot. She told me to stay off of it. (Yeah, right! Have you met my son?) But, worst of all? I can’t run for 8 weeks. I can’t even use the elliptical machine.
Of course, with every fairly uncool event that takes place in my life anymore, there’s always an element of humor involved.
You see, I live in Brooklyn and I have a car, so a depressingly large chunk of my daily life is spent abiding by the alternate side parking calendar. Naturally, I was concerned.
“Can I drive?” I asked her.
“Yeah, because you don’t need that foot to drive.” She joked.
“I drive a stick.”
“Oh gosh. Well, the more you use it, the longer it will take to heal. So, I would suggest you not drive.”
And you know what my first thought was? I wondered if she might write a doctor’s note so I could get out of having to move the car from one side of the street to the other, as if the NYC government was going to take pity on the fact that I am wearing a cast. You could be a headless person without hands and the New York State Department of Transportation would continue to ticket your car. Hell, you could be giving birth and they’d give you a ticket and make you pay it. (YES, THAT HAPPENED TO ME! The birth part, not the headless bit.)
The NYSDOT does not care about my left foot.
When I left the doctor, I couldn’t call Toby because I knew I would just cry into the phone, so I texted him instead. I told him what was going on. Here are those texts:
Me: Stress fracture. I look like a freak. Huge boot and soft cast. WTF have I done? Can’t run for 8 weeks.
Me: Can’t do much of anything. This is going to make me into a crazy person.
Him: Will take care of ya. CAN YOU MOVE THE CAR?!!?
The first thing I did when I got out of the subway was move the car.
But seriously, people: what I am going to do without my antidepressant?