and.. surgery it is.

This is a difficult post for me to write, so in attempts to keep today tear-free, I’ll try to be as doctorly/straight forward about it as possible. 😉 A little review: going into this doctors appointment yesterday, there were three options. 

  1. Do nothing.. with the exception of possibly trying a bone growth stimulator. Even if the fracture healed and I returned to running, it would basically be like running on eggshells. The fibrous dysplasia ain’t goin’ anywhere, and if I fell or the bone fractured all the way through, that would be “catastrophic”. (Words from both of my doctors, not mine. But with my future in medicine, I will agree, it would be pretty tragic.) Blood loss to the femoral head can lead to bone death.. leading to a full hip replacement.. leading to a place where I don’t want to be.
  2. Hip pinning. Several pins would be inserted through my femoral neck, in hopes to strengthen the area of dysplasia, and stabilize the hip. Both of my doctors think I would be able to run again after this procedure. One risk is that the pins are not always comfortable, which could hamper the running portion of this equation. This procedure also does nothing to fix the coxa vara, which is the downward angle that my femoral head has grown into after all these years. I will likely always have a slight limp, but I have had a slight limp all my life, so that is no real change.
  3. Femoral osteotomy. That’s the deal where they basically sever my femur and tip the bone back up, correcting the coxa vara. There would be plates put in to stabilize the area. Plates are a lot bigger than pins, and a lot harder to hide in a small framed body. This surgery has a longer recover process than the pinning. 

If you read my last post, you know that thinking about this has been wearing me down beyond belief. One minute I think I should have surgery, and the next is like “wait a minute.. I don’t wanna do that!” I know it sounds selfish, but my decision and thought process is completely driven by what will allow me to be a runner again. And by runner, I don’t mean I want to jog for around the lake. I mean I want to be back to where I was. I want to be able to race Boston. I want to break 3 hours. I want to be the Garmin loving, 60 mile per week, permanent sports bra tan kind of girl that  I used to be. I know I should be thankful that my condition is not worse, because believe me, it could be. But to be honest, all  I want to do is run

Driving home from the airport, I came down 36th and hit the lake, and it took all of 5 seconds for me to start balling. All I kept saying was, “I don’t want to have surgery. I just want to run again.” Well, it looks like I may have to compromise a little bit.

Dr. Clohisy and I both agreed that surgery is the best and safest option. He is not forcing me to do this. My mom is not forcing me. No coach is forcing me. This is honestly a decision that was made as a team, and I know it is the right thing to do. That does not mean it’s the thing I want to do, but it is the thing I know I need to do. Life doesn’t always get to be about what we want, but I am keeping in mind the words I quoted a few weeks ago:

Occasionally you’ll be distracted and knocked off course for a while. On a regular basis, life will have its disappointments.

Those disappointments and distractions do not have to stop you. In fact, you can choose to let them inspire you and to push you forward.

No matter what has just happened, you are free in this moment to act with positive purpose. Whether the past has worked in your favor or not, the future is yours to create as you wish.

Life is too important to waste it feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself up. Get up and get on with life, and make it match your highest expectations.

I WILL run again, and I WILL be happy, damnit! The decision has been made and I’m not going to contemplate any “what ifs” anymore. So.. here’s the deal:

We decided on the hip pinning procedure. There is an official word for it, but I can’t think of it at the moment, so lets just stick with pining. The surgery is at 8:00 am on Monday, which means I need to be there by 6:00, which means we will probably have to leave the house at 5:00 😯 because there’s a huge snow storm that is supposedly hitting us on Sunday. Honestly.. it takes 15 minutes to drive there, but I’ll let you tell that to my mom. 😀 Whatever.. it’s not like I need to worry about getting sleep. I’ll be knocked out all day I’m sure. I’m thinkin’ it’ll look a little like this:

Dr. Clohisy said that this is a “no restrictions recovery”, meaning everything is based on my comfort level. He thinks that I can be back in the pool in two weeks, and back to beginning running in 6. That is honestly a lot shorter than I expected, so as you can imagine, I was very pleased when I heard that. I know people are going to jump in and be like “You know you obviously can’t run like you used to, right?” and no.. I’m not stupid. I’m not going to try and pull 60 miles the first week back. I know what beginning to run again is like – it sucks – but trust me.. any running is better than none. 

My mom is taking off work to be there with me, and my dad and sister will be back in town Monday evening. I am going to make this a positive experience in my life. Who knows, maybe I will be stronger and faster in the long run? Either way, God would not have placed this challenge in front of me if it was unsurmountable. I’m gonna rock this surgery and recovery.. because I can. I apologize in advance, but cocky is a good thing for me right now.. it’s pushing me forward. Thank you all so much for all the words of encouragement and advice and the ehugs, because I needed every single one of them. 

I’ll be bloggin’ from the hospital, I’m sure, so hang with me here! I also have some lovely LIFETIME FITNESS news to share with you.. and I want you all to get amped for it now because it’s gonna be great. 😀 I’m off for a walk around the lake with a DF (haha yes, that still stands for dear friend in my book!) and a Target extravaganza tonight. Have a lovely weekend everyone.


12 Responses

  1. Yes, yes, yes!!! You WILL make this work Erika! So happy that things are finalised for you at last and now you can focus on the real recovery. Woohoo…..running here you come 🙂

  2. You’re amazing, love. You really are and you better know it. You have been handling all of these little bumps in the road like a champ, whether you think so or not. (I know the type-A-ness prob has you thinking that breaking down and causing yourself and those around you stress is not “ok,” but F any negative thoughts right now.) From a successful first year of college even though it wasn’t where you wanted to be studying, to a productive summer full of miles & hours at work, to making the decision to transfer schools, to adapting beautifully to the new school and area, to making this transition period of running into something positive, and making a 180 this semester with regards to your major AND managing to stick it out with awesome grades…

    Please. Granted this Monday is a bit more “up there” on the significance scale, but come on.. you know you’re gonna be a-ok. Congrats on the courage to make the best decision for you in the **long run,** (I know you loved my little pun there, haha.)

    What’s 6 weeks anyway? Ya know? Come spring and you’ll be out there. Wooh. I’m getting the chills just thinking about how good the high is going to be on that first one back out.

    Sending lots of love & luck for Monday. I’m running my long run tomorrow morning all for you. XOXO

  3. This monday!??!?! Ok. I’m going to pray for you a lot!!!! You’re my E. You CAN get through this, and you’re right. God does everything for a reason. You WILL run again. And you’ll be so thankful for ANY running you can do. You can do this, Erika. You can. I believe in you, because really, you’re a BAMF.

    So I’m going to pray hard and send you running vibes and healing vibes and we’re going to get you on the road to recovery. 2 WEEKS AND YOU CAN ROCK THE POOL AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!

    GO E GO!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. wow. monday? youve been in my thoughts and prayers this whole time but youve got the top spot now 😉

    i totally teared up reading this because you are STRONG and the very definition of a BAMF. if anyone can do this with as much grace as youve shown, its definitely you.

  5. Sorry to hear that, Sperly. I’ll be praying that the surgery goes well and you have a quick recovery!

  6. Good luck Erica–hey at least you get this outta the way, eh? I think how you have handled this whole situation (and all the situations I’ve read about on your blog and RW) is amazing and I am really inspired.


  7. Hey Erika,

    I don’t really post on the college forum much anymore, but I always read the dailies there and I’ve been checking in on you and your progress through this injury! You are such a great person and I know that decision to have the surgery is probably one of the hardest things you have and will have to make in life, but you are really strong and have really impressed me with how upbeat you are. I am always in awe of you and your outlook on running and life! College years are always some of the toughest. Just for some reassurance, I was out last winter w/ a femoral neck sfx after already having a tough year from overtraining, iron deficiency, etc. and I used the 3 months off of running to just enjoy doing what I could to workout, and dream of what I would be doing when returning to running. As it turned out, I now love running MORE than before the injury, if that is possible, and I cherish every day I am able to be out there. You’ll get through it, and I’ll be praying/thinking about you!

  8. Hey Erika!
    Wow heavy stuff having to get the surgery, but you are such a strong person, you’ll definitely pull through it and be stronger than ever after. I have no doubt that you’ll be out there beating everyone running wise eventually, you love running so much and are so talented that this is just a setback on the road to greatness. You’re a bamf! I’ll be thinking of you!

  9. I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts. You are incredibly strong and I have faith that what you decide will be the best choice – and you WILL run again!

  10. Thinking of you and wishing you a healthy, fast return. My little brother had very similar surgery 3 years ago (he broke his femur in an accident) and is now playing college baseball (at Carleton, near your home, actually) and walking, running, lifting, competing without incident. He was regimented with his rehab and I know he is so glad that he made the decision to have the surgery (which was basically to eliminate the likelihood that he’d walk with a limp for the rest of his life). He had the surgery just after Thanksgiving in 2005 and was playing varsity baseball that spring.

  11. Good luck with surgery. I opted for the bone growth stimulator and it was a slow process. i still have trouble with my hip where it fractured and it happened over 2 years ago. I’m glad to hear you will be back running sooner then you expected. I know how life can be so hard without that one thing that makes you happy. I missed out on running for over a year. I still can’t do the distance I used to and I always feel like something is missing. Yay for surgery!! Happy Holidays!

  12. best of luck!! All will go well and you will be back on the road in no time 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: