Back in the UK now and it’s really hit home what this injury means. It’s not going to be a matter of getting the cast off and away I go. Rehab from this is going to take a fair amount of time. I’ve seen a couple of consultants now about this and to be honest the prognosis is worse than I’d originally hoped. There was tendinosis evident which means the tendon was degenerated. All thats been done is a degenerate tendon has been rejoined. This means we have to be very careful with my rehab to avoid it rupturing again. A rupture during rehab would more or less put me out of Kona.
This means I will be in a cast for quite a while. The above is the latest one. Here’s a little shot of my wound.
Slowly they are moving my foot back up to a ‘normal’ position. It was initially being held at 45 degrees but yesterday was moved up slightly. As expected my achilles was darn tight and it was pretty sore even moving it up. My foot was still worryingly swollen and I’ll probably go in for a scan today to check out my calf. For now I have to spend as much time with it raised as possible. Yet more days of getting bored in front of the TV ! I’m pretty sure that all the moving around I did in Taupo was not wise and wish it had been made clearer to me in NZ the importance of keeping the foot elevated.
This process will continue for several weeks now and then following that I will have something to stop the big toe bending up – probably some sort of splint. Total rehab is likely to be 3 months or so. Pretty much know Lanzarote is out now but still hoping I am in a position to go out there with Jo. This will depend on availability of physios in Puerto Del Carmen – there’s probably physios at Club La Santa but it may be tricky to get there. Even if I can only swim it would be great to be out there. Open water swimming would be ideal as I won’t push off a wall !
This leads me on to my biggest training concern and thats the loss of swim fitness. I know last year at Kona I enjoyed the race so much more by being one of the first out of the swim. I was determined to be even better this year and have been training hard. Though swimming is my thing since I did so much as a teenage, it’s the one that took most effort to make those final gains. Yes, with very little training I would be able to get to around 1 hour pace (at Kona) but to get down to sub 55 minutes took a couple of years of concerted effort. In this respect some swim focus in Lanzarote would not be a bad thing.
I had a good long chat with Ioan, the consultant that will be managing my rehab, yesterday. I must thank my friend Roz for the amount of effort she put in to ensuring I got the best treatment once I got back here. He was really interested in my injury and had clearly done some research into treatment options. He pointed out that, though this is an overuse injury, in a normal tendon you wouldn’t rupture it merely by doing lots of running and cycling no matter how much you did. For this to snap required the tendon to have deteriorated for some other reason. He said this happens sometimes but they don’t really know why. So … I am unlucky. I guess it’s reassuring but the fact is thats still a degenerate tendon and when I get back I will have to protect it somehow – in my mind I’ve already decided that my run volume will need to reduce. Day to day I’ve no problem with that but the thought of not doing big days running in the hills is rather distressing. Ioan also said that some people do do without this tendon but end up with a big toe pointing upwards ! and it’s not really appropriate for an athlete.
My first consultation that day I returned was done privately but the latest was on the NHS. I pleased to report that the NHS treatment seemed better. The nurses were much better, they explained about the cast and how I should care for it.
I must admit emotionally I’ve been abit of a wreck since returning. I’d made all these plans to meet up with people assuming I’d be able to move around easily. I soon realised this would not be so easy when I couldn’t get on the escalator at Stockwell. Then I found I’d be non weight bearing for 4-6 more weeks so movement would be tricky for ages. Staying at my sisters I have to go on my arse to get up and down stairs. Going from being so active to this knocks you for six. Everything I would fill my days with has been taken and the weathers been awesome – it feels cruel to look out and not be able to go run or ride. At the moment, like during all my knee problems 10 years ago, I’d be happy if I got to the point I could do all the riding I want.
I am so lucky having such a loving family. My mum and sister have been so massively supportive. They understand the need just for company when someone is stuck like this. They’ve re-arranged so much so that I could get to and from my mums without using public transport. Yesterday morning Jane popped in before I left for work with 20 quid and told me she’d booked a cab for me to my appointment since she didn’t want me getting on the tube again ! My little nephews help so much as well – they’re not bothered about my leg just disppointed I can’t lift and throw them around so much. They make you realise that in the grand scheme this ain’t that important. Isaiah has developed rather too much of an interest in my big toe sticking out from my plaster … he’ll run over and try and grab it. Certainly keeps me on my toes.
I had a quick look back to find a point where I mentioned the pain in the ball of my foot. it was clearly a concern in this entry. Thinking back I feel I probably stuck my head in the sand knowing that the treatment would probably be rest and at that time I had Wisconsin and Kona coming up. I felt that rest post Kona would get it sorted. So … readers … get niggles checked out, don’t just put up with the discomfort.