Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dr. (Self) Diagnosis

It all started yesterday. In my scheduled dedicated  training for the impending half marathon (May 6, eek!), I started to notice that my body may not be the temple that I once imagined it was.

It started first, with my hamstring. Friday was a hectic day; I was on campus in the morning, home in the afternoon packing for my girls weekend in DC, and knew I had to get one more run in before leaving for 2 days of what I knew would become an eating and drinking binge (understatement of the year). My dehydrated self (who realized only after her awful run, that she had only ingested coffee and diet coke that day) felt like crap after my 10 6 4 miles and had to hop in the shower immediately to catch the bus and get moving. Meaning, I did not follow my own golden rule; I didn’t stretch! Some people can get away without a post-run stretch (I’m looking at you boyfriend), however, I do it religiously to avoid feeling all knotted up and tight the next day.  And what do you know. The next day, which included copious amounts of walking in my less than supportive $5 Old Navy flip flops, my hamstring was allllll sorts of messed up. Tight. Sore. Inflamed. I kept stretching and pulling and relaxing, to no avail. Immediately, I self diagnosed myself; I’ve torn, pulled, ruptured (insert scary word), my hammy. Bye bye half marathon. 

Upon returning home on Sunday I iced, I elevated, I rested, Ibuprofen-ed, made my boyfriend throw me a pity party. And by Tuesday, I was back to normal. Imagine…

Cut to Tuesday. I’d been entertaining as part of my internship, showing a reporter around the city all day. Art Museum. Walking tour. Here, there, everywhere.  I put on my best walking shoes and was ready to take on the day. About halfway through our trip my TOES were killing me. My shoes had plenty of room, were flat and comfortable; now what? The only way I can explain it, is my third and fourth toe felt like one was on top of the other. Have you ever not cut your toenail once, and the sharp edge dug into your other toe in too tight shoes? Kind of a sharp, sting? No? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? Well that was EXACTLY it. Except my perfectly manicured toes were the picture of perfection. No sharp outliers. Nothing. As the pain persisted through the day, I did something you should never do. I began Web MDing. By the time I arrived home, I walked through the door and told my boyfriend:

“I have bad news…I have Morton’s Neuroma..”

Yes folks, I’d Googled myself into a self diagnosis. Morton’s Neuroma. I then continued to spout off the following, to a rolling set of eyes, my voice inserting an “OMG this is so me” to every symptom I was experiencing:

(Ahem) "Patients with this problem frequently say they feel like they want to take off their shoes and rub their foot. This pain may occur in the middle of a run or at the end of a long run. If your shoes are quite tight or the neuroma is very large, the pain may be present even when walking."

While the pain is quite annoying, especially when one is trying to train for a long race, it got me thinking; was it Neuroma or just (my) neurosis?

There was the time I was convinced my shortness of breath was some sort of heart problem at age 23, my sore leg must be the result of a blood clot, and my previously explained overreaction that my slightly worn hamstring would in fact require amputation.

Only time, open toed shoes, and a few Google suggested remedies, will tell.  In the meantime, I’m open to suggestions about my Neuroma…or neurosis.

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