Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Make it stop!

The plan was a good one. Jana and I left early this morning and headed up north to Lake Chabot again. We had her two dogs, my daughter's dog Bella, and of course Boomer. I wanted to do the inner loop the opposite direction this time. This meant heading west from the marina and dropping down to Columbine Trail after a couple of miles, for some fun single track trails. I was wearing my new knee brace, like the good girl I am. We were all having a marvelous time. And the scenery was awesome.

The black doggies on Columbine Trail.

At exactly the half way point, I hit something on the trail and heard a couple of snaps in my ankle as it twisted underneath me. The pain was overwhelming. I immediately called out to Jana and plopped down on my butt. I took off my shoe (why I always do this, I have no idea) and already it was swelling up. I saw stars in front of my eyes and I thought for sure I was going to pass out. I just kept saying Jana's name over and over, and how much it hurt.

Of course we had no phone signal. I was able to send a text to Keith to let him know I had hurt myself. Probably a mistake because we were never able to touch base with each other again so he had NO IDEA what the hell was going on. Jana and I didn't know which direction to go to get help. I couldn't put any weight on my foot. My shoe wouldn't go back on. Jana went forward, thinking the campground might be close and she could get some help there. The three black dogs went with her and my little son stayed right there with me. He lay down on the trail and just sat there. It was the sweetest thing I have ever seen. He stayed very calm.

Jana and the dogs came back 30 (or so) minutes later. No help. We decided we should try to go back the way we came. Plus, we had no phone signal and needed to call SOMEBODY. We tried everything to get me moving. Now, you remember when I ran out of Big Basin in May with my sprain, right? Yah, that was not happening today. Jana found a big stick and I tried to hobble with that. I tried holding onto her. I just couldn't move beyond a few steps. After a few minutes a very nice hiker named Miguel came up on us. After telling him what happened, he asked how much I weigh. I told him and he said he could carry me out. Really?! Well, I'll give it a try. So, on his back I went. This nice Miguel carried me on his back for at least a mile, up and down the single track trail. We had to take a few breaks, only at my request because my thighs were hurting. Jana stopped when she got a signal and made a few phone calls, trying to get someone to meet us on the fire road at the bottom of Columbine.
We finally heard someone yelling, "Hello?" We yelled back and he told us to stay put. It was a firefighter for the East Bay Regional Parks District, with a two-way radio. He told me the firefighters and ambulance were on their way. WHAT? I don't want or need a stinkin' ambulance. I just need a ride to my car at the marina so Jana can get me back to Fremont and I can go to my doctor. GAH! A EBRPD motorcycle policeman showed up. He wanted all my information. An EBRPD medic showed up and gave me an ice pack and took my vitals. Then finally, four firefighters showed up with a big basket on a big wheel. They made a splint for my foot and loaded me up. They wheeled me out the 3/4 mile to a wider portion of the trail. Here is the ambulance waiting. Lovely! I just want a ride to my car. We go back and forth about me getting taken to the local hospital in the ambulance. No thank you. But you really should...... No thank you. They finally agree to load me up and take me to my car, even though I refuse treatment. A ranger, along with the EBRPD firefighter, lead the way with Jana and the four dogs in the back of the pick-up truck. Then me in the ambulance. Then the cop on the motorcycle. We get back to the marina and who is there? My husband. He went through his own trials and trouble to even find out where I was at the lake. LORD!
I thanked everybody, apologized for being so much trouble. I really felt like a heel. It's only a sprained ankle. I went to the doctor, got more friggin' X-rays. I slapped the doctor's hand and she made me cry by asking me "does it hurt here?" I screamed at the X-ray technician after she touched me "here." I was given a big black boot to wear this time and told to stay off of it for two weeks and then see a podiatrist.
I'm not making light of this at all. This sprain is much worse than my last one. Thankfully I didn't break something. I know now, I should have let my ankle heal fully. It's just so darn difficult for me. Running is my drug of choice and it truly helps me stay sober. Being out in the woods clears my mind and makes everything right. It adjusts my mood, when needed. Seeing that it is so important to me, I really need to get myself completely well. I know this. Now I have to accept this. That's the hard part. But I have to do it.
Thanks for listening.
Until later.............


theresa said...

Oh dear!
Luckily time is flying by so you'll be back before you know it. That is so great that he carried you! Thank goodness for kind people. I'm glad you weren't alone. Boomer is soooooo sweet!!!!!
Get well soon, okay?

AKA Alice said...

Oh Lord Girl! That is one round ankle!!!!

Is it wrong that I was 1/2 crying - 1/2 laughing as I read this as I had this visual of you and all the emergency vehicles...and the dogs...and you trying to tell everyone "really, I'm fine! I just need ice!"

What a sucky day. You know I understand how hard it is to not run. Your story is the probably the one thing that'll keep me from running when I shouldn't now.

Hang in there sweetie. I'm happy to not-run with you for awhile.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

I'm so sorry to hear this. I know your pain. You did write an amusing sounding story though. Someday you'll read over this post and laugh. On the bright side, at least your knee will have a chance to heal now too!

The last time I sprained my ankle, I had to hobble a couple of miles in the dark leaning heavily on a walking stick. Your sprain sounds worse though. I don't think I am brave enough to forego my ankle brace on trails even though it's been almost three years since that last sprain (knock on wood!), especially when I hear stories like yours.

But I know how frustrated you must feel. I haven't been able to run or even walk hardly all week from falling and gashing my kneecap last Sunday (it's still swollen and amazingly painful).

You'll be back out on the trails in no time, but please take care and protect that ankle for a good long while.


Marci said...

Oh my, you poor thing! I hope your ankle heals well, its nice to know that people like Miguel exist still!

Marlene said...

YIKES! Just looking at the photo makes me cringe. Wishing you a speedy recovery!

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

I'm sooooo sorry to hear about this.

I was wallowing in my own self pity yesterday, I know how much it SUCKS to have injuries take away the ability to do something you love (I'm fairly certain I cannot swim with a broken finger...and I am TICKED!!!!)

But what an adventure getting back out. First carried on some guys back, then wheeled off with a whole emergency crew.

RBR said...

Christ woman! What are you doing to yourself!

I am so sorry that this happened. (I am with Alice the Emergency vehicles and rangers part of the story is pretty funny) That ankle looks really bad, really fast.

Take care of yourself! Call if you need anything. Seriously.

aron said...

oh my gosh i just want to drive down there and give you a hug right now. you poor thing... hang in there. get yourself better!! like you said you know now you need to be fully healed so you dont have to keep taking time off. try to find something else to keep your time busy?

i cant believe the rangers and ambulence and everyone showed up!! wow! and a guy carried you a mile?! you have quite a story from this one.

also i love animals <3 somehow they just KNOW when you are sick or something isnt right. boomer is so sweet.

RunningLaur said...

Oh no, so sorry about your ankle!

It's so sweet that your dog stayed with you the whole time - I know that mine would do that too.

I'll be sending good ankle vibes your way, hoping for a speedy recovery.

RunnerDude said...

Man, what a story! Glad you're okay. You're the poster child for the Not Running Alone Campaign. :-)

Lily on the Road said...

Oh Jo Lyn, I saw this post early this morning and didn't have time to comment.

I just feel sick for you. You poor thing...that ankle looks awful and I can't even imagine how you are feeling right now. Little Boomer was probably wondering what's happening to his mom. This is such a disappointment for you but please don't give up. It is tough to not do what you want, when you want, but hang tough, stay sober and here's hoping for a very speedy recovery. One day at a time girl, one day at a time....

Irene said...

Holy moley!

What a story! It's good to know that so many were out there to help you, but on the other hand, sometimes a girl just wants to get back to her own car and not deal with the drama. I can relate!

Just a tip that worked for me when I couldn't run: go throw stuff. My dog loved this because we played fetch until she wore out, and I got to burn off some of that pent up energy from not running. Running is also my drug of choice, and I just couldn't deal with doing nothing.

I'm amazed at the picture. Ouch.

Take care of yourself!!!

Judi said...

well first you need to heal. and find a new outlet. cycling. someplace you can sweat out some anxiety. swimming is nice. you are athletic. you can find a new outlet, until this is healed.

Jodie said...

Oh, wow! That is horrible. Ankles are soooo bad. What a story! Glad you found Miguel and finally got some medical help.

You're not going to be able to do much with a sprained ankle, but so glad that nothing was broken. I'll be thinking about you! Rest up.

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

I'm really sorry to hear that!! Did you tear any ligaments? I hope not! Get better!

Looney said...

*Cringing* ouch!

I hope you can get healed quickly. How about an ankle brace for running?

Stuart said...

Ouch, well that's matching knee and ankle braces you've got...are your teeth straight? J/K ;-)

Southbay Girl said...

Woman-you had FIREFIGHTERS helping you!!!!! You ROCK! I would pay $$$ to have fireman helping me! I can't even get a boyfriend yet alone 4 fireman, and police officer, a ranger, a STRANGER carrying you up and down-hell, how did you do that!!!?? What is your secret! :-)

But seriously....I am SO SORRY you have screwed up your ankle! I didn't realize when i talked to you what a pretty color and where and how you had done it! I am so very sorry! I KNOW EXACTLY how you feel about your running! It is my drug of choice as well! I doesn't keep me sober-like it does you-but it does keep me sane in my crazy life(or non-life as it really is)> It is the one constant! The one thing I have control of and that can clear my head and make me whole, beautiful, fun, skinny(even though I am not!) so I do understand how you feel when you can't run!!!

But you MUST let it heal! maybe you can swim! I know it's not the same, but I've started my attempt at swimming-0and you know what, it's kinda fun and different but it's EXERCISE and makes you feel like you've accomplished something!!! It will keep your head clear! Try it!!

I wish I could give you a big hug and then carry you up one of your favorite trails! For I would do that!! With Velcro and Boomer in tow!!!

Kristin said...


Ive been out of the loop but stopped by to check on ya and I find out you're being carried off a trail??

I would have done the same though, resisted the ambulance and the hospital! Luckily you had someone with you and that nice guy carried you out of there!

Yes, you definitely need to take it easy this time! Rest rest rest, otherwise its just gonna happen again.

Maybe you should take up knitting for a few weeks? ;)