Fighting Against Lazy: Weeks 6 and 7

The roadblocks continue in my quest for 26.2 miles.  After getting back on track and enjoying a decent five-mile run, I hit a major snag the following day.  I am determined to keep on trucking, but first I need to get healthy.  The one upside is the ridiculous doctor’s appointments that I have gone through.  Most individuals would find them horrifying, but I found every minute entertaining.  Regardless of your feelings on Obama’s new health care plan, you have to admit the current one is out of control.  Even though there is not as much running as usual in this entry, there are a few stories that will make you never want to get hurt on the job and use a workers comp doctor.

Week 6, Day 5:

After rolling through a better than expected 5 mile run the day before, I headed off to work.  Ten minutes into my day, I stepped off a stair awkwardly and felt a sharp pain from the inside of my foot, up through my heel.  The effect was immediate and walking became incredibly uncomfortable.  The only solution?  Tell work and head off to the dreaded worker’s compensation clinic known as US Healthworks.

Fast-forward about 2 hours.  I have now endured roughly two hours of waiting after being greeted by a waiting room full of people with much more gruesome injuries.  I finally get called back into the second waiting room, where two interns have a very special conversation regarding the first steps in treating me.

“So, I don’t know how to fill out this paper work, do you?” Said Intern #1

“I don’t either, should we take his vitals? Which vital do we do first?” Replied Intern #2

Confused and slightly worried the only response I could muster was:

“Well, I don’t know how to do any of it either.”

Maybe they were just new and hadn’t received the proper training.  Either way, at least they weren’t the doctor, who hopefully had a bit more experience.  Eventually, a senior staff member arrived, and proceeds to berate them both, right in front of me, for their incompetence.  After she departed I could not help but comment on the verbal abuse.

“She doesn’t seem to like you guys very much.”  I said.

Following that statement I received probably the most unprofessional, but hilarious comment I have ever heard in a medical facility.

“I don’t give a SHIT what she thinks!”  Intern #1 responded.

It was at that moment that I knew I was in for a special day.  After what seemed ages the doctor stormed in, talking way to fast and confusing the hell out of me.  At one point I’m pretty sure I answered yes to having glaucoma.  She grilled me regarding my injury and hinted that I was trying to cheat the system and was not actually hurt.  I explained that I had twisted my ankle many times before and this felt much different.  She would have none of it and put me in an ankle brace and diagnosed me with a sprained foot.  Finally I was sent on my way with a useless brace and a shoe/boot that reminded me of the glasses old people wear when they leave the eye doctor.

Week 7, Day 1:

The running has been non-existent, but after visiting a physical therapist, I received an actual diagnosis of the problem.  It officially is the runner’s nemesis: Plantars Fasciitis.  Fortunately, it has not developed into a long-term case, yet.  With regular therapy and frequent stretching, I should only miss about a 1-2 weeks of training.  The hard part will be keeping it at bay, once I return to the pavement.  To quote the physical therapist: “Oh no, I’m so sorry.  It feels like you have rice crispies inside the arch of your foot.”  Outside of the pain, I have enjoyed the ultra-sound massage therapy and the electro massage-therapy. Both pretty much involve me playing on my Blackberry while I get a foot massage three times per week.

Week 6 and 7 Summary:

Injuries are common among new runners attempting to put major miles underneath them.  I’m not surprised that this happened, in fact I had half expected to face it earlier.   Plenty of people are capable of powering through plantars fasciitis and I plan on being one of them.  The health care system is in need of a major overhaul.  I don’t want to get into a political debate on a marathon blog, so that is all I have to say about that.  Any runners with plantars, who have tips on pain relief, please feel free to email me with suggestions.


2 responses to “Fighting Against Lazy: Weeks 6 and 7

  • U.S. HealthWorks Rep.

    We read your recent post about U.S. HealthWorks . We are very concerned about the service you received at our medical center. We believe that your experience at any of our centers should be a positive and caring one. The comments that you’ve posted would indicate that the quality of care you received is not typical of U.S. HealthWorks and consequently, we would like to ensure that our team gets properly trained. To that end, if you would like to send any further comments to us to ensure that we take the applicable training steps so that this does not occur again, please do so at U.S. HealthWorks constantly evaluates our services and your comments are very important to us because they will help us better train our associates in order to provide the care you should receive. We hope that your health condition is improving and that your marathon training can continue, unimpeded. We also hope that you will consider U.S. HealthWorks again in the future.

  • Phil

    Sorry about the injury. I’m not a doctor and I’ve never had PF but my father-in-law had it several years ago. One treatment he said worked well: as soon as you get out of bed (is it worse then?) step hard on a tennis ball and roll it along the bottom of your foot. Helps to ease the tightness and pain. If that fails, down large amounts of quality whiskey. Won’t help the PF but you will feel much better. Just think how good you will feel when you cross the finish line of your marathon and remember all the trials you went through. If you lose you motivation and don’t make it that far, you can blame the PF and the whiskey. Win-Win situation for you. Remember, no problem is too big or complicated that it’s can’t be run away from.

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