Greetings from Northern Michigan. Rock and I are up here at our lake house for a few days for what is likely our last solo vacation before the baby arrives. I suppose you could call this our Babymoon. So I apologize for the pics because while they don’t pertain at all to the post, it is just too beautiful up here at the lake to not share some of these beauties.
So, I have an embarrassing confession. A few weeks ago I had a nagging pain on my foot. It was driving me nuts and when I finally looked at it, there was a plantar wart. Ugh! I of course wanted to immediately get rid of it. I know they are common and not a huge deal but I also know from past experience that if it wasn’t taken care of quickly it could spread and get worse.
I found the closest and most convenient podiatrist and made an appointment for the next day. I couldn’t get in to my regular doctor and since this was a minor issue, I just wanted to hurry up and get it dealt with.
At the doctor’s office I was waiting in the chair and he came in and took a quick look at my feet. I mentioned that I am a runner and while pregnant have been doing around 40 miles per week.
He scanned my feet, shook his head, and gave a shrug. He then began explaining that while the wart was a minor issue he was very concerned with the large calluses on my feet. He said that because I was pregnant these calluses were a clear sign that I was running improperly and could be causing serious damage to my feet.
I think we can all agree these are not that bad when it comes to runner’s feet!
Then he added that before he met with me he happened to look at my insurance info and was happy to report that we had great insurance that would just so happen to cover the orthotics my feet would need. And he could have them custom made for me in his office. Hello red flag!
What I neglected to tell this “doctor” was that I am a running coach. While I might not be elite, I am accomplished and know a lot about the sport. However, even the most amateur runner who has scoured Facebook posts has seen numerous pics of other runners’ feet. And you know what? There’s a reason we hesitate to get pedicures. We hang onto our calluses for deal life. Those bad boys are part of the sport and we work hard to get them. We even brag about lost toenails!
The moral of this story is when you are in an appointment and get a bad vibe, you need to go with your gut. My gut said this guy was trying to ride this appointment for all he could. I knew what I needed and confidently said no (without being rude because it wasn’t necessary).
If you find yourself with a doctor and his diagnosis or reasoning doesn’t sit well with you, it is important to follow that feeling. Learn to know your body and its limits. Know what seems to be a major issue and something that isn’t debilitating. And if you don’t feel a diagnosis is right, get a second opinion.
On the other hand, I have also been injured before and known the injury was not good. Like the dummy I was when I chose to keep running on it. One time I knew I had plantar fasciitis but kept pretending maybe it was something else. I knew I needed to rest but continued to run thinking that maybe, just maybe it was something else. Two months later I saw myself sulking at the doctor’s office as he told me I needed to take a month off. In the meantime, I had made my foot much worse than it originally had been because I didn’t want to stop.
While we need to know when to walk away from a doctor or diagnosis, it is just as important to be honest with ourselves. Athletes and especially runners become very aware of their bodies and their aches and pains. We know when something just isn’t right. It is important to be honest when our bodies need a rest or recognize when we need to see someone for help.
Get yourself a great line of defense. Shop around and find a doctor who works with athletes and has your best interests in mind. Even my ob/gyn is a runner and I really appreciate her input and honesty when it comes to my sport and my health.
I also have a fantastic massage therapist who happens to be a competitive runner. He knows how my crazy head works and I trust him when he tells me it is time for a break or that we can work through an issue.
Most importantly, we all need to know our bodies. Know your limits and know what feels good and when you don’t feel right. Know when rest is needed and know when to seek help. A healthy runner is a strong runner.