I have a love/hate relationship with my orthopedic doctor.
I looooooooooove him because he’s brilliant, funny, compassionate and in general doesn’t put up with my bull sh*t. (And trust me, there’s a ton of it.)
I loathe him because seriously, after 10 weeks, a dozen or so appointments and a prescription for show stopping, mind-numbing, constipation-inducing muscle relaxers, there is nothing MORE he can do for me.
A few weeks ago, I had one of my last appointments in his office. After a round of compromising x-rays, (think leg in the air in all sorts of oh-gawd positions), his nurse dumps me in a tiny room, takes my blood pressure and tells me to wait patiently for his arrival. (She surely doesn’t know I suck at patience.)
Before she leaves, she puts my recent round of film on the screen and I can’t help but think, “Holy Christ Almighty, this man can see everything including my vag and my soft tissue.” I grab her arm and bravely ask, “Hey, I’m curious. Can you see a tampon on x-rays?” (Knowing full well the next time I see him I’ll be bleeding.)
“Hmmm…,” she said. “Great question. I have no idea.”
I’m left to wait in a 6×6 space with nothing to read but Homes & Land Magazine. The minutes tick by at an agonizingly slow pace. Finally… in comes Dr. Chrastil. And the first thing out of his mouth is,
“I read your blog.”
Me: (Surprised) You did?
Him: Absolutely. Now I know why you were so hard on me during our first appointment. I also know you carry grandma underwear in your purse ‘just in case’.
I blush. I apologize for being such an asshole but I tell him to be grateful I’ve never mentioned my insurance carrier’s name. I then go on to say, “Doc, I’m depressed. I’m crying all the time. I can’t walk. I can’t shop. I can’t get my own groceries. I can barely shake my ass to the bathroom with these two crutches. There has to be something you can do… I’m a f*ing mess.”
He looks at me, raises an eyebrow and says, “Okay Brook, you can get around on ONE crutch instead of two.”
I laugh and say, “I was thinking along the lines of some heavy-duty pharmaceuticals.”
He comes back with, “Let’s try one crutch. When there is NO PAIN, you can ditch the crutch and re-learn to walk again. Cool?”
As that’s all he was offering, I greedily accepted.
We jammed for a few more minutes about next steps, what’s left of my recovery journey, etc. As we prepare to part ways, he looks me dead in the eye and says “Oh, and hey. Nope… you can’t see them.”
Confused, I say, “See what?”
As the words were lifting off my tongue I laugh, “Ohhhhhhhhhh shit. You can’t see THEM.” (Tampons on x-rays… good to know girls, right?!)
It’s been a humbling, hard, scary, maddening experience to be out 10 weeks and counting. I’ve been tired, sad and a tad bit f*ing scared about what my comeback will look like. (Houston Marathon in January anyone?) I’ve been OFF my running legs for the better part of 3 months and I’ve relied mightily on the kindness and generosity of others to navigate my life as a grown-ass-woman.
In the same breath, it’s been raw, honest, soul-stirring and surprising at how many people have sent prayers, love and cheers for my full recovery. I’ve received dozens of notes from sole sisters around the world who have encouraged me to stay strong when I am weak, mighty when I am fearful and faithful when I am broken. (Thank you, sincerely. Every kind word and action has touched me tremendously.)
A few weeks ago, I interviewed soon-to-be-marathoner Jill Hayes for my new podcast, Sole Nation. (We’re topping the charts on iTunes, you can check it out here.) During our interview, she shared a quote from Kaci Diane that reads…
“I love the person I’ve become because I fought to become her.”
Every step I’ve taken, every mile I’ve run, every race I’ve finished, every bone I’ve fractured, every PT, chiro, acupuncture and doctor’s appointment I’ve endured, every round of painkillers, muscle relaxers and ibuprofen I’ve ingested, every weight and kettle bell I’ve lifted, every dollar I’ve spent, every mile I’ve swam, every meter I’ve rowed, every road I’ve cycled has made me who I am today.
The girl I’ve fought so f*ing hard to become.
P.S. I’m trying to get Dr. Chrastil to commit to being a guest on the podcast, I’ll keep you posted. I’m not sure if HE is worried or if I should be!
P.S.S. I shot this video after my first appointment with him… I’m not as tough as I act. 😉
P.S.S.S. I’m going to be in Minneapolis for the Medtronic Marathon in October… if you’ll be there, make sure you chat me up so we can meet! (I’m sitting this one out but would love, love to cheer for you!)