Approximately 6 years ago, I was just embarking on my running journey. It was March and I heard about a 5k two days before. I hadn’t done a 5k since the previous November and it was the first time I impromptu signed up for a race. I was excited that I was a good enough runner to be able to do this.
It had been a chilly week and the morning of the race was brisk. I arrived and should have heeded the following clues. But I didn’t…
Clue #1 – the announcer: “look out for the black ice! There is some in the parking lot! Be careful!”
Clue #2 – me: black ice? I don’t see any black ice…
Clue #3 – not comprehending that it’s the whole point of calling black ice, “black ice” – it’s tough to see.
All of this happened in the blink of an eye because the next moment I was on my bum. In the parking lot – the race hadn’t even started yet. I had my headphones in my right hand and caught myself with this hand. Since I was holding my headphones, I think this meant I landed awkwardly on my hand. I sat there for a moment in shock and some of the race organizers saw me but didn’t come help me up; I think they thought if they acknowledged me, I would sue. Or they just didn’t care. Anyway, I was hurting and wondered if I broke my hand.
I didn’t want to wimp out so I ran the race. I was in pain and kept my gloved hand up near my chest. I finished the race (definitely a BAMF moment) and knew I should go see a doc. Of course, I stopped for coffee first and then went to our campus clinic. I didn’t break my hand but instead dislocated my thumb. The doctor popped it back in (yep, it was uncomfortable) and then referred me to the sports med doc.
A few days later and more x-rays, the doctor told me I stretched a bunch of the ligaments in my hand on both sides of my thumb. Next up? A cast for 8 weeks. A pain in the butt for sure, however, I healed up nicely.
Why the long story? Somewhere in the last two weeks, I’ve stretched them again – or at least it feels like it. My thumb and hand are very sore and I don’t have any real strength in my thumb anymore. I can’t even really make a fist. Finally, this past Sunday, I ace-banaged it up and it is sort of helping. The pain has been getting worse, although I can manage it for the most part with naproxin.
The tough part is, it’s almost impossible NOT to use these muscles. I utilize my thumb despite trying to be careful, so I’m stuck. Not to mention, sometimes I feel myself tensing my thumb – I can’t explain this at all. Do I go to the doc? I feel kind of apprehensive. What if they don’t find anything wrong? AND, to be honest, I kind of want to ask for another cast (maybe not an 8 week-er though!) just so I can give it time to heal but I don’t want to seem like a hypochondriac. As much of a hassle as it is, a cast will stop me from using my thumb and those ligaments. When the doctor talked to me before, he told me if it didn’t heal correctly, I may have to have surgery. I want to avoid this at all costs.
One positive(?) aspect of this was a bunch of my muscle memory is coming back with regards to doing things with my left hand and the other four fingers on my right! I’m kind of proud of this. Oh and I’ve reached almost expert level with the wrapping of the ace bandage… almost doctor quality!
***Edited to add*** My thumb now hurts down into my wrist. I called for a doc appointment today and I can get in next Thursday. I promise to try and keep my whining down to a minimum!