This is Part Three in a four-part series about Sam (me) called, My Daughter, The Runner, written by Sam’s mom. Please return this week for the rest of the series.
During her entire high school running program Sam suffered from pain in her legs and we took her to her pediatrician who said that it was shin splints or a stress fracture and that she should just cut back on her running. This happened each season and she would routinely miss several meets.
Once her senior year arrived and the same problems arose, Sam did some research on the Internet and said that she thought she might have compartment syndrome. We read up on the problem and the treatment. Then I sat down with Sam and explained the pain that would be involved, the time it would take to rehabilitate and the scars it would leave. I told her that she probably wouldn’t be able to run again during high school and that she probably wasn’t fast enough to run cross country in college (little did I know how she’d recover). So, my basic question was, did she want the surgery so she could possibly run pain free for leisure running into adulthood. Sam told me that she would take on the pain because she knew she would be a lifelong runner. Running is her release. This is her way to deal with anger and frustration and to feel better about herself every day.
So we booked an appointment with an orthopedist who specialized in sports injuries. He was able to diagnose her immediately during her first appointment. Then he referred her to another doctor for tests to see how bad the pressure was in her legs. I was with her during the testing and I just cried at her strength. (The following paragraph may be too graphic for some readers, so please feel free to skip it).
The doctor took a needle that was the size of a small drinking straw (not a McDonalds fire hose straw, just a regular restaurant size straw) and inserted it into both legs in three or four different spots to get measurements. Then he had her run on the treadmill until she felt she was at the maximum pain level she could stand. He helped her off the treadmill and back up onto an exam table where he poked the needles back into the holes in her legs to take measurements after running. He immediately could tell by the change in the pressure in the muscles and tissue that it was compartment syndrome. We scheduled Sam for surgery the next week.
So with Sam’s surgery scheduled for the next week she had to resolve that her season was over and that she wouldn’t complete her senior cross country season and likely wouldn’t be able to run track in the spring. You can read more about her surgery, her rehab and her recovery under her ABOUT tab here on this blog.
Hope you enjoyed part three!
Sorry I haven’t been posting, it’s been a hectic week.
As you can see, I am busy busy!! I will post later about my running of the week thus far!
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