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Today was my last physical therapy session! A special THANK YOU to my therapist Ben Shatto. You are awesome. I’ve worked with Ben over the past five years on and off. He got me walking before when I still had my leg and now after the amputation. He is the kindest most supportive person I’ve had the pleasure of working with through the most trying time of my life.
Ben has been a true blessing and a very positive influence in my life. He brought out the brave where the scarred was, he taught me about diet, medication, exercise and even a lot about my self. I’m a better, happier, and more confident person today than I’ve been in a very long time. Thank you Ben for all your time and support. It will never be forgotten.
Merri, thank you so much for your kind words. I have thoroughly enjoyed working with you. Seeing you progress through and overcome so many struggles reminds me why I love my job. I get to meet the most inspiring people and sometimes even be part of their journey. Thank you!
I’m currently less than a month away from my first marathon (17 days, 18 hours, and 35 minutes to be exact, but who’s counting?!). About six weeks ago, I started having significant pain along the arch and first metatarsal of my left foot. Having survived a stress fracture before, I was terrified I had ended up with another one, which would mean my 26.2 was likely out of the question. Under normal circumstances, I would have immediately made an appointment with my doctor, but because the universe has a sick sense of humor, I had of course just started a new job and my insurance didn’t kick in until March 1. I felt crushed and maddeningly stuck – I didn’t want to push things if it really was a stress fracture, but I also didn’t want to cut down on my training unnecessarily. Without proper medical input, all I had to guide my decision-making was Google and a whole bunch of anxiety.
At the time, I was (rather obsessively) listening to the entire back catalog of one of my favorite running podcasts, Marathon Training Academy. As luck would have it, one of the episodes was about running injuries and happened to feature Dr. Shatto. On a whim, I emailed the address listed on Dr. Shatto’s page, assuming it probably wouldn’t go directly to him, therefore decreasing any likelihood of getting a reply. Much to my surprise, I had a response in my inbox the very next day from Dr. Shatto himself! While I understood a virtual diagnosis would be impossible, he was able to provide me with feedback that gave me hope: I was probably okay to continue training if the pain wasn’t persisting during my runs. Feeling encouraged by this news, I ended up contacting a PT/runner friend of mine, who echoed his thoughts – she said it sounded much more likely I was dealing with tendonitis than a bone issue.
After switching my Google searching gears to tendonitis treatment, I went out and got some currexSole insoles from my local running store, some Dr. Scholl’s inserts with good arch support for the shoes I wear to work, and a pair of Oofos, since I was having a lot of discomfort walking barefoot at home. While at the running store, the employee I was working with pointed out a weakness in my right ankle, so I’m also focusing on increasing the strength/flexibility in case the pain in my left foot was the result of overcompensating. All of that seems to have done the trick, as I’ve been almost entirely pain free for a week and a half and able to complete the majority of my training runs, including two 13-milers and a race day simulation 20-miler (during which, I might add, I ran 6 seconds faster than my goal race pace!).
My paralyzing fear of getting another stress fracture had me convinced that was the source of my pain. Had it not been for Dr. Shatto, I would never have gotten the professional feedback necessary to get me to look into other causes, and ultimately, other treatment methods that would get me back on track (pun intended!). Thank you, Dr. Shatto, for your quick response, willingness to help, and genuine concern about a complete stranger. You and your site are an invaluable resource to runners of all levels. Keep up the fantastic work!
Thank you so much for commenting! I truly appreciate it! I am so happy that you are feeling better. Definitely keep me posted on how your race goes! Good luck!