I knew it was bad the moment it happened…
Three months ago, I was running on a little trail in the woods nearby my apartment (yes, we DO have woods in NYC). I hit a muddy patch on the train with a steep downward slop, wiped out, rolled over my foot and heard a loud crunching sound, before being sent abruptly to the ground.
It hurt like hell, but I made my way back home.
By that evening, my foot had swollen up, it was extremely painful and I couldn’t even think about walking on it. The next day, I went to my doc, who took x-rays, said he didn’t see anything, gave me the standard advice and sent me home for a few weeks to see if it got better. It didn’t. Well, actually, it did, but not entirely.
So, I got a referral for a specialist, where I then had my second set of x-rays (fractures often do not show up on x-rays for a few weeks), which was, again, negative. Same advice, “dunno,” but this time I was told that these things can take time, so I should give it a month.
I did, it still hurt. So, I went back.
This time, I saw a third doctor who took a third set of x-rays, which were again negative. While reviewing my results, I reminded him that now months later, I was still in pain. He told me he wasn’t sure what was going on and shared “sometimes these things never got better.” “Some people,” he said, “just had to live with it for the rest of their lives.”
Are you friggin kidding me?
“Look,” I said, “I’m 42 years old, I’m pretty active and there’s no way I’m just going to suck it up for the rest of my life.” So, he said that after my persistent and three sets of x-rays, maybe it was time for an MRI. He wrote me a scrip for it, which my insurance company promptly rejected, because, apparently “we don’t know what’s wrong, just live in pain” was an okay result for them.
My doc called them up and convinced them to let me have the MRI. A week later, I emerged from the giant clanking machine and found myself back in the doctor’s office. Guess what, they finally had an answer. No more “I don’t know.”
I fractured a bone in my foot.
Duhhhh! I was in pain, but it never showed up on the x-rays. Now, I am in one of those big plastic, strap-on walking cast boot thingies and, within the first day, my foot felt better.
Finally, I have an answer.
Because I wasn’t willing to just suck it up for the rest of my life, because I forced people to keep elevating the problem rather than saying “we don’t know what’s wrong, just give it time,” because I wasn’t willing to settle for “I don’t know,” I now have an answer…and I am finally on the mend. What’s my takeaway?
Do not settle for “I don’t know!”
Sometimes, in life, the answers come quickly. They are easy, right there in front of you. Other times, they come through time, persistence and hard work. Challenge is, all too often, we give up way to early when the answers do not come quickly. We abandon the quest for a complete, satisfactory result, because it means more time, more work, more effort.
Had I done this, I would have likely been in pain for months, years, maybe even my life. I would have missed doing so many things I loved. I would’ve limited my life in many profound ways, because I didn’t have the will to force others to provide the answer I needed.
You CAN handle the truth!
It may not be the answer you want, in the end, but knowledge is always a better results than ambiguity. Because it allows you to take action. And, action is the necessary ingredient for resolution.
But, now I’m left with an bigger problem that I need your help with.
No, I don’t need you to help pay my medical bills (just send chocolate). Put your creative hat on, because I need your juicy, story-telling abilities on overdrive.
My boot/cast is a great conversation-starter, but I need a cooler story…
Everywhere I go now, everyone asks what I did to my leg. I started with the real story, got bored of that, then moved on to something about a covert-op gone bad. I am having so much fun with it, I wanted to let guys in on the fun. I need more great stories to tell, something adventurous, funny, edgy. Anything good.
So, put on your creative hats and share your fables in the comments below.
Oh, and feel free to share your thoughts on the rest of this post, too!
Happy Monday, people!
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