My training has hit a brief snag...but I'm hoping to be back at it soon. I'm on day 5 of no running and I feel like I might go crazy. I had gotten to a really good place with my training and was loving running the trails in Monroe and Ruston, but alas last Thursday I had to get 13 stitches in my leg.
It all started with a small black mole on my right shin. It popped up out of nowhere earlier this year and it weirded me out because it was a strange color and it was in a strange place. My mom told me repeatedly to go to the dermatologist's office and get it checked out. But, I was dumb and stubborn and kept putting it off because I was 1) afraid it would hurt if they had to remove it and 2) afraid it would impact my training.
But then another mole popped up on my back. It was constantly aching and just felt strange. I finally I decided to call and make an appointment with my dermatologist, thinking it would be a few weeks before they could squeeze me in. To my surprise, they were able to get me in that week.
So, off I went to Dr. Altick's office and the nurse immediately confirmed the fact that they would be removing both moles. She wasn't worried about the one on my back, but both she and Dr. Altick were concerned about the one on my leg. Apparently the majority of melanoma in women happens below the waist. Who knew?
They removed both moles and it was absolutely painless. What a relief! They told me they would send them off for testing and let me know the results in a few days. About a week later I got a call from their office and they said that the mole on my back was fine, but the one on my leg had severely abnormal cells...yikes!! They wanted me to come back so they could take out more tissue around the mole and make sure all of the abnormal cells were gone.
So, I headed back to the office last Wednesday to get the procedure done. They kept using the terms "surgery" and "stitches" but I didn't see how it could be that big of a deal for such a small area. One hour later I hobbled out with a 4 inch incision and 13 stitches.
Because the skin was so tight on the front part of my leg, he had to make a pretty big incision just to be able to pull the skin back together. Getting the stitches didn't hurt at all, there was just a lot of pressure and a tugging sensation. When he was finished, I sat up, looked down and immediately felt woozy. There were so many stitches! And the tray was full of bloody gauze. It was quite a scene and I think was in shock a little bit.
They gave me a prescription for oral antibiotics and a pack of 5 inch bandages and sent me on my way, with instructions to limit activity and keep it covered with Neosporin and bandages.
I'm 5 days in and things are definitely starting to look up. The best news is that all of the tissue they removed and tested was clear of abnormal cells. Hallelujah! That was a huge relief. The other good news is that every day the skin doesn't seem quite as tight and the pain is less than the day before. There is a set of internal and external stitches, and the external stitches come out after 14 days. So 9 more days to go!
I'm trying to find the thin line between being active and being too active - I don't want to bust a stitch and set myself back any farther, but I also don't want to sit around and lose the fitness I had gained. So far I have just been walking, but I am going to add in time on a spin bike tomorrow and see how that goes.
Once I am back up and running, I'm eager to do a few gear reviews. Some products that I have been testing out are Nike Wildhorse trail shoes, Mighty Spotify player, VFuel gels, an invo8 hydration pack and a Black Diamond headlamp. So far everything has two thumbs up all around, but I'll be posting more later.