Within seven minutes, you could call my half marathon training a disaster. 1K into my first run to prepare for this mother effer and my foot sent sharp pains shootin’, halting me in my tracks.
Boo. I use running as free therapy. It’s an integral part of my head explosion aversion plan.
Thus, I decided it was not happening, this injury. All in my head. Nope.
I turned to Google, which told me I had plantar facitis.
I asked my sisters – a nurse and a physical therapy assistant, for advice.
Yeah, k, no prob.
I laced my shoes looser down the middle, since Google said that should help plantar, whateverIhad.
Then we set off, my lunchtime running buddy and me. Screw you, injury.
Kind of happening, and then, not. More lightning bolts of pain.
These foot probs coincided with a flurry of assignments chasing political presidential candidates at rallies throughout the metro. Bad timing, foot, because those suckers move fast. They’re ssssslick.
It took weeks of me limping and hoping, thinkin’ and prayin’ that this foot injureeee, would never sideline meeee.
Except it did. I couldn’t run. I could hardly walk without zips of irritating nerve pain.
I landed in an podiatrist’s office.
She took an Xray.
I took a picture of the inside of my wonky feet.
The foot, I pondered: It’s complex machine. I stared at dozens of bones and the blurry mass of 100 ligaments and tendons and muscle.
Dr. A evaluated my left foot.
Good news: not broken.
She informed me that I did not have plantar whatever.
Icing? Bad idea in this case.
Google diagnosing sports injuries – worse.
What’s the verdict, doc?
An bone had popped out of place. This bone was the culprit for shooting nerve pain I’d experienced for weeks.
Worse, because I’d waited a while to come in, a separate painful problem developed in the toe on my left foot – the one to the left of the big toe.
She informed me she was about to pop my bone from the original problem back into place.
Right. I winced in anticipation.
It wasn’t painful.
She splinted my foot with tape and taught me how to pop it back into place myself if it pops out again.
As a friend of mine pointed out, it’s a great bar trick. Maybe I could score some free drinks.
I felt a sense of relief that my pain and injuries had been validated by a real live specialist in the foot field.
It wasn’t in my head.
It wasn’t in my head!
It had a name. Two names, because waiting on treating the injury properly compounded my issue. Yaaaaay.
Functional hallux limtus.
If I Googled, I’d see surgery recommendations.
Those don’t work, she said. She likes to try to avoid surgery.
With time, and the faster I pop the bone back in if it gets out of place, my foot will become stronger.
She gave me exercises for my toes designed to make them flex down, like picking stuff up from the ground — like dice.
Who has time for that?
Can I make it interesting? Get some friends and money involved?
Laundry also works. Kids’ toys.
Now she was speakin’ my language. I have to do that anyway.
There was more news.
I needed orthopedic arch supports in my shoes.
I’m sorry – what?
It sounded like you said *orthopedic* – as in, stuff made for our aging population.
I mean, really? I’m only…thirty siiiomething…Oh…@$#%.
She wrote me a script for an orthopedic shoe store and recommended I look into a running shoe brand called Hoka, which a lot of her marathoners use.
Hoka. Googled. What the! It’s like running on pillows! These things are gonna make me two inches taller while I run.
The question remains: As my foot heals, what exercises can I do to stay sane?
I didn’t know…but would need to figure this one out.