Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Foot is Healing! Finally!

Wow. It's been awhile since I've posted. How did that happen? Life has been flying by but I actually feel like I'm clinging on to the tail end of the meteor instead of watching it pass by idly this time. I had so many posts I failed to write and publish that I don't know where to began.
My foot has been a real pain in the arse. I was convinced my podiatrist had misdiagnosed my injury. It's been 10 weeks and only recently has it begun to heal. After missing Rock 'n Roll Marathon San Diego despite 2 cortisone shots, I grumpily headed back to the foot doc. He surmised I might be suffering from a neuroma and sent me home with new orthotics and a "wait and see" prescription. I waited and fretted and waited and fretted. Finally, despite my fear of needles, I went to the acupuncturist. She gleefully stuck needles into my feet, legs, hands, and who knows where else as I cringed, winced, and whined. After 2 treatments, the pain was gone. Excitedly, I hit the trails. Half a mile in, I was overcome with a moment of irrational exuberance, completely forgetting about my injury. It was bliss to run pain-free, something I used to take for granted. I plunged ahead on the trail, blasting through a rocky, dry creek bed. Seconds later, a large evil rock sharply stabbed my vulnerable, freshly not-quite-healed toe in the exact same place as the original injury. I screamed for my mommy and came to a crashing halt. Holding back tears of frustration, I hobbled back to the car on one foot.
I spent the rest of the weekend on crutches, cursing the doctor for what seemed like an obvious misdiagnosis. I was absolutely 100% sure my foot was broken. Immediately, I sought out a second opinion. When doc #2 said my foot was not broken, I insisted on examining the x-ray. He showed it to me, and I had to ask him if that was someone else's foot. Surely that gorgeous white seamless bone structure with ample bone density didn't belong to me! He confirmed the original diagnosis of metatarsalgia and sent me home with a prescription of RICE (rest, ice, compression, elevation). Head hung low, I returned to the acupuncturist.
I was supposed to swim and bike and do weights while it healed. However, for some reason, when I can't run, I most often succumb to the depths of the comfy couch. Perhaps because running is my favorite sport. It's counterintuitive, I know. I would have felt much better and preserved what little fitness I had built if I had swam and biked but, alas, I vegged. Why is it when I run, I bike and swim but when I can't run, I do nothing? I guess it's my all-or-nothing attitude.
It's been a frustrating road of healing this summer but I can happily say that my foot is slowly but surely healing. I finally returned to the pool and took my bike on the road for a few spins. My foot started feeling better and better. I did a test run a few days ago, and I can happily report that I am running 4 miles virtually pain-free (about a 3 on the pain scale of 1-10). My plan is to continue to cross-train to build fitness and salvage my season by cramming in a few races this fall (sprint and olympic tris).
Foot injuries take forever to heal! However, I would like to report that time does heal all wounds. Little by little. Patience was never my strong suit but sometimes you don't have a choice.


Christy said...

I think several of us have that all or nothing attitude especially triathletes!

Glad the foot is recovering!

Diana said...

I am healing up from a Grade 4 stress fracture on my right 5th metatarsal and Grade 3 stress fractures on my left 2, 3 and 4th metatarsals!
You wanna talk patience??? If I had patience, my feet never would have gotten this bad!! But, I ran a 1/2 marathon knowing "something" was wrong-I went to the Sports Medicine clinic after the race to get the official news! After numerous Xrays and a MRI which showed ganglion fluid around the 3 fractures on the left, I haven't run since May 15th. There's a good chance that I won't run until 2012! I'm the opposite of you though, I can work hard on other things because I used to hate running! I'm enjoying swimming daily at the local state park lake and biking like a crazy teenager on my new road bike!
I hope your foot continues to heal strong-hang tough!

Alisa said...

I've been to the podiatrist once already and gotten a cort shot for a neuroma. I'm going back next week as that shot didn't seem to do anything. UGH! I seriously hate being injured it is the absolute worst!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Glad you're on the mend and getting back into action.

Mike said...

I think the all or nothing is normal. Either do it right (meaning all three sports) or don't do it. I take the same approach with yard work. I can't do it right so I don't do it :-).

Tim S. said...

Like your site! It's good to see others out there are talking about this stuff. My friend suckered me into doing an Ironman next June in Idaho and so we've decided to start blogging about it...on the east coast. I'd be curious to get some opinions and's sort of silly.
But, I too am recovering from some serious foot injuries. They're the worst. So I feel your pain.