So this is new…
Yep. That’s my left foot. Except no, it’s not new. Not really…because this has happened before. Because my feet hate me. Or I have sucky DNA. Probably both.
I was 13 years old the first time I heard the word “podiatrist”. Dr. Russell. He was kind of cute for an “old” guy (he was probably 35). I had been walking around Sea World all day with my family, wearing a pair of super cute sandals with daisies on them, and by the time we were ready to leave for the day my two older sisters had to carry me to the car. It wasn’t the first time I was hurt by fashion, but it was the first time I was hurt bad.
I was diagnosed with tendonitis – which is really interesting because you don’t have any tendons in your arches, but whatever. I would later learn that I had plantar fasciitis, which is very common but still altogether painful and extremely unpleasant.
Hunky Dr. Russell explained that my tootsie woes were due to the fact that I was a growing teenager and a dancer. He would slap some stretchy athletic tape up on my arch and send me on my way, so that’s what I learned to do. My dance bag was never without a roll of that tape. Every time I had foot pain, I slapped that tape up on my arch and kept on going. I had arch supports in all my shoes. Later, I had special inserts made that were molded to my foot. Still no relief…and I only weighed 125 pounds back then.
By the time I was in my late twenties, I was getting steroid injections in my heels. Yes, it’s as painful as it sounds. First, because cortisone stings like a mother…and second, because there’s an effing needle in your foot – but at that point, I had run the gamut from tape to inserts to physical therapy…and none of it was working anymore. So I would wait until the pain got so bad I couldn’t take it anymore and then I’d go in for injections. Thank God I had a good doctor with a sense of humor who never openly made fun of the fact that I started crying as soon as he walked in the room.
When you have plantar fasciitis, the mornings are the worst. It was nothing for me to roll out of bed and crawl to the bathroom to pee in the morning. It hurts like hell to flatten out your feet or put any weight on your heels. After you stretch out the ligament, normalcy returns except for the occasional jab. If you’re using your head and listening to your doctor, you should wear shoes that are comfortable and supportive, which is fashion code for “1970’s spinster librarian clod-hoppers.”
I was not a good listener. Besides, black leather lace-up grandma shoes with crepe soles just don’t go with a Dooney & Bourke handbag.
After a while, I’d had enough. One afternoon as my podiatrist was stabbing me in the heels with more cortisone and I was biting my wallet to stifle the screaming, I looked longingly into his eyes and said “Give me the surgery, doc. Give me the damn surgery.” And he did. And it was goooooood. Except for one really, really embarrassing moment – but that’s a blog post unto itself, so it’ll have to keep for now.
After surgery, I was joyously pain free…until I got my first stress fracture. I was training with a group at work because we were going to walk one of those breast cancer 3 day walks. I ignored the pain at first, but eventually I was limping all the time. Everything hurt.
Imagine my chagrin when I went to my regular doctor and he told me there was nothing wrong with my foot. What?
See, I didn’t think I needed a podiatrist anymore because I’d had the surgery to relieve my plantar fasciitis. Bwahahahahaha! Wrong!
I went to see my podiatrist. He walks in, squeezes my foot in just the right place and sends me through the roof in pain, then he smiles and says “Yeah, well…stress fractures don’t show up on xrays until they start healing. That’s why you’re supposed to come to me.”
Since then, I’ve had quite a few…and always in my left foot. In fact, I expect my left foot to just fall off by the time I’m 80. It’s always had a sucky attitude. It just can’t hang with the rest of my body.
So here I sit with my foot in this damn soft cast. Stress fracture #6. For the next four weeks, I’ll be lurching around Texas like a giant fat Frankenstein. Awesome.
The Buffalo Boogie 5K is in two weeks. I did ask my podiatrist if that was even feasible. Of course, he said no. From my own experience, I know he’s probably right – because you have to stay off your feet for these to heal. I would have argued…or at least asked more questions…but this particular podiatrist is a creep. I only went to see him today because he was the last one I saw and he had an available appointment this afternoon – but every time I go and see him I end up feeling like I need a long hot shower. You know, the kind in Silkwood or The Crying Game.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do about the 5K yet. This has all just happened and I need time to think logically. Right now, I’m too busy cursing my DNA/weak feet genes to make any real decisions.
Ironically, this brings to light the discussion I’ve been having with Hot Mess Hubby over the past several weeks about joining a gym again. I’ve been having foot pain (now we know why) and trying to figure out a way to get access to an elliptical trainer. We just can’t afford to buy one and I’ve been considering a venture back into gym membership for a few weeks. Elliptical is much lower impact than a treadmill.
Sometimes you have to dance with the devil even when you don’t want to. Maybe it’s time for me to join a gym. It’s either that or take water aerobics. I’d rather face the muscle-bound fitness dicks than let anyone see my in a bathing suit. Ever.
Do you belong to a gym? Which one…and what do you like/dislike about it? Help me work this out, peeps.
And don’t worry: I may be temporarily knocked down, but I’m most definitely not out.