Don’t call it a comeback.
Or, do. Far be it from be to dictate the contents of your vocabulary. Call it a Prussian revolution, if you wish. I don’t judge.
I hesitate to call it anything, frankly. I got so sick of writing about being injured that I quit (obviously). I think I may be beginning to start to show signs of getting better. Maybe. Possibly. But I’m not jumping to conclusions because I may be wrong. Please excuse me while I knock on everything within my reach that is made of wood.
The cost of a year.
It’s not the greatest photo ever, but it gets the general point across. Everything in the picture is something I bought specifically because of my foot injury. Shoes, shoe inserts, a night splint, a metal plate insert, ice packs, wraps, athletic tape, Kinesio tape, even a cheap rowing machine. Not pictured are dozens more rolls of tape, several more ice packs, bottles of ibuprofen, three doctors, two physical therapists, two orthopedic specialists, two x-rays, an MRI, a chiropractor, and a couple other shoe inserts and one more metal plate that I can’t find. It’s been a long effin’ year.
The final verdict (hopefully).
So what exactly is wrong with my foot? Here, let me illustrate with this helpful and informative diagram that I made just for you:
Not that I’m a doctor, mind you. But what the doctors think, when you add it all up (as far as I can tell), is that it’s a combination of tendonitis in the flexor digitorum longus (the tendon that runs from the bottom of your big toe all the way to your calf), plantar fasciitis (the ever-popular source of heel pain in the masses), and sesamoiditis (that little half-circle of bone that’s circled is a sesamoid. When it gets inflamed, it causes pain in the ball of the foot). The biggest problem is that the treatment for plantar fasciitis and the treatment for sesamoiditis are almost mutually exclusive. If I treat one, I am likely to aggravate the other, and that seems to be part of why it was so hard to diagnose – my pain didn’t present like any one diagnosis, and no treatment made much headway on my pain, it just moved it around.
All of the various injuries are overuse injuries, probably aggravated by the fact that I was working my foot out hard in kickboxing after taking a few months off, and because the after-school tkd program I was teaching was in a gym with a hard tile floor. I was doing everything barefoot, and the combination and intensity pushed my foot over the edge. That’s my best guess anyway.
At least now that I feel like I know what’s wrong, and the treatments are actually working in the expected way, I am starting to have both progress and hope, although healing not a fast process by any means. I still need to be on my foot to function, and staying off of it completely would actually make things worse, not better. So I still have to try to find a balance between enough moving around to keep things from locking up, and not doing so much that I cause more inflammation. The see-saw between the ball of the foot problem and the heel of the foot problem is the hardest.
I am able to work out a very little bit now, although by ‘work out’ I mostly mean ‘stand on my foot and move around a little for about an hour.’ But it’s more that nothing, and a lot more than I’ve been able to do in a long time. It makes a difference in my mood and motivation if nothing else.