Posts tagged injuries
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.
Let me sum up: vacation. Day 1: walked, walked some more, lots of stairs. Day 2: sore legs, walked even more, and by the end of the day was in excruciating pain and spent all my concentration trying to make the 10 blocks back home without dying. Day 3: didn’t do squat. Day 4: walked a teeny bit. And there were monuments and stuff in there somewhere, I think. And a good supply of ice packs, heat packs, and athletic tape.
Seriously though, had a good vacation, and I saw most of the things I wanted to see…although the reflecting pool is somewhat less scenic as a giant construction zone. DC is a walking city, though, and I wasn’t really up to the challenge – not as much as I would have liked, anyway – but at the end of it I survived and my foot has bounced back well. God bless athletic tape.
Since then I haven’t done much: I celebrated my return from vacation by getting a cold and sleeping a lot. But that may have been just as well. My foot is slowly but surely getting better, and at this point I’m beginning to have hope that I might recover before I go batty. er.
I spent two amazing days last week at Big Omaha, and I’m still trying to process it all… It’s year three for me and it’s still as overwhelmingly inspiring as ever. It’s impossible to condense everything that is Big Omaha into words, and it’s hard to know how to describe it at all…there’s a part of me that just wants to say: you just have to be there.
It’s a conference that’s part entrepreneurship, part business, part technology, part inspiration, part philanthropy, part philosophy. There’s as much talk of responsibility and work/life balance as there is about landing venture capitol or choosing a co-founder. And above all, everyone is happy to be there. There’s an air of excitement that I’ve never run into anywhere else, and a feeling that anything is possible if you add enough passion and work. It’s a booster shot of motivation like nothing else.
I should add to this a disclaimer: I am biased. Not because I live in Lincoln, and Omaha is practically in my backyard. Not because I’ve spend hard-earned cash to get in for three years running and I need to justify my dollars. No, I’m biased because Big Omaha literally changed my life. Well…Big Omaha, plus a little Gary V.
It went like this: One day in 2008, see a random link to Gary Vaynerchuk’s 2008 keynote at the Web 2.0 Expo in NYC. Mind asplodes, as the internet would say. Despite the fact that I was working at the time in a job that I loved, with people that I loved, and I couldn’t really imagine wanting to leave my job, I was set on fire by what he was saying. It was a way of looking at the world that was different than anything I’d come across before. I had an idea of how life would go, work would go, and the way the world was, and suddenly it was possible to look at it differently.
To save you a long and tiring story, I shall condense: Because Gary was going to be there, I heard of and went to Big Omaha. And without Big Omaha and Gary, I would not have invested in building a personal site that, at the time, seemed uneccessary. I would not have had my eyes open to opportunities outside of my job, and I would not have spent any time thinking and preparing for freelancing.
Because of Big Omaha, I had options when I needed them. I had the inspiration and the courage to get out of a bad situation and start freelancing full time, and I had the contacts to make it happen. Because of Big Omaha, I made it though a year of freelancing and didn’t starve. Because of Big Omaha, I am not trying to figure out why I hate what I do every day, and I am not trying to convince myself to go to work every morning anyway.
Because of Big Omaha, my entire life is different. That’s not something you usually say about a conference.
Inspiration is universal
Each year I have come to Big Omaha from a different situation, and this year I’m on a very different career track, but it has never made it any less life-changing. This year I feel much more at home with where I am and where I’m headed than I ever have; I think that let me absorb things and apply them to what I’m already planning, whereas in years past, I used the energy from Big Omaha to drive me to change my plans and the rut I was stuck in.
But that’s the beauty of Big Omaha: it doesn’t matter that much where you are, what project you’re working on, or what industry you’re in. Whoever you are, the lessons all transfer, and the conversations are still relevant. Inspiration and entrepreneurship are universal. There is no industry that doesn’t need new ideas and innovation, and no business that is not about building relationships with people (that’s right, B to B people, you are still selling to people. I have yet to see a building pull out a checkbook). So anyone can come to Big Omaha and learn – although the jokes will be a lot funnier if you know what an LOLcat is.
Oh, and for those of you following my medical saga: my foot survived. I defied my better judgement and my physical therapist and wore heels (only once), danced (twice), and generally spent too much time on my feet (did I mention that I spent the day after Big Omaha at the zoo?), but I didn’t come out too badly. I used half a roll of athletic tape, I was pretty sore and there was plenty of ice involved, but it’s actually feeling better than it did before I left! Please do not take this as license to ignore your physical therapist, if you have one. They are very smart people and you should listen to them. But sometimes the party’s too loud for talking and you just give up and dance.
Woo! Back in the (bike) saddle. After physical therapy today I decided it was time to try the bike again (I’m cleared for it by PT), as I was feeling fairly stir crazy. It went well, although the foot’s a little sore now so we’ll see how I feel tomorrow.
Regardless, the PT thinks that I’ve worked through the ‘chronic’ portion of the pain, and now it’s a matter of teaching my foot how to walk again, so there’s progress even if I do end up sore. If I hadn’t spent a couple days on my feet almost constantly last week I would be doing a little better, but it is what it is.