Thursday, March 22, 2012

Something's Afoot

My foot has been hurting me for a while now. Like, since November. I didn't think about it much at first because after all, triathletes are always hurting somewhere, amirite? I kept on thinking it would go away in a week… then it would go away in a month… then after 5 months I figured maybe I should have it looked at.

It's an unusual pain located on the side of my left foot just below the little piggy that cried wheee wheee wheee all the way home. The strange thing is that it doesn't hurt to walk or even run on - it's most painful when I am lying down. And I've felt it every single night since November. Maybe pain is too strong of a word; it varies from minor to moderate discomfort. But definitely something wrong.

I went to Dr. Espensen in Burbank, highly recommended. He took some X-rays and didn't find anything absolutely definitive about what's causing the pain, but did see something out of the ordinary.

He found evidence of some old micro fractures in the bone that never healed properly. The fractures weren't caused by a sudden impact, but probably developed over time. Like maybe from training for Ironman and marathon races perhaps? Perhaps. There's a bruised nerve or something in there, and as the bones try to heal, I get an owie.

He shot me up with a heckuva lot of Cortisone (woohoo! I'm on steroids!) to help jumpstart the healing. Then he gave me a prescription for Diclofenac Sodium (non-steroidal, dangit) to reduce inflammation. Left on its own, the foot could heal itself in another couple of months; with the drugs he's hoping it can be mostly healed in 2 weeks. We'll see. And I have medical orders not to run for a week (not that I've needed an excuse to stay home lately.)

Here's the paradox, which might not be medically sound but it kind of makes sense: pain is part of the body's healing process. When I was training, I was constantly wearing down the same part of my foot and never gave it a chance to start healing. I stopped training in October, and the pain started in November. So had I not stopped training, my foot never would have started rebuilding and the pain never would have started. Lesson learned: ignore your injuries and you won't feel any pain.

Oh, and the good doctor scolded me for my Converse shoes. He said the they are terrible for your feet, but his wife likes men to wear them for the fashion. That's the exact reason why I bought them! A female co-worker told me to get them to help me look hip and younger and not be a square, daddy-o. And I have been complimented on them. I guess looking this good comes at a price.