Friday, February 19, 2010

Obligatory Self Pity Post

In a stunningly badly timed turn of events, just as it was becoming possible to leave one's house again as the snow has slowly melted, I broke my foot.

Even worse, it had nothing to do with the snow and ice, so I can't sue anyone.

I'm just kidding. I'm really not the litigous type.

But the end result is the same: I am stuck on my couch, AGAIN. As if I already wasn't developing bedsores from being trapped in my house for an eternity due to the apocalyptic weather conditions.

Ca n'est pas un pied.
The long and short of it is, I broke a heel spur. Actually, that is the short of it. Here is the long. A heel spur is something that you ideally don't have at all. It is little bit of junk that grows off the inside of your heel as a result of your plantar fascia being messed up, also known as plantar fasciitis (PF). It's a fairly common yet confounding foot condition that can affects anyone, though more commonly atheletes.

As I am a rugged marathon runner, who has trained in sweltering heat and sub-zero arctic-like temperatures, at high altitude and in extreme terrain conditions, I have put my feet through hell over the years. I've had PF a few times, most recently for about the last four or five months. While it is not usually debilitating, it's annoying as hell. It typically manifests itself with your foot hurting like a byatch under the arch near the heel when you first get out of bed in the morning, but then generally feels better pretty quickly as it stretches out. It is treated through a variety of exercises and other techniques, but suffice it to say, I have not been very good about that this time around, and so it hasn't really gone away.

Apparently one of the consequences of not dealing with PF is getting heel spurs. One of the ways your foot tries to fix itself when it has PF is to build these little things so that the tendon has more to grab on to as it tries to repair itself. The spurs usually don't cause problems, except, of course, when you break them.

A couple days ago I missed a step going downstairs and landed hard on my heel. After that I could no longer so much as stand on my left foot without excruciating pain. That was my first clue that something had gone horribly wrong.

My usual response to injuries such as these is to drink a great deal of liquor and see if it's better in the morning. This strategy has generally proved quite effective, and I estimate I've avoided about 90% of the emergency room visits that most people would have made by using this technique. I still end up in the ER about once a year or so, so obviously I am fairly accident prone, but that's neither here nor there.

This time, unfortunately, I found it was actually worse the next day. I really couldn't walk at all. Through some miracle I was able to see a foot doctor the same day and so avoided a nine-hour sojourn at the emergency room. The doc at first thought I had just taken the first step (metaphorically) in converting chronic PF to acute PF. This means, no longer would it just be something that annoyed me every day. It would be something that screamed and thrashed at me, demanding I stop ignoring it. I would have to deal.

I get to wear one of these.
It looks like a ski boot, and costs about
five times as much. No, you cannot
play tennis while wearing it.
Well, it could be worse, I thought. (As it turns out, of course, it was.) The doctor ordered x-rays just to make sure I didn't break anything. (As it turns out, of course, I did). The pictures came back and he immediately saw the fracture that you don't see in the picture above, which is not my foot. That little heel spur that is circled is completely broken off in my picture. The doctor was actually quite surprised. Apparently, breaking a heel spur is very uncommon. While he sees hundreds and hundreds of PF cases every year, he might see a broken heel spur once or twice. So I'm a rare case, and that's always nice.

Anyway, I am disappointed, not just because I will LOSE MY F?!*ING MIND if I don't leave this house sometime soon, but because I was looking forward to continuing my Snowvelations series. But unfortunatley, since I've barely been outside since Tuesday, I have not seen firsthand what's going on in the world. N. tells me that my worst fears are coming true: mountains of uncollected trash are filling the streets, rats are growing large enough to challenge cats for the rule of the nighttime hours, and C.H.U.D. sightings are even reported. It was only a matter of time.

It's probably just as well that I'm stuck inside.


Shannon said...

You are, indeed, a special case! Well, at least this time you weren't pretending to be Spiderman.

Jamie said...

Funny you should mention that. N. suggested that I have them x-ray my other foot to see when I should be expecting arthritis as a result of that incident...

pixability said...

I found it!

The world's tiniest violin that is.

I'll bring it home with me tonight so I can play it for you. :)

Anonymous said...

i was looking forward to your take on our mounting trash

lacochran said...

Bummer, Dude.

On PF, I've found that the right running shoes with appropriate inserts has made all the difference for me. Give your tootsies what they want! You know, once you've healed from this.

Me, I'd kinda welcome an excuse to lay about. Without the pain, of course.

Mike said...

I am sorry about your foot, don't drive yourself too crazy on the couch!