Christina is a guest writer for The Running World According to Dean. This is the third in a series of articles on her experiences with surgery and recovery. (Here’s #2 & here’s #1) I hope her insights and candidness will ring true for many of you as well as keep your hopes high for any recoveries or comebacks you may be enduring. We’ll be with her every step through her journey to recovery.
When you’re on crutches, people feel it’s an opening to talk to you. What happened to your foot is a common question by everyone, including absolute strangers. If I said, I had something removed from my heel, they would then ask “heel spur”? If I said I had foot surgery, they’d ask what kind. I wanted something jazzy, something fun. My first start of a story line was ‘I was kicking butt and kicked butt good.’ Then it grew into I was Kung Fu Fighting, and I would sing the lyrics to the song. She was kung fu fighting. Those kicks were fast as lighting. The looks I got were either because they didn’t believe me or I have no singing ability. It didn’t matter, it distracted them enough and the conversation ended. Next I moved to, ‘I was a stunt double in an action film starring Mel Gibson and broke my foot.’ I still need to work on developing that story line. And finally, this one shuts people up quickly, ‘I had my 6th toe removed.’
I have learned to dread the nights. It meant putting on the mean green ointment and trying and distract myself. If it helps it heal faster then I can handle 45 minutes of discomfort, is what I keep telling myself. I tried taking a pain pill thirty minutes before using it or drinking a Zima, anything to minimize the discomfort of those 45 minutes. When I finally go to bed any placement of my foot hurts. Another night (I must have been dreaming about kung fu fighting), I kicked myself right in the wound and sat straight up in bed screaming. The cats glare at me for disturbing their sleep and I lay back down, careful not to bother them anymore. Then there’s the night when I get up to use the restroom but it just hurt too much to walk and then I still have to go back to bed. Unfortunately shedding tears in the evening and in the morning is occurring more frequently.
I’m limited to what I can do for physical activity. Using the elliptical is out of the question. Although I can ride a bike, I can’t push it because that would require pressure on the heel. I can however, swim. You have to understand that I’m not a swimmer. I don’t like to get my head wet and don’t like water, including shower water, in my eyes. But increasing my time, I get up to 30 minutes of swimming and feel like I’ve accomplished something.
At the end of the three weeks, the visit to the doctor said it was looking good. He gave me the speech of staying off the foot, and said to come back in two weeks. It sounded like in two weeks would be the last time I would have to make the trek to his office. And he also had good news, he didn’t see anything wart-like-looking still there. I have no idea how he could see a wart in what looked like raw meat to me, but he’s the doctor. When I was in my late 20’s I had a plantar wart on my right foot. It took three times of having it cut out before it went away. Only one time of cutting a piece out of my heel and taking away running time is good with me. So his news about not seeing a wart was awesome. The last thing I talked to my doctor about was wearing a boot, which he said if it helps then I can use it. But he mentions again, its best to stay off the foot because it will heal faster. Happily I wear the boot, mow the lawn with the boot, actually carry stuff with my hands while wearing the boot and I feel like a real person again.