I’ve been mentioning the words “foot injury” a couple of times and thought that it would be good to go through some thoughts about it.
I had some random pains in my right foot in November/December and just after I had created this blog my foot pains got a lot worse and I finally went to doctor to get it properly checked. After an x-ray and an MRI, it turned out that at some point my foot had suffered a stress fracture in one of the sesamoid bones and even worse, a plantar plate tear. I have no idea what caused these but I normally exercise actively so I most likely did this to myself over time.
This was right in the beginning of January, and we are now in mid-February, so for someone who is used to being active and independent, this has been much more difficult than I thought. I haven’t had an injury of this severity since I was a kid, so being helpless and in pain was new and extremely uncomfortable for me and I was surprised at how strongly I reacted to all of it.
The first weeks were the worst as I would get strong pain attacks around my big toe area that would last for hours and nothing helped make them stop. I just had to wait until the pain attacks slowly ended. I tried the usual painkillers and when they didn’t work I was eating Panacods (paracetamol and codeine combination) as much as I was allowed but they only helped numb my mind a bit against the pain but didn’t make it stop. I tried not moving and then also moving, sitting, lying, standing, anything. Nothing helped. I was wailing on the floor in pain and unable to do anything but panic as the electric, shock-like pain kept happening over and over again.
I bet it was very tough on my husband too, as there was nothing he could do to help because there was nothing I could ask him to do. Eventually he figured that having a cold pack helped me just enough to allow my focus to shift a little from the pain. He also figured that putting on any calm TV show in the background could help me calm down and reduce the growing panic of fear and anxiety over the pain. So I watched some tiger cubs playing at the zoo, and squeezed a cold pack against my foot and felt my wailing quiet down to a whimper.
This continued for a few weeks and really the days have never felt so long. The pain meds had me so dizzy that I wasn’t able to focus on anything for a long time. Even reading or writing was difficult but I tried to do those too even for short periods of time. Having this blog helped me feel that I was doing something purposeful when I couldn’t work or do anything useful at the house. Even 10 minutes of reading or writing felt like a win before I had to stop from nausea of the meds.
Something that I always do when I’m sick is to watch David Suchet’s Poirot and during the worst weeks I watched so many of those episodes for comfort. I’ve seen them so many times that it was ok to not be able to focus on them 100%, the stories and Poirot’s voice still worked soothingly through my pain.
Luckily now the worst seems to be over. I still get some pains and very uncomfortable swelling in my foot but it doesn’t come as strongly and doesn’t take as long to wear out. I’m still not allowed to walk or stand without a specific shoe that keeps weight away from the tip of my foot and walking or standing is to be avoided as much as I can. So I’m stuck at home, not being able to drive or walk to a bus stop and in any case walking around the office would be too much right now. Luckily I can now at least work remotely, otherwise I think my mental wellbeing would suffer even more from being left out of all my normal life rhythm.
Now I still need to wait to see if this starts to heal enough on it’s own, or if I need surgery. It will take time and physiotherapy in any case before I can imagine going back to my usual exercise routines and social life. This makes me super sad and patience is certainly not my best trait but I try to not be too negative about everything and focus on all the improvement that’s happened. And that will be another post where I’ll go through how to feel like yourself again when you feel that you are only the injury that you have.
But now, more reading for the Reading Challenge!