Yesterday, I woke with a limp.
That, in and of itself, is not unusual. When you arrive at 55 things tend to stiffen overnight and don’t always work on command or with full cooperation when you rise in the morning.
It’s not uncommon for me to shuffle and limp around the house until all the girls are in agreement and working together.
This limp, however, was different. There was pain associated with it…a sharp, gnawing pain that increased to a throb the more I walked and seemed to encompass my right foot and extend up the outside of my leg.
My right foot – the foot I lead with, think with, walk with, kick with, change direction with.
Sitting, with weight off of the foot, provided some relief and it enabled me to determine where my foot hurt – and why.
Six tender areas quickly revealed themselves, most in my forefoot, as I gingerly probed for the problem.
The big toe, second toe, third toe and fourth toe (along with their joints) were extremely sore. Across the top of my foot, at the base of my third and fourth toes, was an area that made me break into a sweat when I applied gentle pressure to it. My ankle, as well, felt painful to the touch, and up the outside of my calf felt bruised.
I’d done nothing in the past few days to cause injury. In fact, the past few days had been quite sedate – little walking and no yard work.
With a full day of yard work ahead of me (cutting grass, hedges, digging a new flower bed and cleaning out an old, weeding the garden, etc) I needed to figure out what was up with my foot. And, I needed to come to some sort of agreement with her.
Work would not wait, but I wasn’t sure my foot was up to it.
As I took inventory of my foot’s problems, I could name a past event that had caused injury for each sore spot…sometimes several.
Accident or intentional – it made no difference. The result’s the same.
- Irreparable damage done
- Susceptible to re-injury
- Intermittent problems
- Unexpected issues
- Incomplete healing
Past abuse has a way of becoming present tense. And, seeing a doctor is not a quick fix, nor a remedy for a broken toe.
I’ve been told on more than one occasion, “We don’t splint broken toes. All you can do is wear a stiff shoe and let nature take its course.” At some point, I stopped seeing a doctor for right foot injuries.
The last time a doctor examined my right foot, he looked at the x-ray and said, “Have you ever injured your big toe? The x-ray shows a lot of damage to it as well as a lot of arthritis!”
Duh Doc…um, yeah. And, don’t ask me how.
This doc’s recommendation for my foot pain did nothing to help my problem, but did create other painful problems. So, I discarded his advice, along with his device, and took a lesson from nature.
I discarded my shoes and walked barefoot as much as possible, wearing flip flops when shoes were mandated.
My foot problem cleared up fully within weeks.
Of course, my next injury came about because I was rushing barefoot through a dark room. I’ll leave the rest to your imagination….
Barefoot was not an option for me yesterday. It’s not wise to cut grass without shoes on. And, digging up new ground would be impossible without stiff soles on my feet.
Sometimes we have to suck it up and get on with life – and hope we don’t cause more damage in the process.
How’s my foot today? Well…. How would you feel if I had stuffed you into an old work shoe and stomped on you all day long, dragged you after a lawnmower up hill and down, jumped on you against the sharp edge of a shovel and forced you to go beyond your comfort zone by bending backward and forward until you felt you would snap? And, when you screamed “Stop!” and begged me for relief and received nothing in reply but harder work, would you feel kindly and considerate toward me today?
I didn’t think so.
She doesn’t either. 😉
But, I’m taking her shopping at Walmart. That should appease her. She can help carry 40 lb bags of top soil and push the shopping cart all over the store. I’ll let her wear flip flops so she can be at ease, but she will have to be careful of the shopping cart wheels. They have an affinity for exposed toes.