Tuesday, November 23, 2010

On Uncertain Footing

I’ve written before, both seriously and also attempting humor, about my painful left foot. Two or three times over the last year or year and a half, I’ve gone through major campaigns to have alcohol injections in attempt to destroy the little nerve between my third and fouth metatarsals that has led to a painful neuroma. This last time in particular, we hit that thing hard. Each shot was quite painful, leading me to believe we were hitting that thing where it hurts and taking it out.

My last shot was about three weeks ago, and the doctor said to make sure I run and walk to see how it is doing. I did my tough backpacking trip just over two weeks ago, and was encouraged that I had no pain to speak of. Maybe it really is going away. Then I had a sedentary week in Michigan last week, and did a three mile run Saturday. Sunday I did a seven mile hike around town to enjoy this fantastic weather and the last of the fall colors. From the start of the hike, my left foot hurt with every single step. In seven miles of hiking, my left foot is going to hit the ground about 7,500 times, and every one of those footsteps hurt. And as the hike went on, each footstep hurt more and more. I guess that little three mile run flared things up enough to result in a lot of hurting on Sunday's hike.

Although I really enjoyed hiking along the James River, including passing near some old Team in Training places like Hollywood Cemetery, I was really discouraged at the end. The alcohol shots are clearly not working. The pain for the neuroma is as bad, or even worse, than it ever has been.

I am not sure what to do next. I guess I will cancel next week's alcohol shot. It just seems like throwing $40 away. I may have to consider surgery. My lifestyle is very dependent on having pain-free feet. There are too many things I like to do - hiking, running, and of course just taking a nice walk – that foot pain with every step will impede.

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