This is my poor injured foot. I know. It looks pretty bad and I kind of can’t believe that I am even posting this. The ankle is kind of swollen, my bone spur on my toe is probably from breaking it at some point, the spots on my other toes are from swim fins.
I have been thinking about the question the doctor and the ultrasound tech asked me yesterday about injuring my foot. I have had a number of injuries to my feet over the years and I’ll put a timeline in this post. I have also thought about the question people keep asking me – how did you do this? I have no idea but it may have been because I came back too soon after the hamstring injury. I was not having pain, however, and had been released from physical therapy on Monday. The pain in the Achilles started around the beginning of the week and was really bad on Tuesday.
Another thing I have been thinking about is the voices I really listen to for advice and who I trust. There are two main voices for my training and recovery: Sam Morgan and Jeff Laubenthal. There are a couple more voices I listen to as well but these two men are the main ones right now. Both of them know me, know my training, and know my health issues. They have my best interest in mind when they tell me to do something or not to do something. Both of them are honest with me and will tell me if I’m trying to move too fast. They know how far I have come from where I was a year and a half ago.
My injury timeline: the major ones
ca. 1976 – Track – running 2 mile, was shoved in a pack of runners at the beginning of the race and fell on the curb. I hit the arch of my foot on the curb and was out for several weeks. Yes, there was Title IX but I was not an important member of the team so I didn’t get much attention for my injury.
College, December 1981 0r 1982 – hopped off a step at my apartment when I was bringing in groceries. I landed just right and split the bone in my right foot the length of my foot. Mom Fountain took me to emergency. I was in a pink cast and had crutches for about 6 weeks or so.
around 1989 – My pro-am dance partner, Michael, was teaching me Quick Step. We had just started working on International Dances. I caught the heel of my right shoe in the strap of my left shoe on a corner and went down. I was going back to graduate school that fall and did not have health insurance so I did not have it looked at. Probably a mistake.
Graduate school. For some reason I frequently fell on the front steps of Linton Hall. Ice and snow were not always a factor. I just fell. I do not know why.
Grand Rapids years – I lived in an old house with wood floors and wood stairs. I wore wool socks a lot. Wool socks on wood stairs are slippery. I slid down the stairs more than once (and to the point that I was afraid that the doctor might wonder if someone was pushing me down the stairs). The one time I vividly remember I was answering the front door. I slid down the stairs, jammed my left foot on the bottom of the landing, and laid there while the door to door salesperson looked at me and kept ringing the doorbell. I was put in a boot for that fall.
After sabbatical. I returned to Grand Rapids and my knees were pretty bad. The first weekend I was back I was meeting a friend at UICA for a movie. I am still not sure what I was thinking because this friend was never on time for anything. I went into the theater to look for her, missed a step and fell head over heels down the stairs. I hit my head on a theater seat, which was the beginning of my cataract problem, and jammed my left leg. I had x-rays but they said it was just a sprain. No boot or cast that I recall, just a lot of limping around for months.
November 2009. Thanksgiving week. My cousin Amy and I were leaving the hotel in Ft. Lauderdale to go to meet the rest of the family at the cruise ship. We went out the back door and I slipped and fell. The paramedics said that they responded to falls on those steps about once a week. (So this time it was not just me being a klutz.) My leg was swollen and red all week making for a swell cruise. The only thing that saved it was a good looking Brazilian in the spa who did massage and acupuncture. That helped some. When I returned I saw Dr. Laubenthal and we began the long journey to figure out what was going on with my leg. I finally had surgery on both legs in March 2010 because my veins were damaged. This helped and was what sparked the real beginning of the journey I have been documenting in this blog.
That’s about it for my major leg injuries. It’s probably enough. I did not have the usual broken bones and injuries that many children have because I was pretty protected. I’ve made up for it as an adult. I’m hoping that I can end the falls though and not hurt myself over and over again. I’ll rest and recover for the next several weeks, follow the advice of Sam and Jeff, and hopefully recover soon.