This is the color of my feet lately. Red hot. No, they're not red to look at, they Feel red. You see, I have chronic foot pain.
Occasionally, it flares up and causes me a lot of trouble.
Years ago, I started having pain in my right foot. I would start to feel a sharp burning in the toes and then diffuse pain over the entire forefoot. It was very bad when I ran but also hurt after a mere 30 minutes of walking around the grocery store.
After lots of tests and opinions from various doctors, I had surgery in 2005 to remove a huge neuroma. Nerves had been pinched and caused a big ball to form. The mass was removed. I had 3 kids between 18 months and 5 at the time, but I survived my month on crutches. I behaved and refrained from running for 3-4 months! I started back in the spring and it was glorious. I ran that whole summer pain free. I compared it to swimming. It was like I could 'finish my stroke.' I had a new form. I was stronger. Myself again. It had been torture, but the surgery was worthwhile.
And then, it came back.
The pain came back. But alas, not just in my right foot, but my left too.
I have seen my doctor on and off since 2005 for this. She struggles with new ways to help me. I try different sneakers. I tried orthotics. I had them altered. Nothing. Nothing helps. Sometimes I have relief for a few months. I kid myself into thinking I am cured.
It always comes back.
Since August I have been in PT. I had great hope. Someonen new. Someone who had fresh ideas. "We'll break the scar tissue. We'll do ultrasound. We'll cure the bilateral plantar fascitis because it all connects together and that may be making it worse." Nothing. More pain. Bad bad pain.
My training is going well. I am strong. I have been working hard for months and months. I have 2 weeks of hard training left before I get to taper for Worlds. I am honored to be going and excited to race in these hard core conditions.
But while I'm on the roads fighting fatigue from a hard 12 mile run or a 60 mi ride followed by an 8 mile run, I am also fighting pain. I limp. I cringe. I stop and try to squeeze the burning out of my toes. I want to push the final 3 miles but I can barely step. If I fight the foot monster for a few miles, it sometimes diminishes and I can go on without losing my breath to the hurt.
It almost brings me to tears. Yes, the pain makes me want to cry, but it's more than that. Why me? Is this going to sideline me eventually? Who knows. I can't think that way. I am told by some who are familiar with this that it'll be ok. I just need to rest after Worlds and let the neuroma "settle down" Sometimes they flare up. My Physical therapist told me I was a time bomb. Thanks for the encouragement. I don't need that right now.
I must hang on. I can fight through this. It's an added challenge in my world of sport. And I am all about challenges.