Pain, Lamentations and the Phoenix…

Hi ho, friends, it’s been a long time and I’m here with an update on the foot and whatnot: I’ve just arrived home and Vlad is out on the back porch caterwauling and I am feeling the same inside. I had a wonderful afternoon with unexpected graciousness from co-workers and friends; followed by a delicious dinner with other wonderful friends. So, why would I feel like caterwauling? My foot. Let me start at the beginning—well, at least the beginning of today.

What the hell?

What the hell?

I woke somewhat sleepily but early enough to know that I could fit my HIIT session in today even though I didn’t really want to do it. I got up anyway, put my workout clothes on and walked up to the clubhouse. I saw my neighbor that let me borrow the knee

scooter last year and said hi to him. I got on the bike to do my HIIT and ended up doing 35 seconds work and 45 seconds rest for 13 rounds instead of 8 on the bike. Yay me!   I went home and got ready for work and noticed my increased energy and really fantastic mood. It was going to be a great day!

I remembered that I had physical therapy at 12:30 and drove through some unfortunate traffic to get there. Once I arrived, I told Dan I wanted to do my 10 minute warm up on the treadmill instead of the bike –because my goal is to walk, run and hike so it makes sense that I should do that and I already did the bike today anyway. I was feeling upbeat and fabulous and like I could conquer the world!! He said okay and I started walking at about 2.5 then quickly bumped it up to 3.0. After about 4 minutes, my foot began to hurt. I expected this to happen but not really at the level that pain was pulsing from it.

The pain began around the second metatarsal, mid-foot and spread to my arch. I went back down to 2.7 for a while and then bumped it back up to 3.0. I did not want to be weak. After the 10 minutes (it was actually 11 because I wanted to walk half a mile so I “cheated” and did more) I went to do my stretches. I did them and then the Baps board and other balance boards and my foot seemed to calm down a bit. I went to do my seated calf raises and Dan came over and asked how I was. I told him my foot hurt. I said I thought the last few weeks had been good and I thought I was making progress and my foot was improving. Outside of physical therapy, I’ve been going to kettle bell classes 3 times a week, doing yoga twice a week and doing my HIIT 1-2 times a week as well as walking around 2-3 miles a day. Granted, the 2-3 miles a day is not consecutive but I am getting that in according to my FitBit.

I asked him, several questions like, why does it hurt when I walk more than a little bit (less than a mile) at a time? Am I doing myself a disservice wearing minimalist “barefoot” shoes? (No, not the kind with the toes. I wear Merrells.) Should I wear my former running shoes—the Asics that I was wearing when I Lisfranced myself— when I walk? Why can’t I bend my foot all the way? (and do a lunge) Should I be doing more or less exercise than I am? Why is my foot still swollen most of the time? He said those were all good questions to ask my doctor. (I made an appointment with my surgeon earlier in the week. The earliest he could see me is May 9)

I finally just asked: is there some thing wrong with me??? He looked at me blankly and admitted that he had not seen enough of this type of injury to know what is normal. I said okay and inside a fire lit and rage began to burn. I went on with all the usual exercises. My foot hurt like hell but I didn’t care. I could feel my shoe getting tighter and knew my foot was swelling. I did the exercise where I stand on my right foot on an unstable foam pad and throw a medicine ball at the trampoline. An intern came by and said, wow, you’re really hitting that and I just smiled. I was so angry and I thought, well I can do this and make this rage work for me. I’ll get it done.

Dan asked if I wanted to go ahead and try the full body weight hops today. We had discussed moving on to more challenging exercises last session. I said, yes, let’s do it! (ignoring the fact that my foot hurt more than usual.) I haven’t had any answers as to why it does so, what the hell, why not try it and see what happens. The exercise was little hops touching up against the wall for 10 seconds—six rounds, which works out to be one minute. I did the first ten seconds okay. I was scared because it was something new and my foot hurt already so I didn’t know how it was going to react. The second set, at about 8 seconds, pain shot through my foot and I was forced to stop.

I imagine this physical therapy session was like how Van Gogh painted. He layered his lament through accumulation of paint. My lament is through layers of pain, starting with the treadmill with a respectable level building to 3 MPH and my foot protesting. It flares back up with balancing exercises and shuttle jumps, the ache layering more until finally the sharp throb with the jumps and then the hot sting of tears flowing into my eyes. I hold onto the wall as every thing turns blurry and my vision field turns into a photonegative.

I stand there with my head down touching the wall with the fingertips of one hand as tears drip to the floor. A flurry of unpleasant thoughts runs through my mind. I can hear Dan saying yet again, “ I would’ve thought you’d be farther along.” I think, “Clearly there is something wrong with you.”  I have the familiar sensation of my body just being a big bag of meat as I walk over to get a tissue. I came back and finished the exercise not caring if it hurts and not caring if anyone sees me crying. I go over to the bench and sit down, take my shoe off and stroke the bottom of my foot.   Will I ever be able to do the things I love to do again? Right now I would like to be a prominent guest at The Red Wedding. We’ll leave it at that for now. I float between rage and depression but isn’t depression just rage turned inward?

Sure, things could be worse and I should be grateful for what I can do and blah blah blah all that stuff. Yes, it’s all true and I don’t dismiss it. I’m not sure if anyone can really understand the bitterness that comes with this disappointment. I’m tired of having hope and being let down. I’m tired of believing that I will get what I want and it not happening. I’m tired of doing everything in my power to do what is right and it not working. It is enough to make me want to be a super villain. Yes, I want to turn to the dark side as I’m much more familiar with that than the light anyway. I know I shouldn’t be so reactive. I have been trying so hard–especially this week– and to be kicked down in such a cruel way is just…cruel.

I feel like I’m losing and this kind of desperation makes me feel like I’m going to do something really horrible, really unpleasant, and really foolish. I can’t take much more lies—hope—I’m so sick of suffering loss after loss after loss. I’m done with it. I want to pour gasoline over everything and light it on fire burn it all down and walk away. The problem being I can’t walk very well and would probably need to run due to the gasoline but that would mean I want to save myself. Ah but, alas, I have always been the heroine of my story and the Phoenix.

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5 thoughts on “Pain, Lamentations and the Phoenix…

  1. Great description of your day and feelings. You are not losing everything at all, you have made great progress and will continue to do so. Go back and read some earlier posts. Poco a poco!

  2. 😦 hope you are doing okay today.. This was a while ago but I am reading now. I am at about 4 months post op now. For two weeks sometime after the 3 month mark I had a setback where it hurt like when I injured it. I was quite worried but after two weeks it progressively went away. No clear explanation what was agitated.

    Best wishes for continued healing to you!

    • Thank you for the kind words! Matt, I’m glad you are ok after thinking you may have re-injured yourself. I’m somewhat stagnating, or rather, I make some progress and then slide back after perhaps doing too much. I’ll have a proper update soon. I hope to catch up on your blog too. Hope you are doing well and healing quickly!

  3. Pingback: The Lisfranc Progression | Supine Musings…NEW and IMPROVED Tales from OFF the Couch!

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