Saturday, March 21, 2009

Foot woes

I don't think I've mentioned on here my latest foot woes. If you've followed me on twitter or facebook, I have discussed it there in my one liner comments.

This is not my foot but an image from Brittanica

Symptoms: metatarsal pain in left foot, mostly over the second digit and pain in the ball of my foot upon running and/or walking
Duration: longer than a month
X-ray: no stress fracture but only 50% show up anyway
MRI: no stress fracture but arthritis over first metatarsal and bunion (already knew)
Dr.'s advice: DON'T increase your mileage, take an OTC anti-inflammatory consistently, follow-up in a month

When I received the results on Friday about the MRI, a part of me was glad it was not a stress fracture as that would have meant I would have had to completely stop running for probably a month or more. However, another part almost wished it had shown that too. It's not for my usual validation reasons either. But rather, the thought about consequences.

See, if it had been a stress fracture, as much as I would have groaned about not being able to run (both for physical and mental reasons), I would have likely laid off my foot at least for a little while. Now, that it is only arthritis and inflammation, it doesn't seem as crippling. The consequences don't seem as severe.

Athletes and eating disorder individuals alike have a tendency to push our bodies to the limit. How fast and far can we run/exercise? How fast and far can we run/exercise on such little food? How many days can we go without nourishing ourselves? How many times can we purge and still conceivably stand upright? How many things can we pack into one day to consider ourselves successful?

We do this with no real forethought, or I should say the forethought may be there but it gets pushed aside for the ED's wants, needs, and gratifications. I'm sure many can relate. It's a hard boat to row ashore. If we ever want to get better, we have to start thinking about the consequences. The sad thing is that even when we think about the consequences, it doesn't really hit us how badly it can get until we've already reached that point and beyond.

With thinking about the ED and my foot, I had to remind myself of the possible outcomes if I continued to push to reach my optimum level of running. Basically, if I planned on running any marathon this year, that chance could be ruined. So for the next month, as hard as it is for me, I'm going to heed my Dr.'s advice and keep the running to low level mileage.

Note--I was originally hoping to upload the MRI images of my foot, however, it looks like the software is only for hospitals and physicians. I'm hoping to see them on Monday when I visit S., my physical therapist friend, who works at the hospital.


Reagan said...

Careful with the anti-inflammatories- they gave me an ulcer!

Kristina said...


I hope you do take care of yourself so that you CAN let your body heal itself. As someone who ran one marathon and trained for 2 others but was injured both times about a month before, I am quite sympathetic.
- Kristina

Carrie Arnold said...

Indeed, this hits quite close to home as I have been having foot pain and am seeing the podiatrist in a week (no earlier appts though I will be calling to see if there are cancellations). I've cut back on exercise but I haven't cut it out.

Still, arthritis can be crippling in the long run, so Doctor Carrie says take it easy!

Lola Snow said...

It's so true what you say about not accepting the consequences until it's zero hour. I'm the same with my oesphagus. I know there is serve damage, and I knew when I was doing it that I was damaging myself, yet I justified, and justified and justified, and now I just ignore it instead of getting it checked, under the pretence of "It's OK because I am no longer purging". Which is exactly the same boat, and just as damaging. Keep it low level tiptoe, those tiptoes need to last a lifetime.

Lola x

Kim said...

I know what you mean about sort of hoping it was a stress fracture. There was a time when I did something funky to my back, but I didn't lay off exercising (I don't exercise much...just yoga and occasional walks, but still). I'm so used to ignoring/abusing my body. Unfortunately, it takes something pretty big for me to "get it" and STOP the abuse. It's easier to rationalize laying off when it's "serious" (like a stress fracture). I try to catch myself when I'm rationalizing. If I'm thinking, "I wish something would happen so I could stop yoga for a while," then I should probably just stop yoga :) I know it's not that simple though...

Tiptoe said...

Reagan, yeah, I'm not a big fan of NSAIDS myself unless in dire situations. I may go back to Boswellia which worked for awhile last summer when I had hamstring problems.

Kristina, so true, training for marathons, injuries creep up. I had injuries prior to my two last year. So I really do need to be careful.

Carrie, so sorry about your foot troubles. Hopefully, you can get in earlier than your appt.

Yes, arthritis can be crippling. I just need my mind to really believe that.

Lola, yes, getting the esophagus checked would be wise. One of my Drs. I saw a long time ago scared me half to death thinking I might have Barrett's esophagus. Damage can be done even when the symptoms have stopped.

Kim, yes, rationalizing is so easy to do when you don't think things are as severe. If it was so easy as to stop as people have told me. These days, I think some people are just programmed to do that while others can't resist. Hmm, think we all fit the latter unfortunately.

Carrie Arnold said...

Keep us all updated (as much as you feel comfortable) on how the pain is coming. Hope it feels better soon!

Lissy said...

girl, get off your feet. doesn't that sound so simple?

hope you feel better and the pain goes away forever.

Tiptoe said...

Carrie and Lissy, thanks. It's a slow thing. I guess it's good that the weather stinks right now as I'd likely want to be running more than I should otherwise.