Thursday, July 19, 2012

Past Deadline: A Comeback?

I know you have all been dying to know how my Stupid Foot™ is doing.

I mean, after all, aside from periodic nasty references to this disagreeable appendage of mine, I haven’t written about my collapsed foot in earnest since January.

I figured with the Perth Kilt Run coming up this Saturday, it was a suitable time to offer a progress report. I won’t be running this year, unfortunately, but I have made some strides, which I am now going to blow all to heck by mentioning it in this here newspaper.

For new readers and for those of you who had pleasantly forgotten, last August I developed a darling case of tendonitis (read: burning, gripping, horrible agony 24/7) in my right foot. When the searing pain did not subside, I ventured to the doctor who sent me to physiotherapy.

Physiotherapy became my happy place. They made the tendonitis go away. They also diagnosed what I had been calling “a wonky foot” as “severe biomechanical failure” with the “long arch collapsing onto the tendon” and something about “posterior tibial tendon dysfunction.”

They tell me I was born this way, and it caught up with me. (Three cheers for turning 40.)

I was fitted for orthotics. They were lovely for a while, but new symptoms began to appear. I went back to visit my orthotics guy.

The next set of orthotics arrived in early April, which coincided with the fact I had been walking less because our family got a second car. (I had some work in Smiths Falls – it’s a really long walk.)

The combination of less walking and altered orthotics seemed to be working. As I eased into more walking, the pain stayed under control.

I am more than two months into the new set and there are many days that I don’t even think about my foot.


Sometimes, as I strapped on my Rocket Shoes and blasted my iPod and increased my walking program, I would sneak in a jog for a block or so.

I didn’t die.

In fact, the foot felt good. The hip complained, but this has improved, too.

I have missed running. More than anything else it clears my head.

Last Tuesday evening I attended a particularly long (four hours) and stressful Perth council committee of the whole meeting about police costing. Maybe you’ve heard about it?

I won’t get into the details here as I am certain you can read about it in other parts of this newspaper.

Anyway, after sitting for so long and needing to digest the results of the meeting, I set out for a walk.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I knew I needed to go for a run (don’t tell my physiotherapist, please) to prevent my head from blasting into orbit.

It was a modest, slow run. It was less than four kilometers and interspersed with stretches of walking.

Oh. My. God. It felt good.

The foot was fine. The hip was quiet. Best of all my head is still on my shoulders.

In fact, the thing I had the most trouble with was my breathing – getting into that running rhythm again for the first time since last July.

Two days later my legs hurt, but it was from exercising dormant muscles. It felt good!

I am not going to push this. I am going to treat my foot with the utmost of patience and care. But it sure is nice to know that my favourite stress releaser may not be gone forever. I suspect I may need it again.

Good luck to all of our Kilt Runners this Saturday! Break that record! And maybe someday I’ll be able to help out again.

Published in The Perth Courier, June 21/12

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