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bear by san

March 2017



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meet me where the sky bleeds

So I haven't been running since last summer, really, because I fucked up my foot. It started hurting when I ran, and then I rested it and got better, and did a trail half, and it started hurting more, and then I did a book tour and walked a lot in dressy shoes, and it hurt even more, and after Worldcon I tried to run 5K with some intervals and as a result was laid up on the couch for two weeks in agony. I saw my doctor and she thought it was Achilles tendinitis: "Rest it and stretch it."

Well, it seemed to be getting better slowly. And then I danced on New Year's Eve and the next day I couldn't walk. I'm a pretty tough girl, and I was in so much pain I had to hop to the bathroom.

So, to make a long story short, I saw an orthopedic surgeon yesterday, and there's very good news: the x-rays are fine, and there's no tendon or bone damage requiring surgery. What I do have is very, very tight calf muscles, which is probably half the fact that I live and run in a really hilly goddamned place, and half that I got slack about my yoga practice starting last year.

The calf muscles pull on the Achilles tendon and the plantar fascia, causing... excruciating pain in my foot!

So I got a cortisone shot (Jiminy Christmas, that hurt. I had one in my bum shoulder before and it was no big deal: this one was fucking agony) and a PT routine, and permission to resume exercise and activity as my pain levels permit.

Er. Once I'm over the pneumonia. You know.

If the PT doesn't work, he says, they can surgically lengthen my calf muscle. So... I think I'm going to try to pick up the pace with my yoga practice.


Oh, hell!

Well, good luck with the yoga. And the pneumonia. And everything.

Given that my husband just had fairly major surgery on his Achilles tendon, the moment I started reading your post I thought OH NO NOT YOU TOO. I am very glad your problem is not his problem, and can be addressed with PT.
Yay! on being cleared for running again. Here's to PT and yoga fixing things!
Girl, you are just a mess. Take care of you <3
Oh damn. I know this one too damn well. Only in my case the horse fell with me at a horse show this summer (ergo, me as the ol' lady surfing the wheelie walker at Worldcon this summer). One minute we were rocketing through the large fast reining circle, the next we were on the ground with the foot digging a hole in the mud. The ankle still sucks--adhesions and stuff. But at least I can focus on it to get it to bend and be stronger now.

Anyway, best of luck with your yoga practice turning things around. It's taken me a month, but things are improving. Hope it works as well for you as it seems to be doing for me. It's just taking too long. Sigh. That's age.

ETA: Cortisone shots hurt bad in that spot. Bursitis combined with achilles tendinitis, back when I was in my 20s. I've subsequently had a shot in one of my toe joints, and it hurt a LOT less than in the heel.

Edited at 2016-02-04 02:32 am (UTC)
Hm. It is possible that we should talk. I've had similar issues, but can mostly keep them manageable if I don't do anything stupid, partly by dint of happening on just the right PT. (Also, taking six weeks off of running, and spending a lot of time remodeling the scar tissue. Doesn't that sound like fun? It was just that much fun.)

But those techniques mostly mean that I can keep myself out of trouble, as long as I don't, say, go running on hills when my Achilles tendons are always bugging me, then have four hours of privates lessons with Shifu, then go hike up a bunch of mountains. Um, just for a completely hypothetical example.

It might make sense to see what your PT is recommending first.
You might try a bunch of heat on the muscle, like a heating pad wrapped around it for 45 minutes (read a book, set an egg timer).
It makes it go all soft and stretchy.
And then some very, very gentle stretching.
The muscle is telling you not to push things - PAIN - so take it really slow and careful.
I developed plantar fasciitis over the summer. We went to Paris (which was awesome) and walked a lot (which was awesome until my foot started hurting horribly). I still have it.

Plus in November I fell down the stairs and sprained my foot, really quite badly. I borrowed crutches and spent some time hobbling around and it felt enough better that two weeks after I initially hurt it, I went out without the cane. And had to run on it -- it was for a good reason, but still stupid. I felt it go "pop" and it hurt badly enough that I went back to urgent care the next day for another X-ray. Still just a sprain.

I finally, this week, am thinking that it's actually healed. Though I still have the plantar fasciitis, and I'm insufficiently confident in my formerly sprained foot to go out x-c skiing. I sprained it three months ago! I've had ankle sprains and they're usually better in three days. This is just ridiculous.

::fist bump of injury solidarity::
I just have to say -- Paris! Yes, awesome! (I was there in early July, before Bastille Day.) But, zomg, the walking! I already had plantar fasciitis in both feet (for me, it's chronic), and we walked ten to twelve miles a day (except for the day we went to La Tour Eiffel, when we walked fifteen), and when we weren't walking, we were standing in line (an hour and a half at Versailles, two hours for the Catacombs, etc.) or on the subway. After all that walking, then not walking the day we flew home, by the time our plane landed in Toronto, I could barely stand -- and my friends were zooming through the airport to get to the bathrooms before the rest of the people on our flight....
Yes. And when I was doing much more intense and regular yoga, I wasn't having this problem, so I think I see a solution in addition to the PT.


Oh Bear, I am so sorry! I've been recovering from a running injury as well that I incurred in 2014. It effing sucks! I so feel your pain.

Hang in there and feel better soon. PT is awesome. Mine got me back up and running very quickly, though there are still issues I'm dealing with. Hopefully they'll get you back up and running quick too.

Re: Aiya!

Boo to injuries and pneumonia! Hope the yoga does the trick - I think we underestimate how helpful flexibility is. I've been trying to stretch more as it doesn't come naturally to me and if I'm nagging the boy to do it, I should put my money where my mouth is. Hope you are out enjoying your running soon.
Yuck and Yay!

I've done plantar fasciitis and while it can easily be the gift that keeps on giving I've found that good PT helped as great deal, as did the good PT for the sprained ankle. I hope things go as well for you.
You have my sympathies; I haven't run (I'm in hilly Western NY) since May - torn labrum in my hip. Fortunately I've been able to do some other light work, but this 'getting older' crap where the meat-sack doesn't do what I want it to is getting old.
Best wishes on a (relatively) speedy recovery.