After my big doctor appointment today, I headed home, had dinner, did some chores and cut my toenails. I was lucky I didn’t cut myself — it was very odd to not have feeling in my third and fourth toes.
I couldn’t feel that small area on my right foot, because my doctor injected me with a medicine to kill the tip of my pinched nerve. (That numbness will only last about 24 hours.)
First, though, the good news that came out of our meeting:
- No more cast;
- No more fracture shoe;
- No more broken bones;
- and I got to resume wearing my orthotic and my sneaker on my right foot.
The bad news:
- My nerve is still pinched, a result from the inflammation caused by the two stress fractures.
- Since the nerve hadn’t settled down in the course of several months, it wasn’t going to get better with a simple steroid shot.
- I have a right shoe that looks brand-new (I’ve got some dirty work to do!).
The next course of treatment, the good doc told me, is normally surgery to remove the nerve. But he said he preferred to do a simple injection of medicine that would kill a small portion of the nerve. He said most patients see relief after one shot, and others do quite well after a second round seven to 10 days later.
If the neuroma doesn’t clear up after this round or a possible second (I have an appointment scheduled next week just in case), the next step is surgery.
But let’s forget about the surgery. That’s a big “if.”
Here’s what the not-so-distant future holds:
- I can one day run again.
- I can now add the elliptical to my workout routine.
- If I can get better by June, it’s still possible to run the Chicago Marathon on Oct. 10.
- Next week, if the neuroma is calmed down, I can start walking on the treadmill (yippee!)
After a supportive tweet from my Twitter friend Brady, @bgervais, who wanted to know how the appointment went ASAP, I decided to “live-tweet” it. Below is a recap of how my appointment went down. Thanks to everyone for your support!
Oh! And I did remember to ask the doctor about running barefoot.
He said he thinks it’s a bad idea, as humans we’ve evolved too much to have that make sense for our bones, muscles, tendons and ligaments. And he credited Julius Ceasar’s implementation of heels on shoes with helping the Romans win wars because they supported the achilles tendon and allowed warriors to walk far for long periods of time.
He said, “It’s just a fad.”
Something to think about.
For now, I’m just happy to have a foot that doesn’t hurt — even if it is a little numb for the next 24 hours.