Too Athletic For My Own Good

Sunday, February 10th, 2008, 3:04 am

I’ve been having trouble down there for a few months now. No no, not DOWN THERE, the BAD down there. No. I mean my feet, my legs. I got horrible shin splints humping the hills in San Francisco, a recurrance of a problem I had a couple of years ago when I suffered the agony of plantar fasciitis. And I do mean agony–shin splints hurt like holy hell. Lately they’ve been keeping me from exercising as much as I want, so I started stretching a lot more, especially my Achilleses. I hoped that over time these issues would clear up.

Not wanting to wait I bought some gel heel lifts for my shoes, as my doctor buddy said they might help with my foot problems. I played volleyball Thursday night and I don’t think they made much of a difference, but who knows? Certainly I didn’t, not after a couple of beers and some very tasty wings. I went to bed that night feeling sore, but not too bad.

As soon as I woke up on Friday I knew something was wrong. My left knee hurt. It always hurts affer volleyball, but this time it hurt more than usual. OK, I haven’t played much lately, and I recalled landing awkwardly after a spike. No biggie.

What was a biggie was my left foot. It hurt, a lot. But it didn’t feel like I’d twisted or sprained anything. My middle toes felt inflamed, swollen. It looked like I had a blister between two of my inner toes. I washed my tootsie, slathered it in Neosporin, and went about my business.

Gradually, it got worse. It was tender to the touch and hard to walk on. I spent 30 minutes on the exercise bike with no problems, but putting pressure on it bothered me. I thought that maybe I broke a toe, but no. I could flex it and wiggle it no problem. It just hurt.

I had a few beers at the local pub Friday night and a very nice veggie-only pizza. Played some poker (losing a $150 pot when I flopped top two with AK, only to learn too late that my opponent had Aces. Ouch, babe) and went to bed. Woke up Saturday…and my foot was worse.

Hurt like hell. Hurt to walk on. Hurt when I was just sitting around. Damn thing hurt. I rode the bike again in the evening and took a shower and when I tried to put my shoes on found that my foot frickin’ hurt. BAD. I could barely walk and so I called Dr. Mark, ostensibly to see if he was going to the party, but really to find out if he could pencil me in for a quick amputation.

I drove over to his place, he had me disrobe to the ankle, and after a few seconds inspection said, "Wow, did you know you have really bad athlete’s foot?" Well, no–I’ve never had athlete’s foot. I thought athlete’s foot was itchy, not horribly painful. But that was the diagnosis, and he told me to get some Lotrimin and don’t be shy about laying it on thick.

The closest place to make my purchase was a small shopping center at the bottom of the hill I used to live on. I couldn’t walk without a limp and as I hobbled around K-Mart I felt like Anton Chigurh as I dragged my left leg behind me and grabbed Lotrimin and wet-naps (I had to clean my hands with SOMETHING) off the shelves. Hey, while I’m at it, why not buy a quart of Astroglide and a biker chick magazine? Let’s compound the humiliation!

Managed to get the gunk on my foot, got my sock and shoe back on, and somehow managed to enjoy myself tonight despite the pain in my foot. And while the considerable amount of Bass Ale I consumed tonight helped, it didn’t eliminate that. Which throbs even as I type. Amazing, I thought athlete’s foot was just some minor nuisance you treated with a quick spritz and forgot about. I’d almost rather have a broken toe. Because this sucks.

I’m going to go to bed, and I hope that when I wake up I can’t feel my heartbeat in my middle toes. Because I can right now. And that’s getting old.

 

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3 Responses to “Too Athletic For My Own Good”

  1. Scott Says:

    Man, I for sire thought you were gonna say “gout.” Because everything you describe is a symptom of gout. Which can be brought on by liberal & consistent applications of heavy beers and greasy foods. If the Lotrimin (*snicker*) doesn’t clear it up, re-check for gout.

  2. Darcy Says:

    Yeah, I was thinking exactly what Scott was thinking. Sounds like gout to me. Not that the MD probably doesn’t have a better handle on those things, but my Dad gets gout, and it pretty much sounds exactly like what you describe. I know this will sound wacky, but apple cider vinegar, a couple tablespoons at morning and night, in a little water to cut it, is an excellent blood purifier. I used that to cure a long-standing skin ailment I’d had for years that no cream or potion from the dermatologist could touch. You haven’t really lived until you have started your day with an apple cider vinegar shot, trust me. Oh, and get the organic non-pasteurized kind, not that Heinz crap.

  3. Gene Says:

    Yeah, Mark thought it could be gout as well, and reading over the symptoms on Wikipedia, that’s possible. It’s not like I’ve been drinking A LOT the last few weeks, but I have indulged a few times (including last night). I’ve been cutting down on starches and eating more protein as I try to lose weight, and also been eating more veggies–including a ton of spinach, which I now learn is not a good thing for this condition.

    Great. So no beer, no protein. Lots of water, fine. Cheese is apparently good. And then I gotta get some apple cider vinegar.

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