The Carnival of the Grotesque

I am back from my follow-up appointment with the sports medicine doctor. The good news is that I do not have a stress fracture. The bad news is that my feet are severely deformed, grotesque even. Small children shrink in horror and although I wish that this was merely an allegorical reference to the state of today’s politics, sadly the deformity of my feet is neither a satirical literary trope nor is it a reference to an extravagant style of Ancient Roman decorative art. (Etymology kinda turns me on.)

Good news: I do not need to be booted and resting my feet is not necessary for healing.

Bad news: My feet make Wesley’s threats to Prince Humperdinck seem angelic in comparison.

What this means for me: immediate amputation, followed by isolation to protect innocents from the sight of my twisted, misshapen feet.

Dramatic rendering of my right foot.

Real Talk

My feet are weirdly shaped. I’ve known this for ages. My toes do not lay flat, and instead curl up. I have a small tailor’s bunion on my left foot. The one on my right foot was NOT small and was removed in October 2010. That same surgery involved breaking my fifth metatarsal and putting pins in to straighten out the hammer toe issue.  ALL my toes are messed up. The curled up toes are creating an excess amount of pressure on the joints which has been exacerbated by running on hard surfaces (this issue only popped up when I started running lots of miles on asphalt and sidewalks) and has caused fluid to pool in the joints.

Oooh - I have metal in my feet. I'm practically the bionic woman.

Oooh – I have metal in my feet. I’m practically the bionic woman.

My official diagnosis: bilateral hammertoes with right sided metatarsalgia.

Treatment for now: custom orthotics. Also? I’m a gonna have to get rid of most of my shoes. No more heels (I’m assuming special occasions will continue to be okay). If the orthotics do not produce good results in 4-6 weeks, I am to get some kind of witchcraft done to my feet (some kind of electrodes and cortisone concoction).

Also, ice every night, anti-inflammatories twice a day, and not pushing through the pain. There are no restrictions on what I do, as long as it doesn’t hurt. So, if I can get to a place where walking doesn’t hurt anymore, I can start running again. However, the good doctor thinks that there are a few things I can do to minimize the likelihood of a recurrence.

  1. Move away from the minimalistic running shoes.
  2. As mentioned, high heels for daily wear are out.
  3. Choose softer running surfaces (trails and tracks)
  4. Be sensible about mileage increases

In addition, something I think will help is losing the rest of the excess weight I’m carrying about. I’d like to get back to this:

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I know HOW to lose weight. I’ve done it before. I lost 70 lbs between early 2003 & mid 2008. (40 in 2003, and the remaining 30 slowly disappeared over the next 3 years.) I lost all fifty of the pounds I gained while pregnant over the course of about 18 months.  (Most of it pretty quickly, what with the actual having of the baby.)

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

3 weeks pre-Bean Day after gaining 53 lbs in six months.

So, what’s remaining is a niggling 25 lbs that slowly crept up between my marathon and getting pregnant. It happened when I stopped running because of my foot injury, and then I stopped caring as much (and although correlation ≠ causation, it was also during this time period that I discovered a deep and abiding love an appreciation for IPA).

It comes in pints!

It comes in pints!

I am not going to blog incessantly about weight loss, because I don’t want a number on a scale to be my end all and be all goal, and I don’t want to obsess over it. But, I do want to be healthy and I do want to run again.

Also, I am a planner, and so I am going to make a foot health plan.

  1. Make appointment for custom orthotics (done! It’s August 18).
  2. Get rid of all shoes that are size 6.
  3. Get rid of all athletic shoes that are size 6.5.
  4. Get rid of all but two pairs of heels that are size 6.5.
  5. Find two pairs of cute flattish shoes that will offer adequate support to my deformed limbs but will not shame me in public or cause my sartorially gifted friends to shun me.
  6. Go to nutritionist (appointment is August 5) and follow all advice.
  7. Walk as much as I’m able, swim 2x/week; recumbent bike 2-3x/week; weights 2-3x/week. And every bit of sweat counts. It doesn’t have to be an hour.

Goals:

  1. Painless trail running by Thanksgiving.
  2. Achieving a fit and happy body.
  3. Developing a positive and balanced attitude about food and exercise.
  4. Being a great role model for this guy:
Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

Sand is not part of a well-balanced diet, Bean!

 

PS – Any help in cute, supportive flat finding would be most welcome.

 

 

One response to “The Carnival of the Grotesque

  1. I recently got my first pair of Hoka One-One’s, and they really are like running on a cloud. First, the sole’s are about 2″ high so you will feel like you’re running in heels. Then, you can put on about twice as many miles as other regular running shoes so the cost becomes about the same. I usually get 400 + miles on a pair of Mizuno’s, and supposedly you can get 700+ miles out of one pair of Hoka’s. So that might be worth looking into.

    and let me know if you want any help or accountability on the weight loss too. Sounds like you’ve really got your shit together this time! I’m excited to see you go execute the plan.