Different Stages Of Foot Pain


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There’s a lot of reflections occurring between last week and this week, so expect more writing about my foot until I get to really weightlifting again. I believe these reflections are due to the realization that I may indeed receive a walking boot after they saw off this cast of mine next week. And although I’m grateful for all the help from everyone (on and offline), which includes powerful words, a place to stay, mantras, support, comfort and such – there’s still a part of me that isn’t entirely happy…yet.

There’s also a part of me that can’t be happy about the thought of using my foot again no matter how small it may be because it’s hard to believe. I’ll be a week shy from a full 2 months since this fibula fracture occurred. Time breezes.. but not when you feel isolated from the world and not when you feel like your independence is on hold and not when you’re dying to feel the full adrenaline rush that only the gym can provide.

I’ll soon be headed for another type of pain I once again am not looking forward to: Learning how to use my ankle, learning how to put weight on my foot and learning the steps on how to gain full mobility again. And I’m not sure how long it’ll be aside from the surgeon who claims it’ll take a few months and by a few months he means March.

So, although, again I’m grateful, I still feel like I have a long way to go. And sure, it may not be true. But I also don’t want to get my hopes high only to fall in a bottomless pit of infinite depression and disappointment later. In the meantime, I want to make sure I’m writing down all these stages for remembrance among other things to come.

Here’s the start of it: Before surgery I had foot pain that wouldn’t quit – partly because my ankle was fucked and partly because the emergency room I visited that night thought I was an animal off the street possibly and decided to put my broken ankle in a wet splint where they practically kicked me out the attending room before it was even remotely dry. So every day after that for two whole weeks my splint shifted differently making balancing extremely painful. 

And for those 2 weeks I was being given the run around due to private and public insurance, getting referrals, fighting with the middle man for the delivery of my wheelchair, and dealing with waiting lists, until my good friend worked his magic where my surgeon’s secretary squeezed me to get surgery because time was running out and as the more time went on the more fucked my ankle would have been.

But for those 2 weeks before surgery everything was horrible as there was increasing pain each day in my foot. I felt the splint jab deeply into my ankle bones, mostly on the outer side that sometimes felt crippling to the rest of my body. I took some pain medication, but nothing besides over the counter stuff because I knew the closer surgery came the chances of me taking something stronger later. And I fear of ever becoming a drug addict because I seen my mother be a really good one and recovered far too late in her life. And let’s be realistic, who wants to commit the same family patterns and dilemmas?

Besides the jabbing pain in my ankle bone that shot straight up my leg, my foot was swollen as if someone dropped a iron mallet on it – so most times my foot felt compressed and along the way I was being driven mad mentally. At all times my foot had to be elevated because that’s the only relief I had aside from music, reading and writing. (Okay and maybe Wendy Williams.) The last type of foot pain before surgery was just how mushed together my toes were – a vision sprouted in my brain of multiple garden snakes chokeholding my toes and I wondered: if I could ever use my tiny little piglets again.

After surgery I did my best to document my foot pain in a list of stages I experienced because I wanted to be familiar with all the different pains. I also have this thing where I enjoy analyzing body pain – it’s one reason pain is tattooed on my forearm, however with analyzing pain means bringing more pain to oneself. Good thing I braced myself and was ready.

I guess one has to not only be afraid of pain, but actually enjoy it to an extent. Still, I wanted to be in tune with my body and I wanted to listen to what it was saying to me. This was definitely an experience and still is. Here’s the list:

1. Lazer pain on the left side of inner ankle bone. Dull pain on the right outer ankle bone.

1st week: The fresh Lazer pain was from the surgeon having to open the other side of my ankle (the inner left part). This pain felt new, razor-sharp and super fresh. The right outer ankle bone was dull with pain because as I said 2 weeks before surgery the splint would dig in there with a dull knife which I became used to.

2. Pressure-pain

2nd Week: I assume this was from the combination of nerves, blood, fragments being fixed and everything having been manipulated while I was asleep on the operating platter.

3. Swollen pain

2-5 Week: The obvious, blood rushing through the foot and blowing up like a fat fish.

4. Muscle spasms in calve, foot and toes

3-4 Week: The inactivity was killing me here and the lack of blood circulation too.

During this time I OD’d on vitamins, potassium and lots of water. It seemed to work at moments. But to really fix this situation, what I did was stand up on 1 leg for a 1-2 minutes at a time and allowed even more blood to flow and despite how painful it was it provided relief.

5. Foot feeling warm as if someone is putting warm water over my cast

Week 4-5: From my understanding they claim this may happen when nerves are compressed. Also this feeling can be due to muscle inactivity and lack of circulation.

I found the warm feeling however to be a form of healing, as my foot felt so good during this time. It felt more like a body-spiritual experience.

6. Foot hurting in the back of my ankle

Week 5-7: Just elevated my foot for long periods of time. I didn’t find any concrete evidence on what causes this.

7. Tiny click that goes on/off somewhere in the ankle, I think on the right side when I moved my knee or foot to move, whether it was to get out of bed or holding my leg up, etc.

Week 3-4: Also not sure what caused this. The good thing is it went away.

8. Toes became white due to lack of circulation. Tingle, pin/needle sensations as if my foot was asleep. Toes felt super cold.

Week 4-5: It felt like drama, like death. Also claims lack of muscle inactivity and loss of blood circulation.

9. Knee hurting.

Week 5-6: I assume lack of knee movement and the way in which the hard cast pulls on it. I decided to start light stretching and move it a few times throughout the day.

10. Bottom of heel hurting as if I’m stepping and digging onto a hard pebble and am rolling on it like a pin.

Week 5-6: Feels like intense drama. Not sure what caused it. Foot in elevation mode.

11. Compression pain

Week 4-7: It feels like a person is taking their hands and trying to make my foot small by compressing and squashing the crap out of it. This feeling is odd and it’s very uncomfortable. Medication doesn’t heal it, therefore I just assume it’s a part of the body healing on its own.

I can only hope that this could be beneficial to someone who ever has to go through this in some way as a form of what to expect pain wise. I remember searching for a weekly stage of what I’ll be going through with this ankle/foot of mine and only remember seeing people speaking of muscle cramps within the 3rd-6th week. That wasn’t enough, so I documented what I could and slightly researched after to make sure I wasn’t the only one who felt such pain or try and find out about nerves, Fibula Fracture, etc.

I had written enough. Originally I wanted to write about how I overcame the pain, pressure and swollen crap, but I thought to document and reflect with the world of my blog. To be continued with my body challenge of the month and how I coped with getting out of the stages of pain.

-Pennington

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