Well, shit….

I had my podiatrist appointment yesterday. Immediately after I sent the following text messages.

To the architect: “worst day ever. home in 30 minutes.”

To the Ambitious One & my kick-ass neighbor: “FUCK. I have to have surgery.”

So – apparently my foot is a mutant foot. But not a cool X-Man mutant foot with interesting super powers or awesome adamantium spikes or anything. Instead, the bones in my fourth & fifth toe are apparently trying to escape and go west (young man).

The podiatrist said I had a few choices.

  1. Continue on the toe path that I am on. Run. Wear hot shoes. Be unable to wear any shoes at all within five years.
  2. Stop running and wear Danskos. Be unable to wear any shoes at all within 10 years. Also get fat. (He didn’t say that last part, that was just implied.)
  3. Run carefully and wear crap shoes for the next couple of months. No marathons. Have surgery within six months. No cardio at all for two months after surgery (when pressed, he said I could do sit-ups for exercise during my two month recovery – and then I killed him and hid his body). Walk for one month. Three and one half months after surgery, I should be up to running two whole miles in a row. In a few years have surgery on my left foot. Repeat.

It’s possible that this is the point I cried. At my podiatrist appointment. Podiatrist is a runner, though, and said he got it. (And also, when did I become the person who cries at the idea of not being able to work out for TWO WHOLE MONTHS and then only getting to walk [walking is BORING! and SLOW!] for another month after that.

So, I didn’t actually ask about amputation -and judging from the look on his face when I suggested just removing a toe so I could have more graceful-looking feet  – it’s probably best I didn’t. (Also, when I showed him a ‘typical work shoe’ I thought he was going to pass out. I’m glad I showed him my (fairly sensible) boots and not my (super hot, kick-ass, awesome) Kenneth Cole stilettos.)

So, apparently the problem is that my mutant right foot has a bunionette on the bottom of my small toes. Bunions are typically on the big toe side, but my feet are just special. (Also, bunionette sounds so cute and anyone who saw Damian, as I have named my bump, knows he’s far from cute.)

So, everytime I wear closed-toe shoes, it pushes the top bone in my pinky toe to the left. Which causes that metatarsal to go right. Which causes Damian to get more pronounced. My fourth toe is also taking part in the fun, and is trying to conquer the middle toe, and the top toe bone on the fourth toe is barely still associated with its fellow bones. (I wish I’d gotten ahold of the XRays so I could make an illustrated diagram for you.)

Unless my last two toes are surgically straightened, they will continue to migrate and form a “V” shape on the outside of my left foot. Apparently, during one run, I irritated Damian enough that he developed an infection. Although that infection has now died down, it will never completely go away at this point, unless (as the podiatrist suggested) I move to Kenya and become a barefoot runner who is also barefoot the rest of the time as well.

So – the plan:

The podiatrist did some surgery on my running shoe – ripping some seams to give Damian a little more room. I am going to run tomorrow. If it doesn’t hurt, I am going to continue to run and will do the half marathon in Eugene.  If Damian is still being good, I am going to continue with my planned summer – triathlons, wine country half, etc. and then have surgery in the fall. I just can’t imagine being out of commission for two months during the best weather of the year. If I have to stay inside and sulk, I’d rather do it when the weather supports my mood (hello November).

The immediate change that needs to be made, though, is I need to find some work appropriate shoes that won’t irritate Damian. I’ve been wearing running shoes for the past three weeks, and that’s just not going to cut it. Also, I am wondering if I should get my pants all hemmed up again. Currently they are all hemmed to accommodate 3-inch heels. (Oh my god, what if I can never wear heels again?)

Blah. (And also, I may have walked around my house last night drinking a beer and cradling my Kenneth Coles in my arms whispering about my eternal and undying love for them, no matter who is trying to get between us.)

So – that’s the scoop. Totally makes me wish that I’d followed my heart and canceled the podiatrist appointment when Damian started to disappear last week. Now I’m stuck with this knowledge and can’t just ignore it. Especially since I’ve now told the internets about it.

I am really pretty upset, which is ridiculous. As I told the podiatrist when I was trying to recover from crying in his office – it’s not like I have cancer. Or that this is in any way life threatening. (Although this does completely put the kibosh on plans to go to Italy this fall. We may be vacationing in Vancouver. Washington. I have a feeling that foot surgery is expensive.) It’s a foot. It’s two months of wearing a surgical boot. It will save me pain and agony in the future. It’s not that big of a deal.

It’s fine. Really it is.



  1. Jen

    Dude. 🙁

    I’m sorry to hear the diagnosis. Remember when we thought it was just a wee corn? Why couldn’t we have been right?? This sucks. I totally understand being angry and sad- this is bad news. Feel free to complain and sulk, we’re here for you.

    Here’s the good news though: this is something that can be fixed! You aren’t just a runner for Summer 2010, you are a runner for LIFE. Within a few months this will all be in the past, just like your knee surgery is, and you will be back out on the trails getting muddy and running road races and everything. We all face setbacks and this isn’t THAT big of a deal. Besides your mutant foot, you have your health. That’s awesome. 🙂 And you can cross train (you’re such a fishy these days!) and you will NOT get fat. And you’ll be back before you know it! And we’ll all be here right by your side the whole time!!

    So, in conclusion. Booooooooooooo! But count your blessings.

    Love ya!

  2. KathyR

    Ugh. Sorry. Sounds ghastly. Of course, you will prevail. But it still sux.

    “and then I killed him and hid his body” — made me snort out loud

  3. oh honey, I am soo sorry. I know this is very tough and a huge mental thing just to get your mind around. I think you have a good plan outlined right now and I am praying for you that you can fully enjoy the summer. Then yes you can focus on weight training the fall post surgery!

  4. Pingback: Docpods Heel Pain Review

  5. Alisa

    Oh boy, well little damian can at least be tamed with some proper care. Like I said before, during that recovery period you will have ABS OF STEEL! And I bet you could fudge a little and do some uppper body stuff—they have that new thing “cranking” which is like spin class but for your arms. We’ll figure something out!

  6. Emily

    That IS bummer news, but you’re going to get through it. One of my runner friends – not sure if you met her, but its Jessi, she’s the g/f of my ex-running coach – has had some major issues w/her feet and bunions and she immediately has to rip up her shoes when she buys them to fit her toes in. Not sure if she has the same issues as you but she’s alive and still running so I know you can get through it all too! I am sorry to hear it though and do sympathize…

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