I’ve written before about my one seriously arthritic toe. One! What a weirdo toe. It’s the same toe that kept losing the toe nail at even the hint of strenuous activity. It’s a toenail that sees cross country skiing in its future, turns black, and falls off. The same, of course, for running. It’s my Bad Toe, and I’ve even been prescribed toe physio for it.
I confess I haven’t been keeping up with my toe physio. And issues with my knees felt more pressing and that felt like physio enough.
Until my feet started hurting while riding my bike. Toe cramps bad enough to make me want to get off my bike. Ouch! I wear orthotics in my running shoes and in my everyday boots. But until now I thought of cycling as an activity that didn’t require orthotics. The keywords are “until now.”
So I now have orthotics for my cycling shoes, in addition to my running shoes, and they seem to help. Aging bodies and activity seem to require a bunch of extra work and resources. I’m feeling extra grateful for my benefits these days.
I love this Louis CK thing about midlife injuries and physio and his “incurable shitty ankle,” especially the bit where the doctor tells him that it’s just this thing you now have to do for the rest of your life. Sometimes I laugh, sometimes I cry. But it feels real to me. It feels very real to my complicated knees. See Bad knee news for the back story.
But I think he needs to redo it for us over 50s because the real complications come when it’s not just one injury but two or three. Knees, back, and feet anyone?
My plantar fasciitis is back. (Did you know it’s also called “policeman’s heel”? That was news to me too. Thanks Google.)
I’ve got a good doctor on the case, Colin Dombroski. See his book on plantar fasciitis here. He’s the foot guy at my university’s sports medicine clinic. I like that clinic a lot since their goal is to keep people active and moving and doing the things that we love. See Aging and the myth of wearing out your joints.
One thing that hadn’t occurred to me though was that my injuries might be in competition. The orthotics that help with knee pain might not be so good for my plantar fasciitis. So I now have one set for everyday use and another set in my running shoes. The everyday orthotics are in these fancy new Blundstones, and my lovey favourite Fluevogs are on the back burner or for limited party use only for while.
My Blundstones look like this:
My Fluevog Odettes (“an homage to every misrepresented Witch of the West there ever was”) look like this:
Now my life, my personal style, my gender roles have room for both the Blundstone and the Fluevogs. They might just represent the range from “sporty femme” (as my friend Ingrid once dubbed me) to “party femme.” But for this winter, I’ll mostly be the Blundstone person. That is, when I’m not wearing bike shoes, ski boots, skates, or running shoes.
Okay, seriously now, back to sports injuries. I’m stepping back from fashion, and gender, and shoes.
So there’s this tension between the knee injury, which isn’t really as Louis CK gets right, an injury at all, and the recent flare up of heel pain. It’s not a knee injury because it’s more the way my knees are for the rest of my life. They won’t get better. The exercises don’t make them better. They allow me to keep moving. Thank you sports doctors and physiotherapists.
But that’s not all of it. There’s also a tension between heel pain and my much loved standing desk. See Celebrating my standing desks. If I stand too much it makes the heel pain worse, but if I sit too much I hurt my back. So I’m back and forthing more than I usually do between sitting and standing. Let’s just say there’s a lot of moving and stretching and changing of footwear in my life right now.