Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Saga Of That Time I Did Something To My Heel And It Hurt, Like, A Lot

This is the very long story of what happened to my heel that time, most of it from long-ago and probably only vaguely accurate memories.


In January, this happened:

I took an awesome grab. Yes, that did happen. Also, I hurt myself when I landed funny.

That night we went to Vili's (awesome 24-hour bakery) and picked the furthest possible car park so I could look like a fool limping my arse along.

Later in January

I happened to be going to my local GP for another matter the next day, and he suggested that I had an enraged tendon (IDEA#1!) (actually he said something else, but for the life of me I can only remember what we started calling it. What the hell did he say?*).

I went to my physio a day or two later. She's not much for naming things, although she suggested a couple of things like a bone spur (IDEA#2!) and something else. She was pretty sure I hadn't done anything too drastic to my achilles, what with the still walking around and all.

I googled a bit and decided I had achilles tendon bursitis (IDEA#3!)**.


**I should mention that perhaps the reason it was a bit tricky to diagnose was because there were about three different pains happening: an annoying ache down the side (enraged tendon), a painful ache at the back when it was stiff, and a stabby pain when I tried to run.

January, or maybe February sometime

I took about three weeks off. Where 'off' means if we were doing something light I would join in, and probably I still went to the gym every now and then but didn't run much.

Let's say February

I had been to the physio and for some reason convinced myself that this day, this was the day I would be pain-free. Um, why? Needless to say I was fairly devastated when my heel still hurt like a mofo. (Stabby pain is stabby!)

It still hurt on the second test warm-up run I went on. And then the third, because you never know! Uh, yeah, you do. Sit your arse down.

Maybe a week or so later I deemed it well enough to play and train, because - and I should have mentioned this before - Nationals was April 1-4 and goddamn I needed to be fit for that.

Tangent - 'fit' here has two distinct meanings. At this stage I wanted to be able to run and run without losing my breath. Later on we will see that I changed to wanting to run pain free, which is a different kind of 'being fit to play.'


Train, train, train. Ouch, ouch, not so much, double-ouch. You know how it goes.

April: Nationals!

Play, ice, lunch, play, play, iceiceice, dinner, homework, sleeeeeep.

Another tangent, wherein I am the best girlfriend ever - So one day at Nationals I was icing my heel with my foot in my boyfriend's lap, when all of a sudden this massive umbrella fell out of the sky and cracked him on the head. Everyone was most concerned and calling for ice and medics and shit, but I had it all under control: Here have some ice, I have it all ready for you!

Anyway, Nationals actually went ok, although I was frustrated at times with my shithouse first step which was nowhere near as explosive as it should have been, partly because of the pain and partly because the pain had limited my sprint training leading up to the tournament. So that was a bit of a bitch, because I don't know if you know this, but girls at Nationals are fast.

The rest of the month of April

Missy: *does nothing*
Her heel: *continues to be achy*

May: The tests

Her heel: *continues to be achy*
Missy: *has had enough*
Her heel: *continues to be achy*
Missy: *goes to the doctor*
Doctor: *sends her for xrays and ultrasounds*

That was my first xray, by the way. Exciting! I am now radioactive like Spiderman!

May: The results

Mild achilles enthesopathy. Small area of calcilification. Slight small bony osteophyte.

I DID have a small tear in my achilles. Now it is healed but scar tissue continues to hurt me. (Um, why?)

So: Enraged tendon, probably from walking funny. No bursitis (teh interwebs, how could you fail me?). Small bone spur (something I just now noticed on the report) that wasn't even mentioned by the doctor. AND a tear in my achilles, which sounds SO MUCH MORE DRAMATIC than it is/was. Collect your winnings over there.

May: The treatment

Treatment is to be like Payson from Make It Or Break It. Become an elite gymnast. Or get a shot of cortisone.

Tangent, about people and achilles injuries - Whenever I said something like "I hurt my achilles" (which I didn't, a lot, because who the hell knew what I'd hurt? Usually I was just like, "I hurt my...self" and "I did ... something ... to my foot"), people were consistently going, "WHOA MAN THAT IS BAD." And then when I asked the internet about cortisone as a treatment for the heel area, it told me in no uncertain terms, "DO NOT GET A SHOT ANYWHERE NEAR THE ACHILLES, IT WILL EXPLODE AND DIE."

Anyway, I chose it anyway, and it took place today, and you know what? Needles hurt, man. Especially when they wiggle it around to get it in a better spot.

But I am pretty much pain free - a few days of rest, a week of stretching, and I'm back on the frisbee field.

The cold, dark, wintery, possibly rainy frisbee field. Oh yay.

Update #1: I have to do 30 minutes of stretching a day. THIRTY MINUTES. That's the amount of time I spend convincing myself to get out of bed, or getting ready for work, or thinking I really should get off the couch and do some homework.

Update #2: So, the good news is the stretches don't hurt my heel. The bad news, THEY HURT EVERYWHERE ELSE. The heel lifts cane my calves and makes them shake uncontrollably. The lunges hurt my quads AND my knees. But hey, I can't feel my heel anymore! Whoo!

Update #3: I can play frisbee!!!

Me, all day Friday: Frisbee tonight, frisbee tonight!
The doctor: You can play at 60%.
My team, Friday night: *fails to entirely show up*
Me: Hmm, running savage may not equal 60%. [Running savage is playing without subs, FYI.] Still, yay frisbee!
My body: Are you freaking serious with this running crap? OMFG WTF I AM DEFINITELY DYING HERE.
Frisbee: *is so much fun*

So now I am allowed to run once a week (frisbee). Biking was recommended, swimming a little less so, and the stretching must continue. And I shall be well just in time to start training hardcore for Mixed Nats.

Update #4: I throw my first hammer in a game and it goes exactly where I want it to. (I am choosing to ignore the shit one I threw at Nationals. It was embarrassed to be called a hammer.)

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