in which the gimpy feet begin to ungimp

Went for a walk around the neighborhood today. Partly because, although I don’t want to court skin cancer, I’m a little appalled at how pasty I’ve gotten; it means I’ve spent too much time indoors. Partly because yesterday a trip to the Stanford library (which requires a moderate bit of walking) was way more exhausting than it should have been, and if I’m going to walk around London again, I need to get me some endurance back.

Thursday was my first physical therapy appointment. The woman tested strength and range of motion on my left foot (for a baseline) and then on my right, and we talked about the ancillary problems I’ve got aside from the surgical recovery — collapsing arches, plantar fascitis, metatarsalphalangeal sprain (say that one five times fast), and some mechanics issues of long standing, to whit, my extremely limited range of dorsiflexion. For the time being, my primary assignment is to stretch out all the muscles stiffened by my time in the boot; to that end, I’m actually not wearing the brace all the time, because it would just continue restricting my range of motion. Plus it presses on one of the two incisions in a moderately uncomfortable way, which is less than ideal.

The orthopedist cleared me to start biking again, though he advised wearing the brace. I’ll probably give that a few days more before I try it, but the idea appeals. It gets me out in the sun (which we’re finally getting a bit of), and helps regain what endurance I had, and I can accomplish some errands in the bargain. All good stuff.

In the meantime, I sit around and make faces while I point my toes. I will get this mobility back; it’ll just take some time and mild suffering. But that’s okay by me.

0 Responses to “in which the gimpy feet begin to ungimp”

  1. Anonymous

    what exercises can you do for collapsing arches? I also have that problem, and since I’ve started running more frequently, I feel like I need to get it sorted out before it becomes a problem.

    • Marie Brennan

      Basically you want to strengthen the posterior tibialis, which is the muscle that runs down the inside of your ankle and wraps under your foot. But I recommend looking up “barefoot running,” or checking out the book Born to Run, for info on how the shoes themselves can contribute to this problem.

  2. Anonymous

    If it’s endurance you’re looking for, try swimming. Yeah, laps can be boring… but it’s a low-impact workout that also manages to do a darned good job of stretching tendons and ligaments without much risk of making things worse.

    • Marie Brennan

      If I had a convenient way to go swimming around here, I absolutely would. I used to swim competitively (on a athletic-club level).

  3. d_c_m

    For what it is worth I totally sympathize with having gimpy feet. I’ve had problems for the past four years with my feet and it is no fun. I am glad that you are planning to heal and following the PT’s advice. 🙂

    On another unrelated note, did you once write that the Mayan Calendar just needed to be turned over? I’ve read a bit that said the Mayan’s saw 2012 as an end of a cycle and a beginning of another but NOT the End of The World type of thing.

    Just curious. I HATE doomsday nonsense. Just me.

    • Marie Brennan

      Pretty much everything I have to say on that topic is here.

      • d_c_m

        You rock.

        I will continue to read your post and digest it. (Which will be a bit tough for me as I have no Left Brain. 😉 No really I’ve been tested.)

        Oh and I think that these Mesoamerican cultures are amazing for having created something like this. I mean wow.

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