Tuesday, 19 June 2012

18.06.12 In the Emergency Room

I wake up this morning at 6am and my foot is killing me.  I call work and let them know that I will not be in this morning as I am heading to the hospital hopefully to try and get an x-ray to see if there is something broken in my foot as that is what it feels like.  I get up and try to put pressure on my foot and it feels just like it did when I first took off my shoe...absolute agony!  I get showered (on one foot) and dressed before having something to eat and jumping in the car to the Emergency room.  On Sunday night I have managed to find my old crutches that I inherited when I did my knee in Melbourne.  I went to take them back to the hospital after my operation and because I had rented them for so long I apparently had purchased them.  I check in at the desk and tell my story to the receptionist.  She takes gives me a form to start filling out and I take a seat.  Before I know it the nurse wants to do an assessment on me.  Before he says anything he looks at my crutches.  "Where did you get those crutches from," he says?  "I have not seen crutches like that for ages".  I tell him the story above and he is impressed that I have kept them for so long.  He does a quick examination before telling me to go back outside and wait.

Vic has dropped off Lachlan by now and has gone to get me a coffee when I am called back up to reception.  I now have a problem.  I can't walk and have a baby with me.  A lady who is there with her father quickly realise my predicament and she offers to look after him.  I quickly head back to reception and another lady hands me another form.  "You need to fill this out as you are not a resident of NZ".  "But I live here", I say.  "It doesn't matter you have to be born in NZ".  "But I have an Australian passport so it is the same thing".  "I don't know," she says.  I take the form and head back to my seat.

1 hour goes by, two hours goes by and even three hours goes by.  I am really getting into the book that Brad lent me, Born to Run.  I am in an interesting section of the book where a race that is being organized with the Tarahumara people is about to take place.  There is a guy who is in the race called Barefoot Ted and it talks about his transition to Barefoot Running.  He had a heap of injuries and bought every pair of shoes under the sun to try and find comfort in running.  He paid US$300 for a pair of bouncy shoes that had no impact but ran down the street with them and took them off almost immediately.  As he had no shoes he walked home barefoot and realised he had no pain.  Why not just wear no shoes he thought and the rest is history.  Of course when he was running some rough trails or asphalt, he slipped on a pair of Vibram Five Fingers.  

At the start of the 4th hour I am called into see the Doctor.  "Where did you get those crutches from," he asks?  I tell him the same story.  I tell him about what has happened and he gets me up on the bed to have a look.  He touches my toes, the top of my foot, wiggles my toes and asks me if there is any major pain or discomfort.  He then presses under my big toe and asks if this hurts.  "No," I say.  He presses under the next toe and I am waiting for him to press under the middle toe.  "How about here?", as he presses my foot under my middle toe and I nearly fall of the bench.  He consults with his boss and they send me off for an x-ray.  I get this done and am back on the bench waiting for the decision.  The doctor comes over and tells me that there are no breaks.  "Let me guess" I say.  "It is a stress fracture and it doesn't show up on the x-ray?".  "We don't know what it is" he says.  "We will have to wait for a couple of weeks to see if it gets better".  "If it doesn't get better then you will need to see your GP and get another x-ray".  He wants me to start putting weight on it which is bearable and basically to have a nice day.

I guess I am glad that nothing is broken as that could possible mean surgery, but I am also angry as I don't know what has caused it in the first place.  I think it is a culmination of incidents that has lead to this injury stemming from standing on my feet for a long time on Thursday, a late night on the dance floor at Danny Doolan's and a run in my old shoes that my feet were not used to.  Could it also be due to the Vibram's, probably.  Stress fractures in the foot and mainly due to overuse.  Maybe I have been going a little too hard with my barefoot running especially absolute barefoot running.  I make a decision that there is no more absolute barefoot running until my feet are well and truly used to the Vibram's.  The only problem now is, when will that next run be?

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