On a chilly autumn day some friends and I were heading north to a hot springs to spend the afternoon lollygagging in the mineral baths. Ojo Caliente. A beautiful backdrop with gray, pink cliffs and blue skies with a few puffy clouds rolling by. After having squirmed into my bathing suit (one piece, you realize), I was making a bee line for the outdoor pools, barefoot, clutching a beach towel around my bare shoulders.
Suddenly I crunched down on a pea sized pebble with my heel really hard. Ooo did that hurt. But then, I’d be soaking immediately in the hot springs. That should sooth it and my foot would be better in no time.
Days passed. The pain increased. I hated standing up. Walking across the room was miserable. I would hold off going to the bathroom, which meant climbing a flight of stairs, till I felt I might burst. Sometimes I just peed into a jar- well, I do live alone.
The dog, wagging and heading for the door, didn’t understand why we weren’t out taking a walk every day like before. Sometimes I’d drive to a secluded spot, open the door and she’d jump out and run free for a few minutes. That was the best I could offer.
Enough of that. Off to the pediatrist. Humm. Something new. Planter Fasciitis. What is that? (Getting older, one’s vocabulary begins to increase. We seniors could write our own Merck Manual.)
Shots of cortisone were injected in the sides of my heel. My foot was tightly wrapped with tape which felt really good for a day or so. But after the first shower the tape began to slump. I didn’t live with a pediatrist, so reaching and winding was impossible all by myself. Immediately I was back to dealing with painful foot.
For awhile I wore a boot velcroed around my leg. It was built up under the arch, so as I walked the boot rocked back and forth. I went hobbling and rocking around Walmart for months. I had never heard anyone complain about planter fasciitis- ever. Once I started wearing this boot though, people came out of the woodwork-while waiting in line at the cash register, camping at a state park, enjoying the boaters’ Christmas party- saying they had had it once, how awful it was, how long it took to heal. Even my GYN was suffering with it- in both feet. I quit complaining and changed our conversation to gardening.
As you can imaging, I wasn’t hiking or taking any walks with my dog for a couple of seasons. I was gaining weight and so was Petra.
About six months into this, I signed up for an archeology field trip. We had to walk up this little hill to a pueblo ruin site. River rocks and pottery shards were strewn everywhere. I could barely make it up this incline while trying to avoid shattering antiquities. I stopped and started to cry. When will this end? Will it ever end? I want my life back.
My friends didn’t know what to say.
This ended up being a nine month ordeal. I never go bare foot any more. My flip flops are next to the bed so I can slip them on if I need to get up during the night.
You never know if there’s a pebble loitering in a dark shadow on the way to the bathroom.