It started yesterday morning. No, wait… it really started some time back.
Let me back up a bit.
First of all, a status update: Michael is growing disenchanted with swimming. I am sorry to say, my Olympic dreams are, for the time being anyway, shelved. He’s been stuck in the same level of swimming class for several consecutive sessions, having lost either motivation or attention enough to get his fast kicks going and his “wonky arm movements” under curtail. He is a strong swimmer, no doubt: he’d be able to keep himself afloat and make it to safety, and look stylish along the way. He is keeping up the diving, though, which is great. More video of that later.
He and his older (twin) sister L are taking Taekwondo lessons, and enjoying it immensely. Video of their first lesson made its way to Facebook in no time at all, thanks to my wife and her handy iPhone. If nothing else, this will help teach Michael discipline and respect in a way that I have not been able to.
I have been diligently working on a project for a science presentation for Michael’s class: a three-color spotlight that I can use for demonstrating the concept of additive color in an impactful way; nothing beats a live, hands-on demonstration for showing kids the coolness of science. This project has involved a lot of drilling and cutting of metal, working in little fits and spurts as I try to steal snippets of time here and there. One of the things that tends to fall by the wayside in this process is cleaning the garage.
So, back to the main story.
Yesterday morning, by the time I’d gotten to work, my left foot was in a lot of pain. Deep, stabbing pain.
This was fairly unusual, as my left foot (and most of the leg to which it’s attached) has little sensation, owing to side effects of my second back surgery some years back. Ever since then, my left leg has been pretty much numb on the bottom of my foot all the way up the back of my leg. The only thing I do feel from time to time is an itch, though scratching it is useless as it has no effect at all. That can be maddening, let me tell you.
Most of yesterday I kept my weight off of my foot, prancing around (in a manly way, of course) on my tippy-toe.
Every so often during the day I tested my foot, putting my whole weight on it. For some tests, I was able to keep my weight on it. Other times, I couldn’t without a jolt of pain.
It felt like muscle pain, or a ligament thing. It was deep and jarring, and seemed to come and go.
I spent the day tip-toeing around, doing my best to combine my errands and take efficient routes.
Eventually the workday ended and I headed home. I’d told my wife of my affliction, hoping she would not suggest going to the doctor. I think my doctor does a good job, but I don’t have half a day to throw out waiting in his exam room. And I don’t know what he’d do anyway: this is one of those deep, chronic, needs surgery or physical therapy kinds of things.
Because I’m getting old and my body is falling apart bit by bit. This is the phase of my life where I need to go shopping for a good, sturdy cane.
I tried doing some foot stretches, as the pain seemed to respond to that. I thought maybe if I kept it moving and didn’t just sit there it might recover.
Maybe I’d done something stupid to my foot, and it was cramping up.
But then… on the occasion when I’d stand up suddenly and forget not to keep my weight off of it… wham! a bolt of pain would blast out from the sole of my poor foot and stop me in my tracks.
Just before bedtime, it hit me. It’s gotta be plantar fasciitis. That’s gotta be it. The perfect malady for me to contract to show me that my reckless living, carbohydrate consumption and sluggardly ways have brought me yet more torment.
I resigned myself to this revelation, hoping that there was some remedy. I remember my mother complaining about this a few years back… maybe she had some advice for me.
The pain continued, unabated, throughout the evening, right up to the point where I crawled into bed.
Extending my suffering leg down along the sheets, I felt my heel catch. I thought maybe there was an errant produce sticker or a random piece of tape stuck to it.
I reached around and felt for it… and was rewarded with a sharp stab to my finger. I felt a small, hard, jagged object protruding from the bottom of my heel.
I pulled it out and examined it. It was a 1/4″ shard of aluminum, cut from one of the pieces I was working on in the garage. My lack of cleanliness caught up to me: I’d stepped on a large metal sliver.
With the sliver gone, I felt instant relief. From harsh pain to no pain in one yank.
I spent a half hour this morning vacuuming up the floor of the garage. I’ve learned my lesson.