Sunday, February 19, 2012

Riding and Pain

   I want to ride today.  I need to ride today.  I probably could ride today, but what if riding today meant that I might not be able to walk tomorrow?  When you consider that I work outside, and on my feet, being able to walk tends to be a priority.  I've experienced intermittent foot pain over the past decade and it randomly flares up in either foot, but thankfully never both at the same time.  After trying to manage what seemed like quarterly gout flare ups on my own, I finally began taking Allopurinol and had thought I'd put any kind of foot pain behind me.  However, I keep experiencing inflammation along the side and top of my foot that tends to travel upwards towards my ankle and Achilles tendon.  
   The best way to describe the pain is that it feels like someone took a ball peen hammer and whacked the crap out of my foot.  I've been to the podiatrist several times and have had my feet x-rayed at different times.  The foot doctor diagnosed the issue as Peroneal Tendonitis caused by an overly tight Plantar Fascia.  He recommended I get new work boots, arch/ankle supports and prescribed a round of Meloxicam which is an anti-inflammatory drug.  I even bought new pedals/shoes/cleats for the bike - ones which have a wider platform and provide more support.  I was able go for about a month and a half without any new flare ups, but last week the pain returned.  I blame it on lugging equipment across rugged terrain for eight hours, but to be honest I was already feeling the "twinge" before the day even started.
   So, here I sit on a beautiful sunny Sunday in mid-February with an expected high of 65 totally jonesing for a ride.  Past experience has taught me that if I choose to ride today, then tomorrow is a total crap-shoot.  I could make things worse or I could wake up feeling perfectly normal.  I think the most frustrating part of all of this is the lack of consistency.  There really doesn't seem to be any pattern of "cause and effect" here.  It's also depressing.  So, do I sit inside and hope I don't do anything to anger the little man that lives inside of my foot, or do I suck it up and go ride?  Hmmm... choices, choices.

Photo Credit: Eric Fischer

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