Foot doctor anxiety

Today is my two week check up with my podiatrist and I’m anxious. The last time I met with him he told me that he wouldn’t recommend a return to the AT for at least two months which was crushing to hear.

My ankle is much better, although there still seems to be a little residual swelling around the joint; I can’t seem to get rid of it, no matter how much icing and elevating I apply.

To be honest, despite what he tells me today, I’m likely to return regardless. I feel like a lazy couch potato and the lbs are coming back, I can feel ’em. I don’t like it, and I’d rather be walking in the woods and set out to accomplish what I started on March 20th.

I feel like a race horse right before the starting pistol goes off.

Seven twenty two

A week ago I was forced off the trail due to a severely sprained left ankle and swollen lower shin muscles/tendons in my right leg (likely the EDL, or tibialis interior).  Taking time off the trail for a rest day isn’t going to mess up your stride too much, but after a week off my feet I’m starting to feel lethargic.

I do love being home and enjoying life’s comforts and my beau, and taking time to heal has been my #1 priority.  The dreams have subsided, which I’m not sure is a good or a bad thing yet: I was dreaming of being on a trail (not necessarily the AT), and they were pretty lucid, but I did enjoy them nonetheless.

The swelling has almost gone and I can walk without pain, but my feet and knees are still stiff in the mornings or if I stand after long periods of sitting down.  I’m no longer limping which is a relief, and I’m no longer popping pain pills – which is even better.

I wish I could take my better half on the trail with me, it would certainly make the decision to return to the AT much easier on both of us.  I don’t want to leave (per se) again, it was hard enough the first time, yet I have a yearning to finish what I started.

On another note, I started my trip weighing in at around 235lbs (total lard arse), and I’ve been watching what I eat since coming home – today I weigh 212.8lbs – for a total weight loss of ~ 22lbs.  I feel great, and I have a level of energy that I haven’t had in many, many years.

Being home has given me the chance to be back with the most important person in my life, and to share my stories and experiences with her has been a treat.  My wife’s support throughout the month hiking the trail was the most helpful, and I’ve realized that she’s been my very own personal trail angel this entire time.  I wouldn’t have gotten out of Davenport Gap if it weren’t for her.

Anyway, back to elevating my foot and my daily dose of HGTV.

Thru hike hopes dashed?

Leaving the podiatrist with news that I need to rest for two months before contemplating a return to the AT isn’t quite what I’d hoped to hear today. I’m very upset to be honest. All I could keep repeating while he was telling me was “this is very upsetting news”, ad nauseam. Rolling four times in three weeks is “very rare” and I’m “lucky to not have torn anything.”

While looking at my X-rays he asked if I’d broken any bones in my feet, to which I responded “no”. I’d told him about an old RAF injury when I was 20 that I caused by me missing the curb — while running full pelt — and rolling my left ankle severely. So severe in fact, that I had to go through five months of electro therapy. He thinks I actually fractured a bone that was missed during my treatment and showed me a faint dark line crossing my fibula close to my ankle.

Come to think of it, I remember sitting across my uncle Stuart’s road bike as a kid – ass on the frame with both legs dangling to the right side of the bike — I think he’d tried to make a turn and my left foot got caught in the spokes, while going a good 10mph – my little ankle was dragged in there with quite a lot of force. I can’t believe I still remember that, I was no older than six years old!

To add to this, he’s confident that I have compartment syndrome in my lower right shin; severe inflammation of the muscles in the lower shin area that are building pressure against surrounding muscle and tendon tissue, hence the swelling and pain. Warm compress with Epsom salts will draw out the swelling. Worst case scenario: I don’t do it and I will need to go under general and have holes poked through my muscle tissue to relieve the pressure.

He’s asked me to return in two weeks for a checkup.