Monday, October 05, 2009


That's the diagnosis for my foot injury. Well, one of the diagnoses. But it's the one that's easiest to understand in a google search: the inflammation of the fluid-filled sheath (if you know what I mean) that surrounds a tendon.

The sheath is called a synovium, and in my case, my inflamed synovium is connected to my Extensor digitorum longus, the muscle on the top of my right foot right where it bends up and becomes my shin. I think. Or else it's just an excuse to say "inflamed" and "longus" in the same sentence.

But if that weren't bad enough, I was also diagnosed with a congenital Cavovarus deformity, which google shows me is a cartoonish-looking club foot with a high arch and a big ball (I totally just said I had a big ball!) and a distinct victim-of-foot-binding appearance. The Cavovarus pictures I found on google look nothing like my manly, never-been-attached-to-a-10th-century-Chinese-princess-in-tiny-tiny-shoes feet, so I think this last diagnosis was just a typo and the doctor meant to enter the code for "sexy foot model."


After my foot doctor (who is ironically named Chin) and three people doing rotations from physical therapy clinics looked at my foot, I was given the green light to run the marathon this weekend. Woot!

The good doctors also prescribed four things:

1. A topical anti-inflammatory gel that I have to rub on my Extensor digitorum longus area three times a day. If you know what I mean.

2. Physical therapy twice this week. But the therapist I was referred to is booked until after the marathon. Which means I picked a bad week to have an inflamed sheath. Ahem.

3. A complicated new way to lace up my running shoes that takes pressure off my inflamed sheath (that never stops being funny!) while still holding my shoes in place in a secure, not-gonna-injure-me kind of way.

4. Repeated icing. And not, I was disappointed to discover, the delicious, usually-found-on-a-cake kind of icing. Instead, I have to do this six to eight times a day:

But after just half a day of icing and vigorous gel-rubbing, my foot feels noticeably better, my limp is gone (these jokes just write themselves!) and I've lost the sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that I've spent a whole summer training only to have to sit by and watch other people run my marathon.

I had asked the doctors if my foot was still hurting on Sunday and I stupidly ran on it anyway would I be looking at a few months of recovery or a lifetime of being crippled. The doctors assured me I'd have at the most a few months of recovery. Followed by a lifetime of being a 10th century Chinese princess in tiny, tiny shoes. Which seems like a fair trade-off.

And which also means I'm back to trying to decide whether or not to get my marathon mohawk.

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