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Lower Left Blues

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As previously noted: I sprained my ankle a couple years ago. In December I broke a toe. Also, something seems to be wrong with my heel. This is all on the same foot, the left one.

On Mardi Gras, a pit bull sunk his teeth into my calf. I can still see the marks. It wasn’t a serious injury, but since it was my left calf, it seemed to add to the general drama on that side of my body.

Then, over the last week or two, my knee has been giving occasional flare-ups of severe pain, the kind of sudden pain that make you shout obscenities at the top of your lungs. This seems to happen almost exclusively on stairs. I’m not sure, but I think this is probably the same knee that gave me trouble eleven years ago, just around the time I moved from Bloomington to New Orleans. Which may be the same knee that gave me trouble in high school.

Need I mention that it’s my left knee? It’s as if my lower left limb is under a curse.

Getting back to the foot: I recently bought new shoes in size fifteen. That’s two or three sizes bigger than what I usually wear. Anything smaller just seemed to be uncomfortable. I think it has something to do with the broken toe. I’d have thought it would be healed by now. Maybe it has. Maybe it’s healed funny.

I know of course that wearing a shoe that’s too big might cause other problems, but I really didn’t know what else to do.

The bigger shoe size seemed to help, or so I thought. I took my first long walk yesterday. It became clear that I’ve still got serious issues. I wouldn’t describe it as pain. Rather, I’d say that the front portion of my foot feels swollen and uncomfortable — but only when I walk around wearing a shoe. I haven’t observed any actual swelling.

My orthopedist prescribed an orthotic to help with my heel. It’s like an insole, but it’s custom-made, and it’s supposed to give more support. It’s also expensive, and not covered by my health insurance unless I’m diabetic. I had the mold made a while back; I’m supposed to go get the thing fitted this afternoon. Maybe that will help, but I kind of doubt it. Right now my heel is bothering me less than the front of my foot. I don’t think they’re related, but I suppose it’s possible. Ironically, the orthotic requires me to wear a shoe, and I’d rather not wear shoes right now. Sandals are more comfortable, but incompatible with the orthotic. I’m not even sure what’s wrong with my heel. I’m not sure the doctor told me. I was so distracted with my toe and ankle that I didn’t ask more questions about my heel.

I’m not the world’s most athletic guy, but I do enjoy getting around on my own two feet. I ride my bike to work most days, but I like to walk sometimes as well. So these problems are really bothering me. The confusion is almost as aggravating as the discomfort — perhaps more so. I don’t understand what’s going on or how to fix it. I guess I need to get back to the doctor.

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  1. David David

    You could always double-down on the ring-dings and ho-hos, get class I diabetes, and then get the orthotic for free.

  2. Leaving my name off this one Leaving my name off this one

    I’m betting that you’ve strained/tweaked/otherwise damaged your knee by walking differently because of the pain in your foot. Get thee back to the ortho–or even to a podiatrist.

  3. rickngentilly rickngentilly

    damn david beat me to it.

    go for the temporary type two and get the script.

    as someone who spends all his working hours on his feet on concrete floors. it blows my mind that a desk jockey (no offense) has the same pedal problems.

    i went from a size 10.5 to a size 13 in the last ten years.

    you might get a kick from fats waller’s song your feets to big.

    good luck.

    just out of curiosity i had four broken bones in my right foot and some imbeded glass in my right heel from two different tramas from my youth.

    im left handed.

    are you right handed?

    p.s. i know i look like an old fart walking around in them but crocs shoes have changed my life.

    again good luck on the pedals.

  4. Max Max

    Yes, the old “left leg syndrome”. It sounds fredian to me. Maybe a guilt complex – the old anxity hysteria. Over the years, have you frequently kicked your wife with that same leg? If so, I would suggest you try the other leg and see if the left one heals while the right one starts to develop problems.

  5. Anne Anne

    About 10 years ago, I fell down a flight of steps and broke both feet. That was the start of a whole bunch of foot problems which led to knee problems. Pretty much all the doctors say stuff like, “Stay completely off your feet/knee while it heals”, which is next to impossible– particularly when the next statement is “and it will take about four months to heal”. I also get to wear ugly shoes– I have, believe it or not, orthopaedic Crocs for plantar fascitis. They work great but give me horrors.

  6. I’ve been having problems with the Left Side since running the Mardi Gras marathon a couple of weeks ago. I think it’s an IT band injury, which really blows, considering that the only real fix for it is to stop running (ugh) and get physical therapy. I have never seen a PT, and really don’t want to spend the time and money. I feel your pain.

  7. Jack Schick Jack Schick

    I should’na oughta played Fool-ball.
    But I was a scrappy underaged Guard and DT and MY left side got
    all the worst hits. Broke metatarsal years later on hairline crack spot.
    knee has floating cartilage. They wanted it biopsied when I tried to get in
    the Coast Guard Academy….oh well….still have the knee. now my
    hip is barking at me.
    the continued “favoring” of one side–limping, etc, causes more probs.
    I spoze I oughta check out Crocs. I guess the lump on the bigtoe side is
    what they call plantar fascism…or something like that…tee hee.
    I also bought big heavy over-size steel-toes for the purpose of work-out
    hiking…ankle weights, etc.
    So, B….water therapy allows low impact and range-of-motion stretching.

  8. […] Monday I went back to my orthopedist because of the previously noted issues I’ve been having with my lower left extremity. I hate going to see that guy because […]

  9. […] always had my aches and pains. But they have started to accumulate. The challenges faced to my lower left extremity are a case in […]

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