Wednesday, March 18, 2020

foot report: March 18

I walked a little over 10,800 steps yesterday. It felt good to be out walking, but the stroll was a test to see how far I've healed from my stress fracture, and how far I still have to go. When I got back to my apartment, I deliberately avoided taking my usual painkillers because I wanted to see how bad the pain might get after such a walk.

My tentative conclusions are these: I rate my foot about 70% ready to go. The pain during the walk was there, but not bad. I can't quite say it was minimal, but it felt no worse than the ache I'd experienced during my walks to Busan. Granted: Busan may not be the best basis for comparison, given the small scale of last night's walk, but in terms of pain levels, that's the comparison that comes to mind. So I finished the walk without incident (i.e., without limping at all), and when I got back to my place, I self-monitored to see how my foot would behave in the aftermath of the walk. After about two hours, there was a significant ache, and that was enough to tell me that walking 10K steps every single day would not be advisable. The ache did not, however, become so acute that I was forced to limp.

So my plan, at least for the moment, is this: walk on Monday and Friday nights, bike the rest of the week. I like the idea of getting back to walking, even if only for a modest step count like 10K steps. As long as I'm walking, that's a good thing. At this point, I also think it's a good idea to give the feet (and the rest of my re-fattening body) some exercise; simply keeping off my feet was a good strategy for about a month, but now that we've hit the one-month mark since the injury, it's time to challenge my feet by asking them to resume their old duties. Low levels of pain aren't a problem, and in theory, the hairline fracture has mostly re-knitted by now, so the bone ought to be stronger, yes? This is why, when I looked up stress fractures in Wikipedia, I saw that X-rays taken three weeks after an injury will show the fracture: healing bone knits back more thickly, allowing the doc to see where the fracture is.

This also makes me wonder whether I should go back to that ortho clinic and get a followup X-ray. I'd like to see whether there's been any progress, or whether the X-ray again turns up nothing. And I'm sure the unfriendly X-ray tech will be utterly delighted to see my face again.

And there we have it: I'd say I'm mostly healed, but there are still some aches and pains. For now, walking twice a week seems to be what the doctor ordered.

More updates as the healing continues!


John Mac said...

You are at the mercy of your body's healing timeframe for sure, so try and stay in tune with that. You'll get back to normal soon enough. Good luck!

Kevin Kim said...