I talk to my left foot every day. I’ve done so since being released from hospital. It might sound crazy, but after taking such a direct hit, my foot needed all the TLC that I could shower on it. So, like cooing to an infant or singing to a plant, I started speaking to my foot, urging it to heal. But what alot of work it has been…
Just in that one appendage, that small bit of fleshy real-estate, there is a cacophony of sensations competing for my attention: all around the heel, a constant ache and sensitivity to any touch; a shackling around the front of the ankle; a semi-burning feeling on the bridge of the foot; a tight stickiness just behind and below my five toes; a pins-and-needles tingling in my big toe; a deep bruise-like feeling in the swollen part of my ankle; a deep ‘ZZZZZZZ’-ing ache inching up the outside bone, including the spot where the fifth metatarsal remains out of alignment; a screeching tightness that nearly covers the entire surface of the bottom of my foot; and lots more tightness in the muscles and tendons cramping just above the ankle.
Imagine having a vise clamped around your foot, or an elastic band pulled around it so tautly – almost to the point of breakage – with a thin strand of barbed wire coiled around the elastic, piercingly painful throughout. And then, once in awhile, as if the bony ridge has sprung to life, I sense what I can only describe as a cool waft of air gently floating on the outer layer of skin. A momentary wind-puff of relief. Perhaps my mind and body are playing tricks on me.
Initially, my left foot was tense, discoloured, with flaky skin and little movement. But time and exercise have begun to heal its wounds. Though the pain persists, I still marvel at the progress. One step at a time, I’m been coaxing it back to life. Amen.
(As for my right foot, the only lasting damage is a shadow of the buckle from my Birkenstock sandal, now permanently etched into the skin. It could have been much worse…)