running injuries: a funny story
written especially for andrew...andrew, not quite as funny as glp, but...
so i ran the nyc marathon on sun. it was a wonderful, amazing experience. yesterday i went to work, and had trouble climbing the stairs at work and on the subway. not just the soreness but i realized my foot was injured. i iced it, but it still hurt. i woke up this morning and my foot hurt. i called in sick and made an appointment at a podiatrist four blocks away from me. i spent the morning hobbling around my apartment when necessary, and making cds for venessa on my favorite dyke bands (drag king bar? yes!) and doing searches in lexisnexis for class.
so i go to this doctor and he takes photos of my foot (with some special machine, ultrasound perhaps) and presses my foot--you know, the "does this hurt? how about here? does it hurt here? over here?" YES GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY FOOT!
so then he tells me i have tarsal tunnel entrapment--posterior tibial nerve. basically a tarsal is trapped in a place where it shouldnt be. good thing i went b/c the pain and entrapment can travel up your foot.
he tells me he needs to give me a shot that will take the pain away, and i'm to take these pills. fine. i tell him i'm afraid of needles.
so he sticks in the needle right in my foot. now, i've had a ton of injuries (comes along with being a runner when you have feet as messed up as mine) and i've had a cortizone shot directly in the bone--but nothing has hurt as much as this. i was screaming, gripping the chair arms, closing my eyes..."ow, ow, ouch this hurts! FUCK! sorry, i didn't mean...omigod, this hurts so bad...are you done yet? please hurry up...i didn't mean to me. this hurts SO bad, please, hurry up, omigod, ow, are you done yet?" i have a low tolerance for needles. it hurt like crazy.
so then he xrays me, gives me a prescription, and sends me on my way. i go to the pharmacy, drop off my meds and tell the i need them quickly. i'm kind of limping, but i'm somewhat okay. i drop off my shirt at the cleaners and then come back. then it hits me.
i feel woozy. i can barely stand. rows of incense and cards in polish and natural soaps and toothpastes and flosses...my foot is killing me, this is all i can think about. i tell them, "please hurry up i'm in pain." i get my medicine and i make it halfway down the aisle. i am in too much pain to continue.
they get me some water and tell me to take my medicine and sit as long as i want. after a few minutes, i am not feeling better but get up. i tell them i'm okay. i walk outside.
i pause a few feet away. i am in so much fucking pain. i walk a few more feet and want to cry. where is someone to help me? even a hipster who last washed his hair when kerry was supposed to be president...no, no one. an older woman sees me. "you need help?"
i must look like a lunatic. "i went to the doctor...he gave me a shot...it hurts so bad, i've never felt pain like this ever...a shot in my foot, i can't walk...omigod, this hurts so badly..."
she makes me take her arm and she helps me down the block.
she stops a man and they converse with polish. she gestures that he should help lift me up. she is about sixty, older probably. he holds up a hand that is wrapped in a bandage.
"he's lazy," she tells me. "we're okay, let's find someone strong." hipsters pass, but they are not strong. "no, we need somene strong."
we cross kent. we walk a few feet and i am trying so hard not to cry. she finds some polish guy, he's big and he doesn't say a word to me in english. i hold myself up as they drag me down the block. he leaves us off after a block and we continue. two more blocks. she helps me walk home. she smells like cigarette. i have never felt pain like this.
i am almost crying as i hop past a bodega. she holds onto me.
a block from my house, she tells me she really should go. she says she'll help me home tho. i don't want to impose. i tell her to go. she looks doubtful. i press her, "go, i'm okay, only a block from home. please. you have helped me so much already. thank you, thank you so much." i give this woman a hug, this woman whose name i don't know, who is at least thirty-five years older than me, two inches shorter than me, this woman who speaks with a thick accent and smells strongly of cigarettes. i love her. i hug her. she tells me to be careful and rest. i hobble, hop, pause, take my time.
at home, i hop awkwardly to my second floor apartment (this is why i don't do walkups above the third floor). i hop into bed, clutching my foot. "omigod, this hurts, this hurts, this hurts." now i can cry. i read blackbook and talk on the phone with my parents. the pain abates after about 4 hours but i still have difficulty walking now.
so the people that say new york city is an angry, rude city...i have had too many experiences with guardian angels in this city to agree.