Tuesday, December 12, 2006

There's Pain, There's PAIN, and There's Absence of Pain


Now I know that you people out there in blogland are probably tired of reading about my Toe. You're probably saying to yourselves "It's a toe already, get over it!" To which I say you have no idea how important one toe is. Really. When you can't run (and you triathletes should understand that one!), can't swim much, can't bike on anything but a trainer, when you can't walk to the store, can't stand in the kitchen baking pancakes for your kids, well you start to realize just how important one toe can be.

Heck, you can't even have a little marital fun without The Toe becoming a problem. Think on this: you can't kneel, you can't lie on your stomach without hanging your foot off the edge of the bed. That limits things just a little. And then, if you manage to successfully block out the cattle-prod-like zings of pain that occasionally just randomly shoot through The Toe, and get into things a little bit, you come to a moment of toe-curling ecstasy and WHAM, The Toe sends you a pain message that causes you to catapult your partner across the room and clutch your foot in agony. Hardly conducive to happy marital relations.

But that's just regular old pain with a lowercase "p" that I've been living with since the Ironman. Yesterday in my karate class, I got to experience PAIN with all capital letters. We were trying a new sparring technique in which my partner was supposed to step past my right foot, except that she stepped right into it, clubbing The Toe with the side of her foot in full swing. Blammo, there was a Pain Explosion that almost knocked me out. Now, I'm no stranger to pain. For one thing, I've had two babies: 'nuff said. For another, I've broken numerous bones, had hundreds of stitches, and dislocated a few random limbs. Other than my twice-yearly trip to the dentist where he has to peel my fingertips out of his chair, I more or less laugh in the face of pain.

But this was like a pain bomb went off in my head, totally unbelievable. I instantly felt like I was going to both throw up and pass out at the same time. My sensei asked me if I was okay and I couldn't even talk. My friend Kay said that my entire mouth turned green, in the way that it does when people suffer a serious shock and are going to lose consciousness (and she, being a nurse, would know this). I valiently struggled to not barf in the dojo and eventually managed to say that I was okay. For about two hours after this incident, my foot hurt bad.

Then, to my utter amazement, it all went away. Totally and completely away. My foot doesn't hurt. The Toe has been demoted to just a toe again. I swam 4250 yards last night and kicked. Just before swimming, I told Kay in the locker room that I had two theories. One was that the Pain Explosion temporarily knocked out all of my pain receptors and I was just experiencing a brief reprieve from the sensations down there. The second theory was that, contrary to what my doctor thought after looking at the x-rays, my foot really was dislocated after all, and my karate partner managed to kick it back into place.

At this, Kay said one of her classic Kay lines: "I think we should always go with the theory that we like the best, even if it's not based on any reality at all." Except you've got to say it with her lovely south-ish of England accent and awesome laugh, which makes almost everything coming out of her mouth sound extremely witty. Seriously, she could read you a shopping list and you'd smile or outright bust up. So that's why I swam and actually kicked, hell and bad toes be damned. But the real kicker is that this morning it Still Feels Great!

So keep your fingers crossed that my second theory is it, and that this is the end of my Toe troubles for good. If not, well at least I'll enjoy my reprieve.

1 comment:

TriJack said...

Heh, you should get re xrayed and compare, just to prove or not the dislocation theory... Interesting! Hope you can put the toe behind you now!