This time last week, I was illin’. And I don’t mean in a cool, hip-hop kinda way. I mean, I felt like somebody had beaten me with a baseball bat. I went to bed early, woke up early, felt blech, took some more aspirin, and went back to bed. Called in to work to let ’em know I wasn’t coming in.
This week I’m feeling much better (and not just because of the Pittsburgh win, woo hooo!). I can walk a bit now. You see, somehow, and I’m still not sure how it happened, but I flayed the skin from the bottom and sides of the last toes of my right side. Badly.
One of the problems with having a good healing factor and a high pain tolerance is that you risk letting injuries go longer than perhaps you should, and every now and again it catches up with you. 99% of the time, a little sunlight and fresh air and not worrying about it will let your body heal. At least in my case, that’s been true over and over again. I’d get a cut, for instance, and just keep going, not worrying about a bandage. Just let it bleed for a few to clean it out and the clotting/healing factor takes care of the rest.
However, in this case, I noticed a little discomfort down under my toes, but didn’t think anything about it. I think I rug burned them doing a pretty vigorous barefoot workout a couple of weeks before. As is my wont, I hit the jacuzzi several times, the last time last Saturday when I visited my bro up in D.C.
I think that’s what did me in. I ended up walking about with somewhat moist and tenderized skin, and had exposed the already ripped open areas to harsh chemicals, ending up in something like a chemical burn. I mean, I ended up losing several layers of skin, and they were really raw, and healed like burns.
I’m not absolutely sure about that, but it’s the best I’ve come up with. I was worried about spider bites, but it didn’t seem to fit the bill. When I came back from my bro’s, I started feeling sick, and I thought maybe I caught a head/throat cold he was getting. But I had no head/throat symptoms. And when I took off my shoes and socks, I had the old red, swollen toe. Fortunately, I had just picked up some bacitracin and liquid bandage, and quickly applied them to the raw areas. At that point, I suspected that it was an infection of the foot, not of the sinus that was making me feel bad.
I still felt like every joint hurt and weak, though. But in the morning after I finally got up, I felt much better. The redness and everything had gone down, but the skin was peeled way back. Seemingly almost to the muscle fascia. Probably not really, but that’s what it was starting to look like.
So I stayed home and rested and slept most of the day away, and kept my weeping toes mostly wrapped up. As the week progressed, the toes seemed to marginally get better, but I ended up having to almost literally run back and forth between meetings and visitors I had to attend to at work, spending many late nights there. By Thursday, the toes felt pretty okay, but I was getting a blister somewhere else, as a result of the toe wrappings causing the outer edge of the foot to friction my shoe so much. So again, had a red a swollen toe, this time the pinkie toe. Looked like an infected blister or hair follicle. This time I applied a sterilized needle to the protruding blister, and liberally slathered the area with the bacitracin (which apparently rocks! ‘Course, I think the last time I had anything but a topically applied antibiotic was literally over 20 years ago.).
Next day I didn’t go to work (had already filled up my hours) and spent the day without shoes or socks on. The red, swollen-ness was gone, and at the end of the day I noticed that a lot of the skin had filled in on two of the toes, though the pinkie toe still had a ways to go, and I couldn’t tell if it was still shedding, or filling in.
Saturday found me wrapping only two toes, but I had agreed to go to dinner with friends, so it was most of the day with no shoes or socks, then hobble-hobble to dinner.
Today, a week after feeling so bad, I felt good enough to go on a motorcycle ride with my neighbor this morning (and get some breakfast, and unusual move for me), though it was a bit painful still to shuffle around. I took a shower afterward and just left any dressing off, to let the toes get exposed to light and air. And after dealing with that sensitive raw skin under the pinkie toe all day, I think it’s finally firmed up a bit. Or maybe I’m just numb to it… 😀
Today's ride (01 Feb 2008).
It’s still uncomfortable, but livable. I don’t relish the idea of tramping about in shoes tomorrow, I’ll tell you that for nothing. But I’ve got miles to go before I sleep, so I’ll end up going in. Even though staying shoe/sock free has been the ticket so far. Maybe all I needed of that was a couple days worth. But I’m aggravated with it, ‘coz that’s two weeks I’ve missed of some good, hard, fun training. Grrrr!
Well, I guess that’s one way to get random, unpredictable workouts, eh?
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