OK, so I’m not Superwoman. About 2 weeks before Roatan, I had a surprise run in a workout class that normally remains indoors. We ran through a parking lot and on a sidewalk, easy enough in bare feet, but I felt something sharp penetrate my foot. Later, I tried to remove the foreign object, but I just couldn’t grasp it. “Oh well,” I thought, “those things just work their way to the surface eventually”, and I went about my business.
Off we went on our beach vacation. I felt a little tenderness in that area, but nothing that kept me from full-on activity of the barefoot kind. After walking on all manner of natural and man-made surfaces, I returned to Austin.
Back to work the very next day, I had a good workout and headed to Oakhaven where my Saturday group was ready for action. I felt a little light-headed, which I attributed to rushing off after workout without eating. My friend Paula came to my rescue with a tamale she had bought at the Farmers’ Market that day.
By the end of class, my foot was really sore and I felt like I was catching the flu. Going on gut instinct, which usually proves accurate, I felt an urgency to open the area and remove…something. I also knew that my general ill-being was related to that sore foot. After contemplating lancing it myself, with the help of whatever I could find at the nearest drugstore, I got smart and headed to the Doc-in-a-box (walk-in clinic) near my house. Fortunately, the doc on duty was the dad of one of son Jake’s good friends, so we laughed and chatted while he stuck me full of Novacaine and opened up the site. He never did find the culprit, but he drained it and gave me some antibiotics to combat infection. Home I went, with the admonition that the foot “might throb a little”. Understatement!
The next day, I trained my neighbor Sherry, another MD. She took one look at my reddened, painful foot (and now leg) and prescribed an antibiotic that would cover a rather unpleasant form of Staph infection. Within 8 hours of my first and second doses, I started to feel distinctly better, less flu-ish. My foot was still extremely painful, which I could not reconcile with my improved well-being. Looking ahead to full day of sessions ahead, I didn’t see how I would be able to concentrate on form and programming, let alone decent conversation. At about 4am, I woke to excruciating pain. I hobbled to the bathroom, and just sat on the toilet cover. I brought my foot up to take a look, and all of a sudden, I paused. The pain had subsided! I pulled off the bandage and had a look. The foot, which had been dry since I left the doctor’s office, had really started to drain. It took about 3-4 days for the process to run its course, but I was relieved of pain and finally healing nicely.
What is the lesson here? Pretty basic: skin, no matter how toughened, is a permeable membrane. Hygiene is important. Wash your feet! This is an ancient practice, often suffused with ritual. Most of those practices were put into place to keep humans healthy. No exception here. And look where you are going. Obvious.