Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bones Heal Slowly

A watched pot never boils.

Waiting for the third metatarsal of my right foot to heal feels like waiting for water to boil. At least with a pot of water, one can see some bubbles form on the side or maybe a little water vapor rise from the surface; I don't have much I can observe.

As mentioned in a previous post, I believe I heeded all the signs of a fracture in process and was able to avert a complete failure at the site of the fracture just in time. I assume that it should heal in less time than the seven weeks it took for a stress fracture last year when there was a clear instant of bone failure.

Part of the problem is not experiencing much pain. I wore a post-op shoe for about four days, then I was careful to wear a supportive shoe with an orthotic for several days, and lately in the house I haven't bothered with shoes. I would like to put some direct pressure on it to test it, but if I do enough to cause some pain aren't I also doing enough to cause some damage? And could I even be causing damage when there isn't pain? That's how a stress fracture develops in the first place, damage occurring little by little, step by step without pain until there is enough damage that the nerves are irritated and pass this information on to the brain of the always-in-denial runner.

Meanwhile, in 11 days I'm 3 pound heavier. Hmmm, maybe I should go for a run; the load of an extra three pounds can't be good for the foot, right? Must work that off. Maybe I shouldn't have put butter on those pancakes; well, too late to change that.

The plan is to not run or stress it for another week and then try it out with some easy runs. The most optimist time frame for recovery that I read from authoritative sources was 3-4 weeks for an incomplete stress fracture. 18 days is about three week.

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