Three Broken Toes.

I’ve been training for the DC Half, which is on March 11th. I’d been doing really well. I added hills into my routine in hopes of adding some much needed support muscles. I’m also quite fond of running in the snow, so I bought a pair of Yaktrax. Not that there’s been much snow, but every time it has snowed, I’ve made sure to hit the streets. I love snow running.

About a month ago, the top of my left foot began to hurt. Nothing I couldn’t deal with, so I continued to run. Then it got worse and worse until and about a week and a half ago when I finished a 3-miler and was limping.

I haven’t run since.

I was pretty sure that my injury was muscular and therefore temporary and if I simply laid off of it for a while, it would heal. But it seemed to be getting worse. So yesterday I made an appointment for an X-ray. I had that done today.

The good news is, it is indeed muscular and should heal in time for my half in March. (I need to get some mileage in if I want to do any sort of decent time.) The bad news is? I HAVE THREE BROKEN TOES. WTF.

The doctor actually LAUGHED at me. She’d look over at the X-ray, put her hand on where the (very obvious) breaks were, she’d squeeze and say, “Doesn’t that hurt?” And I’d say, “Not really, I mean, I don’t know. They’re toes.” 

So, yeah, THREE broken toes. Two on one foot. One on the other. Nothing I can do about it either. They are basically useless. They don’t bend anymore at all. One looks like a frozen miniature hotdog. I might as well give them to the dog.

But I did find out something even more upsetting: I have pre-arthritic feet. Now, she reassured me that it doesn’t point to rheumatoid, which is what BOTH of my parents have. But the metatarsals on my THIRD and FOURTH toe are longer than the second, which isn’t how it’s supposed to be. That is a sign of pre-arthritic feet and that just makes me want to explode into tears.

Normal Foot:

My Foot

But I am not going to give up running. She suggested I start swimming. I didn’t go into the whole problem with my ears. Maybe biking. I don’t know. But giving up running is like asking me to give up my Prozac. Or food. Nope. Not a chance in hell.

So. That’s that. Stupid feet.

Ah, medical shit.

On Thursday, I have to go through another PDT treatment, which, for whatever the reason may be, was some of the worst pain I have ever experienced. I mean, I gave birth to three babies. I nursed them through bloody nipples. I had mastitis. I apparently run on three broken toes and have been for who knows how long. I feel like my threshold for pain is pretty high. But this? I don’t know if it’s because I have sensitive skin (freckles, pale as shit) or what, but it was mind-glowingly painful for me.

So I’m dreading that.

Sorry for the whiney post. I’m actually in good spirits these days—happy even.

But today? Beaten down a bit. And I’ve got some lyrics running through my head.

What a drag it is getting old
“Life’s just much too hard today,”
I hear ev’ry mother say


  1. This is probably going to reveal my utter lack of medical knowledge, but why is there nothing they can do about your broken toes? If they don’t bend, then doesn’t that mean that they have healed very, really, extremely incorrectly? Couldn’t they re-break them and tape them to give them a fighting chance? I would think that having 30% of your toes in the “useless” category would impede your gait, etc.

    I won’t even address the pre-arthritis. All I know is that when my parents (who are in their 70s) mention how much healthier and more active/energetic they were in their 40s and 50s, I think…Oh shit. :)


    1. Well, I guess it’s because they are old breaks and they don’t hurt? She was about to say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” but then we both burst into laughter, but that’s basically the gist of it. There’s not much to do if they aren’t causing me any pain. I guess. Now, what this might lead to down the road? Gosh, who knows. I hope this doesn’t lead to more problems arthritically. Getting older…. so much fun.

      I am having my PDT treatment today due to the impending snowstorm. I’m scared shitless of this pain. I picked the absolute worst time to stop drinking because when I get home, I think a big glass of bourbon would help. (And I don’t like bourbon.)

      See you on the other side! Red faced and freakish! But hopefully skin cancer free.


      1. Hope it went well! And relatively pain-free….

      2. It went OK! It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as the fan worked this time! YAY! But I look like a red-faced freak.

  2. Have you tried indoor rowing? When I was in a lot of pain from impacting my body too much and doctors kept suggesting swimming, I started doing rowing classes (like spin classes but with water towers) once or twice a week instead of running and it has made all the difference. It is still an intense workout, but low impact, and has allowed me to keep running.


    1. I haven’t! I will do this, however. Do you get the same high you get from running? I think that’s what I would miss the most. No way I’d get it from swimming. Thank you!


      1. I don’t know if it is same high, but I do find it equally satisfying if that makes sense.

        Good luck!

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