What I did to myself last week defies logic for a number of reasons. I am sharing my misfortune with you dear MoB readers so that you never suffer a similar fate. Chances are you won’t because by visiting MoB you have already proven yourself to be infinitely smarter than today’s author – i.e., me.
Late Thursday afternoon, I suffered severe frostbite… of my own doing… in August.
Here’s how it went down:
In recent weeks, my heel pain – or plantar fasciitis – had returned after more than two years of remission. For the uninformed, plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of the tissue under the heel. When you have it, you know it because it is very painful to walk, especially in the morning. On Thursday morning, I would have classified my pain level from this chronic condition as “high”. After my ordeal, I would classify it as barely noticeable. Everything is relative, my friends.
In discussing my condition with my cousin on Thursday, she shared with me that when she suffered from plantar fasciitis, icing the affected area brought her a good amount of relief. I happened to be in the market for a good amount of relief so that afternoon, I sat working at my desk with my heel planted firmly on an ice pack. After about 30 minutes, I removed my extremely numb heel and continued to work.
For like two minutes.
As my foot began to warm, what began as a tingly feeling quickly turned into painful pins and needles followed by SEARING, GUT WRENCHING PAIN AND BURNING in the 3X4 inch space of my heel. I seriously thought my foot was going to explode with tiny aliens shooting out through the skin, slithering away to destroy the planet. My only regret – besides doing this stupid thing to myself to begin with – was that there was no one around to video tape my agony. I am reasonably certain that my crawling to the phone to call Dave at work and subsequently writhing around on the floor clutching my ankle and crying would have won the $100,000 prize on America’s Funniest Videos. They love that kind of family stuff.
Cut to the chase. A trip to the ER told me that I had given myself a nasty freezer burn, a.k.a. frost bite. For my troubles, I got a tetanus shot and some strong antibiotics. Over the weekend, my heel began to blister in unspeakable ways, making my original plantar fasciitis seem like a paper cut. I have no idea how long it will be before I can put my foot down again. My dear husband did not miss the opportunity to remind me that putting my foot down is something I will always find a way to manage.
Post Injury Analysis: I think my fatal mistakes – and there were two biggies – were 1) not placing anything between the ice pack and my skin and 2) putting a good deal of pressure on the ice pack. Still the whole thing remains a bit odd. Perplexed by my injury, my dear friend and neurologist Geoff did some research and discovered that the last time such a condition was seen in any meaningful way was during the Falkland Islands war. Conditions there were so harsh that many British soldiers froze their heels after walking around in boots that had sub-zero water in them… for weeks. And to think I managed to completely maim myself in less than 30 minutes.
I am more efficient than the entire British Army.
After doing such a stupid thing to myself, there is little to do but to laugh about it, which I did for the first 24 hours. I talked about “cooling my heels” and “getting a bad case of cold feet”. But in all seriousness, it really isn’t that funny. Coming from someone with a high threshold for pain (I once had needles stuck into my eyelid without flinching), this puppy is pretty painful – and worthy of absolutely nothing.
Except, of course, a blog post.