05 January 2006

Toe Jam

Funny how once you injure an appendage, you keep bumping into things and reinjuring the darned thing. That's the story of my 4th toe. Over the break, I worked out at Robinsons's Martial Arts Institute in Tunkhannock PA--Steve's martial arts school growing up. I only train there once or twice every year or two when we go back to visit friends and family. Steve's been my instructor and training partner in martial arts, although military deployments and worldwide moves often caused suspension in training. It'd been 2.5 years since I've done any regular martial arts training. So I was amazed at my flexibility in kicks and my muscle memory recall for various kicks and blocks. When it was time to pair up with a training partner to practice kicks with a pad, I was placed with a teenaged black belt who kicked hard enough to bruise my elbow through the pad (sweet!).

The do jang floor is covered in foam mats that interlock like legos. I happened to be standing at an interlocking intersection when I was doing my right foot roundhouse kicks when my left toes buckled under and hurt like crazy. I took a deep breath, shook off the pain, and continued kicking. Unfortunately, a few minutes later, the same stupid toes buckled under and it hurt even worse. My 4th toe looked a little swollen. I checked my toe joints, but everything seemed to move okay. I eased up on the pad when kicking with my left foot, but the pain still shot up my leg. Soon, my toe was very swollen and I heard a suspicious clicking sound when I walked (or gimped) around.

After class, I asked Steve to check it to see if it was broken. The pain was incredible just when he applied light touch to the surface of skin (where deep fibular nerve allows for sensory innervation between the 4th and 5th toes). I put on my sneakers and the pain doubled with the dorsal surface pressure. When we got home about an hour later, my foot looked messed up. Steve iced it for me which helped some. I hobbled around on it the next day, but it had turned bluey-purple half way down the foot and all around the toe. It's still swollen 16 days later and I keep stubbing it on chairs or furniture because it's so awkward to use. Next time I won't be such an idiot and keep pushing past the pain of an injury to keep kicking a dumb pad.

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