Breakfast at Toe-ffanies

I know. The title is too much. I couldn’t help myself. For the past few months I’ve been experiencing pain and discomfort in my big toe on my left foot. A few months ago I was stepping out of the shower and when I put my weight on the ball of my foot it sent such a sharp pain through it that I almost fell over.

I thought I had just jammed it, so I carried on. Before the Christmas break I was stretching after a run when I realized that I couldn’t bend the toe at the middle joint, and and it was hurting with greater frequency. I had an appointment with my chiropractor that week, so I thought I would have her look at it. She told me that she thought I might have arthritis in my toe which would be super special since I already have arthritis everywhere. Arthritis on arthritis!

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She sent me to get X-rays which I took care of the day before I left for the break. She recommended that I take it easy on my foot until we found out more. I am always ready to take it easy.

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The results came back a few of weeks ago, and I went back to see her for a follow-up. It looked like a stress fracture from what she could see, so she sent me to a podiatrist. After more x-rays, the podiatrist determined that it was “erosion of the sesamoid bone“.

Sesamoid bone in foot


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I spend a lot of time reading about arthritis. I know that it damages my joints, causes joint deformity, and can impact organs and systems. I did not realize that it would contribute to the actual erosion of my bones. Apparently, this is my body now:

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The pain from said erosion is occurring due to “sesamoiditis” which is sesamoid-based tendinitis (I guess I’m collecting “itises” now!). Because the sesamoid is located in a tendon (as opposed to being connected to another bone), the tendon is inflamed which is causing the the “pulley” part of the toe to work properly which is why I can’t bend it on my own. I got a steroid shot, I have to wear flat shoes, I’ve been going to physical therapy (FOR MY TOE. I feel endlessly silly every time), and I have to stretch and ice it during the day.

I’ve modified my Orange Theory workouts to walk on the treadmill and I have adjusted exercises that require specific pressure on my toes (jumping jacks, planks, push ups). I am already having less pain, so I hope to start running again in the next month. I signed up for the Avenue of the Giants half marathon, and I REALLY want to do that.

It’s obviously not the worst thing in the world, but I didn’t really expect that at 33 I would have bones randomly eroding. I know that there are plenty of people who think I spend too much money on traveling, especially considering that I have student loan debt. You’re not wrong, but I know that there will be a day that is likely not too far in the future where traveling will become extremely difficult for me. I don’t know when my arthritis will get so bad that I can’t get around easily, and I want to take advantage of my physical health while I have it. So, yes, I am going to continue spending money on traveling. My loans will eventually either be forgiven (for the federal ones) or paid off (for the private ones), but I am not willing to waste the years I have with knees that still work paying off my loans sooner instead of experiencing the world while I can.

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