Except that during the day yesterday my left heel started to hurt. Now, I'm a BIG guy and just carrying my bulk around takes its toll on my feet, so I have callouses and such. At this time of year the air is dry so sometimes they get dry and crack, and that can hurt. So I wrote it off to that and just ignored it. I have a pretty high pain threshold and it wasn't that bad. After work last night, while I was chilling out with TiVo (Heroes is a good show, BTW), my heel started to really throb. A dull, hot ache. It felt like it might be swollen. I thought maybe it was a bit and the callous, being fairly rigid, was creating pressure. OK, that could be it, sure.
So this went on, and when I went to bed a couple of hours later it was pretty bad. I looked at it, but couldn't see any sign of damage. I pulled/cut away some of the callous, operating on the 'relieve the pressure' concept. Only it didn't help. The pain got worse... and worse... and worse... I'd taken Excedrin, my analgesic of choice, but it didn't help much, if at all. I got desperate enough to use Anbesol of all things, thinking it might numb the pain a bit. It helped, for a few minutes. I also discovered that, oddly, walking dulled the pain for a bit. Well, kind of traded the deep, burning, throbbing ache for a different pain which is easier to tune out. So I would get out of bed and pace around like a zombie for a while, then collapse into bed again - only to have the effect wear off about the time I'd be drifting off to sleep.
People who don't know me will probably think the following statements mean I'm a wimp with pain. I assure you this is not the case. I once performed home surgery on my crushed toe with a pair of scissors, a knife, nail clippers, a lighter, and a bottle of scotch, to remote the nail and dead tissue under and around it. Growing up I was a human nail detector. Drop a nail on the ground and I'd find it for you - by driving it through my shoe, foot, and even out the top a few times. Most annoying. People who know me well enough to know my pain threshold will understand the level of pain the following implies:
It made in call out involuntarily several times. I very seriously considered going to the emergency room.
Yes, those who know me should re-read that. Some of you know how absolutely terrible I am about looking after my health and going to a doctor when I should. I, who had to be brow-beaten into going to the hospital when I was coughing so badly I couldn't get up from the couch a couple of years ago, gave serious consideration of seeking immediate attention.
The only reason I didn't go last night is related - I remembered that I still had some hydrocodone cough syrup from the aforementioned coughing fit, and I remembered it's magical pain killing qualities. So I dug that up and took a dose. That didn't kill the pain, but it dulled it enough for me not to go to the hospital in the middle of the night. However, it was still bad enough to keep me awake, and now it was the middle of the night and chances for sleep were fleeting fast.
I ended up using an ice pack on my heel, which was unpleasant, but keeping it pressed against the heel eventually numbed the entire area with cold and I managed to get about two hours of restless sleep before it warmed up enough that the pain awakened me again, and that was all she wrote for the night.
I called my doctor's office in the morning, but they were booked solid. So I just went off to work, and I've had a most pleasant day gimping around with a throbbing foot. Oddly it seems to hurt less when bound up in my boot, and I get up and walk around a bit now and then which dulls the ache a bit for a while. Oh, right, after my shower this morning I took some time to examine the bottom of my foot again and I noticed a small dark spot just forward of the heel. Checking it closely I realized it was something stuck in my foot, and I managed to extract a small splinter that had been in there for who knows how long. The area is a bit red and tender, so now my leading hypothesis is that I picked up a splinter in the past few days (probably tracked it into the house, or I got it in the basement doing laundry while I was home sick - I tend to be barefoot) and it conveyed some infectious agent into my foot, leading to an infection in my heel and my current painful state. That's the best theory I have right now.
So I'm about to head home, and I hope tonight isn't as bad as light night. I have an appointment with the doc for 9:45 tomorrow morning to hopefully find out what's going on and how to fix it.
It really is a different type of pain. Kind of toothache meets burn meets stab wound. I can't properly compare it to a pain I've felt in the past.