When you are into something exciting and thrilling like motorcycle racing, you tend to ignore minor cuts and bruises as they become part of your life. Even today, after 15 years of marriage, my wife gets upset whenever I am in a minor racing accident and asks me to see a doctor immediately. I ignore her requests most of the time, just pop a pain killer and forget about it completely. However, I wish I had listened to her when she kept telling me to see the doctor when I had pain on top of my foot, six months ago. It started after I came back from a motorcycle race, but since I had not fallen down or sustained any injury, I thought it was muscular pain and would go away soon enough. Since winter in Portland, Oregon is damp and mild, it is common to experience such aches from time to time. Sadly, I soon realized that something more serious was behind the pain. I started playing basketball with my sons Jeremy and Tim and it was after I scored a few baskets that I realised that the pain was getting worse. Since my sons look up to me, I did not cave in and kept pushing myself to play a little more. By the time we finished and went inside, my foot was positively hurting more than it had before.
After dinner, I finally gave in and asked my wife to drive me to the hospital emergency. She called her baby sitter and half an hour later we were on our way. When the podiatrist saw my foot, he immediately became concerned as by that time it was red and swollen. He ordered scans and x-rays and went to check on other patients, while we waited for the reports. Soon he came back and told us the bad news. It was a stress fracture and by playing in this condition I had aggravated it. The doctor told me to go on complete bed rest for at least 6 weeks and to use crutches when I had to go to the loo. My foot was in a cast during this time period and I followed the doctor’s orders religiously as I was told my career as a motorcycle racer depended on my recovery. After the excruciatingly dull and boring 6 weeks were over, I went back and the doctor removed the cast. Luckily, my recovery had been perfect but the doctor still told me to take it easy for another 12 weeks and not to go back to racing till he gave me a go ahead.
I now realize that pain on top of foot is not a trivial thing and it can be anything from a stress fracture to a muscle strain. The best course of action is to have it checked out and take the appropriate action. Sometimes, the pain can go away by just changing your footwear. You can only be sure of the cause when you go see a doctor; never try to diagnose yourself.