Saturday, July 10, 2010

How using your scientific brain can help - Originally posted 4 September 2007

Since last Tuesday (August 28), I had this funky pain in my foot. It was on the exterior side of my foot but not where my fracture was. Interestingly, when I would walk (hence putting some pressure on it), the pain would eventually go away after a few steps.

For a moment there, I was wondering if I had re-injured myself. But then I thought that the pain would not ebb away but become more acute, if that had been the case.

What happened on Tuesday, August 28? Well, I just pushed myself a little too far. The orthopedist had told me to walk until it hurts. Given that my stupid ankle hurts more than my fracture, it was hard to discern which pain I should feel as a signal for too much walking. Well, I definitely got it that day. It was a different pain. It was a pain that made me stop dead in my tracks and ask Jeff to hand me the crutches because I didn't want to walk on my foot anymore. It wasn't exactly an acute pain. More like a warning sign that I completely understood.

So, for a moment there, I thought that I had pushed myself way too much. AND, that was the only variable that had changed since the previous day.

Or was it?

Jeff is even more anal than me ("anal"... is that a diminutive for analytical? :p) regarding analyzing variables that changed. It's something that one does naturally in science because you only want to change one variable at a time (if at all possible). Otherwise, well, you can't pinpoint which variable created a different result.

Anyway, I thought that the only thing that had changed was that I had pushed myself. But then, on Saturday, when I put the boot back after airing my foot, I unkowingly forgot to put back the little cushion for my heel... I didn't have much pain on Sunday so I had thought at first that my foot was simply doing better. Then, when I took my foot out of the boot, I realized that the hell cushion was missing. And then I remembered that that was the other variable that had changed. It had changed on the Monday, though, hence why I had forgotten about it.

The thing is that there was some rubbing effect above the ankle at the back of my leg and I had put a cushion there to protect the skin. Well, that pushed my foot forward enough that it was somewhat uncomfortable with the placement of the different straps. How silly!

I wish that the darn boot came with a feedback mechanism like in the commercial for the cookies: The Just-Right-o-Meter. You know, it would tell you when your boot is just right... instead, you have to identify the pain, where it is, what type is it, and can you do something about it... not easy.

Comments I had received

From Jon:
Good thinkg I wasn't there. I'd probably have constructed to mathematical proof of everything for you. ;)

From me:
hehehe. That could have been very handy!

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