Sunday, May 3, 2015

The day after

Spinning was so much fun yesterday that I signed up to go again this morning.

But as my legs started to stiffen up when I went to a post-event carbohydrate loading meal with Mary and Jerry at Mulino's, I suspected that my body would not cooperate. Then when I woke up in the middle of the night so achy I had to take some Tylenol, I knew it was not to be.

It is like how your calves feel the day after the Saint Patrick's Road Race when you have flown down the downhill near the end, thinking how wonderful it is, only to have your calves complain the next day. An hour of spinning is different from the usual 45 that includes a cool-down period. I thought I stretched enough – and even went to yoga afterwards – but it was not enough.

Oh well, no harm done. I have many other things to do. This includes getting organized for my trip to Dana-Farber tomorrow so that, unlike last week, I am not doing last-minute things that cause me to have to rush and feel all stressed out when I encounter traffic in Boston. Gas up the car today! It should be a no-brainer but last week I didn't do it because I thought I would have more time after tennis than I actually did.

Must get that tennis in before I leave. We tennis nuts have to keep our priorities straight.

Sorry to go on and on about my foot, but I have one more thing to say. I got an X-ray last week. It showed arthritis and a bone spur, which to me doesn't explain why the pain sometimes extends across the top of my foot, but anyway that was the verdict of the orthopedist. Score 1 for Ken Holt (the physical therapist with a Ph.D. in biomechanics) and 0 for the podiatrists who had told me to wear the boot. Ken said it was only making the problem worse and called it an "instrument of torture." The boot gets the boot.

The orthopedist, Dr. K, knows Dr. Holt and agrees with his approach of building up the middle of the orthotic and wearing firm shoes. Since I can only take Tylenol or ibuprofin sparingly, she recommended the topical cream capsaicin, which is the active ingredient in chili peppers.

It helped but caused a strange side effect. The instructions said to wash your hands thoroughly afterwards, which I did. But then at night I had trouble sleeping because the fingers on my left hand that I had used to apply the cream started burning. I washed my hands again. Then in the morning I splashed water in my eyes, and that left eye burned like crazy. My fingers burned throughout the day until I got the brilliant idea of putting the question to google, and as happens when a question has been asked before, filled in the rest of my question, which was, does capsaicin cause your skin to sting?

The answer was yes. I found the remedies on a cooking site because it happens when people cut up chili peppers also. The remedy appears to be putting your fingers in mayo, cottage cheese, yogurt, milk or anything creamy. I put my fingers in a cup of milk and sure enough, the burning went away.

The next time, I applied it with a cotton ball which I held with a tissue. Another example, however minor, of a remedy for one thing causing a problem in another area.

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