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.

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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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15 thoughts on “Breakfast at Toe-ffanies

  1. I hope by “plenty of people who think I spend too much money on traveling” you mean your sister and people in your actual life and not random blog readers who know nothing of your actual personal financial situation?

    • It’s some real life friends and family and some folks on the internet who like to email me lecturing me about financial irresponsibility. I never claimed to be financially responsible, OKAY. Some people like fancy handbags, some people like high-end wines, some people have all the oils, and some people have swanky cars. I like vacations. We all have our thing and I’m lucky enough to make enough money to pay my loans, bills, and see some things.

  2. Oh my goodness. I am fairly certain those who say you are spending too much money on travel are not feeling good about themselves. Contribute to your loans, put some in savings, pay your bills and spend the rest however the heck you want. Travel and meet tons of people, so when they think of Americans, they think of you. We need more people like you making positive foreign connections!

  3. Random, but… do you have any favorite arthritis or bone/joint pain blogs? I’ve been looking for some but not finding anything that speaks to me.

  4. Keep traveling!! I did a lot in my 20s-before the kidos. When they get older I plan to do more. Look at it this way. You can act as our scout for places we can move to in case 4 years of 45 becomes 8 years of 45. Some of us will need to resettle.

  5. Spending money on travel is always an excellent idea, regardless of age or debt load…life is truly too short to not enjoy it. I really think you should look into visiting an Osteopath (check out Most of your doctors in the US are trained as Osteopaths (D.O’s) but manipulative D.O’s rely on manual manipulation rather than meds to treat conditions. It’s incredibly effective and actually fixes people. My hubby is an Osteopath up here in Canada and has been in practice for 12+ years. His practice is 100% word of mouth referrals and his waiting list is months long – this stuff works. Unfortunately there is no cure for arthritis but I’m 100% sure that manipulative osteopathic treatments would do a ton to make you more comfortable!

    • The “physical therapy” for my toe is from an osteopath! My podiatrist actually recommended her to me.

  6. I say travel now! Find out what the heck they gave that cat to have it sit still while soaking wet and being cuddled nearly to death and keep it on hand for later.

  7. Ouch, I’m sorry. My husband had to go to PT for his foot this year (plantar fasciitis) and said he spent an hour wiggling his toes while someone twenty years his junior watched. But it did help!
    I don’t know if I’ve already recommended it, but if you can find some Univestin, I highly recommend it for joint pain. It’s a blend of Chinese herbs that functions as a COX inhibitor without the long-term safety concerns of COX-2 inhibitors like Celebrex (it actually out-performed Celebrex in a head-to-head trial with end points of pain and mobility). Obviously, don’t take it if you are already taking another NSAID, since its mechanism is the same.
    I recommend the heck out of Univestin, but unfortunately I don’t think it has caught on in the medical community, and it’s getting hard to find. I bought mine on Amazon by Swanson last time I found it.

  8. sorry about the pain 🙁 that sucks. as far as traveling goes, it’s your life and you deserve to enjoy it! not to be morbid but who knows what could happen. no sense in waiting – especially in waiting to pay off student loan debt, which feels never ending sometimes!

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