I keep staring at my new toes. Yes "new" is what they look like since the bandage came off a few weeks ago. Instead of the usual freakish sight of two toes crossing each other I now possess perfectly separated, straight big and second toes. They may still be a little swollen, but they are functional. After so many years of unexplained running injuries, misdiagnosis and a failed foot operation, I’m so happy am I want to hug the foot surgeon.
The purge of my years-long toe obsession can begin. So out go the orthotics, the toe separators, the industrial sized boxes of medi tape. As well as the crutch and the post-op plastic sack so you don’t have to shower like a flamingo. I almost feel like having a ceremonial bonfire.
My new toes have become a daily obsession receiving toe physio (from my long-suffering husband) and liberal douses of bio-oil, tea-tree oil and a carefully chosen medical foot cream.
And off comes the heavy black Donjoy boot, my friend and protector over the last 6 weeks. I tread gingerly around the house unfamiliar with the wonderful sensation of my left foot on the warm wooden floor. Then venture into the garden, adoring the feel of grass under my foot again.
Running is still off the agenda for at least another few months - but I can swim, go to the gym and use the cross trainer. I set the resistance on 8 and the RPM on 160 - after 45 minutes there are beads of sweat rolling down me and my kit is drenched.
It may not be running. In fact nothing is as good as running. But never has sweat felt so good.