NEW YORK SNIP255 – Black & White

As you might by now have understood – this is not an EVENTS blog, or a CULTURE blog, nor a Politics blog. So what is it? I admit that this writing is generated exclusively by my personal concerns in navigating…

NEW YORK SNIP255 – Black & White

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As you might by now have understood – this is not an EVENTS blog, or a CULTURE blog, nor a Politics blog. So what is it? I admit that this writing is generated exclusively by my personal concerns in navigating through my life, from birth to death, and especially the current last part of my life, whether it be the fifteen I wish it to be or …well, I’m unwilling at this moment to contemplate any other shorter alternatives. Needless to say CHANCE and CHANGE are two powerful dynamics of life over which, nearly by definition, I have little or no control over. My mental and physical HEALTH are my primary concerns. My journal-making WERK is next, followed by my RELATIONSHIPS.
So the universe has in the last month dealt me a new card which I’ve had some familiarity with in the past because I’ve always been an EXERCISER in my adult lives. And while exercising prevents injury for the most part, it also at times creates them. Fortunately not injuries as in contact sports because I’ve rarely been a team-player or a team-worker. Most of my exercising is done alone on my two feet and erect, running, jogging, slo-jog (schlog), race-waking, retro-walking, stair climbing, standing yoga postures, calisthenics. So the card is heel-spur (but not really). Spur implies a calcious bony growth on the bottom of the heel but, according to Dr Goldring, moments ago via telephone, having read the ultrasound diagnosis, it is WEAR & TEAR of the tendon of the fascia attachment to the heel bone bottom of feet. In that same phone conversation, when he’s surely on his way out the door for one of the High Holidays rituals, he mildly but insistently shouted: “You don’t seem to believe in rest! Good for you, but this is what’s needed here mostly.”
And to deal with that I should drastically reduce exercise done on my two feet. Shriek! What to do? It’s already one month since I experienced the first acute signs of pain on the left heel. Age (85) is wisdom (usually). Age (85) is also no cash flow, no earned income (spend with caution). Wisdom won over and I saw the podiatrist in the next couple of days. $25 copay with my ElderPlan HMO Medicare insurance plan. My good Dr Samuel Goldring, who I saw ten years ago at the height of my 10-yr social dance training, and who I saw 20 years ago at the height of my 5-year race-walk days when in fact I had done five marathons New York (2), Boston, Copenhagen & Stockholm.
He felt the heat of inflammation at the forward part of my heel where the connective tissue that supports the arch is connected. Plantar Fasciitis. [Wikipedia: Between 4 to 7% of the general population has heel pain at any given time. 80% of these are due to PF. Approximately 10% of people have the disorder at some time during their life. It becomes more common with age.] And the ultrasound imaging procedure that I had yesterday, after waiting for three weeks for this appointment, confirmed that tendon attachment that is associated usually with PF is my disorder. Shriek! Get off my feet as much as possible is the usual treatment with stretches of various types, icing and ibuprofen to reduce inflammation. He carefully sculpted an orthotic with felt and foam pads inside my exercise shoe and rehabilitated my previously used night splint, 20 years ago, which is a device to keep the foot flexed at sleep by strapping the lower leg in a kind of plastic cast.
So, already the day of Goldring appointment I stopped feet-dependent exercises. BIKING. I’ve been a biker all my life being from flat land Denmark where bikers are like cars here – everywhere and everybody. Truly. As much constructural attention is given to bike lanes as to auto roadways, like in most North European countries, flat or mountainous. My biking before today was expedient biking – appointments, shopping, meetings, errands etc but never for exercise. I normally do 8–10 miles per week in those pursuits. NOW I bike for exercise. And I’m shocked to experience biking as an even stronger cardiovascular demanding activity than jogging or race-walking. Maybe I’ve been too comfortable, in the last decade, in those running sports energizing myself only to 70% instead of 90. Biking. God Almighty. A slight uphill will, within 10 seconds, demand from me to pant-breathe my lungs & hard-pump my heart. I sound like a large croaking swamp-frog through most of the climb. Argh Argh Argh. Central Park is my cruel task master and has been for 25 years that I’ve lived on its immediate periphery. The inner roadway is 6 miles [9.6 km].

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