Of the many things I inherited from my Dad’s gene pool is a big toe bunion on my left foot. Not a pretty sight! I am always looking for sandals that hide the deformity; it is not that unsightly but my vanity wins every time, and I cringe when anyone looks at my foot with the protruding bone. Luckily, shoes are such one can hide almost any defect! In 2009, I thought about a surgery, or at least some kind of medical intervention that would prevent it from growing and becoming even more painful, but it was out of the question—it was not life-threatening! Besides, Elvia and others, including my sister Laura, had had foot surgery and they did not recommend it—it was simply too painful and required a long recuperative period. But I considered my options and decided to seek professional advice. And it was not just the looks; the pain is what ultimately sent me to see a podiatrist, a foot doctor.
I had a first steroid shot in July of 2009 when I returned from Spain with such pain that I could not do my usual yoga asanas. The pain disappeared immediately after a fewer days of slight discomfort, as Dr. Marque Allen had promised it would. He had also predicted that the pain might come back within 3 months. So, almost 6 months later, in December, I considered another shot because I was worried that the pain would be so unbearable during the Camino I would be forced to abandon it. No. I would not have that. It had hurt mildly during the 1/2 marathon walk; the pain had been bearable. But I was convinced that the pain would be there and force me to leave the Camino, so I opted to get another shot.
This time it was a woman doctor who administered the excruciatingly painful shot; I let out a loud gasp, more like a moan and a gasp with a scream blended in for good measure! But I hurt for only a fraction of a second; after the shot, I noticed an immediate lessening of the pain during my morning walks as well. In fact I was pain free in no time. Voila, I would not have bunion pain during the Camino! Well, I was both right and not. I did have pain, but not as bad as it could’ve been, I kept telling myself and whomever happened to be around when I would arrive at an albergue with tired aching feet.
The good news is that after walking the Camino, I have not needed another shot! I consider it one of the miraculous events associate with my traveling the pilgrimage. As we proceed with this blog of my experience a year later, I will relate my various encounters with what can only be described as metaphysical phenomena that began once I had made up my mind up to do the pilgrimage.
The podiatrist had suggested that I would need to go in on average every 3 months for a shot. Well, I have not gone back! I attribute the end of painful bunion to the fact that I walked on a healing path; additionally, since returning from Spain, I became a 2nd degree Reiki practitioner, and I make it a point of “handwiching” my foot whenever i get the chance. Whatever the reason, I don’t really care. I care that the pain is gone and that I am walking without pain and most of all that I was able to finish the Camino with little pain. I can’t complain!