Yesterday morning it was so nice outside that I decided to skip the Max and bike the entire way to work. I felt great and it was an awesome ride until I dismounted at the curb 30 feet from our front door. At some point after my right foot touched the pavement, I felt a little “pop” in my right calf and thought to myself, “Uh oh, that’s probably going to hurt.” Here’s the normal sequence of events for a dismount:
- Stand up on left pedal
- Swing right leg behind the seat
- Touch down right foot
- Touch down left foot
What’s weird is that I didn’t feel any pain until after I tested that initial thought. That means it probably happened as I was putting my left foot down. Once I put a little weight on my right foot, yow! I nearly fell over from the pain. Luckily, I had my bike there to brace me and hold me up. I hopped a few steps towards the door before trying it again, thinking it might just be a cramp that will fade away. No such luck. Still incredibly painful.
Eventually, I made it to my office where my friend, Erik, recommended icing it immediately. Luckily, we had a large ice pack in the freezer already and I wrapped it around my calf with an Ace bandage. It was very cold at first but after awhile I became absorbed with work and didn’t think about it. Over an hour later, the ice pack was mostly warm so I took it off so I could refreeze it for later re-icing of my calf. Strangely, the skin that had been beneath part of the ice pack was red, very hard to the touch and felt like it was a coupld of millimeters thick. It softened up in a couple of minutes, though, and I went on about the day.
My evening commute is nearly all downhill so I had no problem with my bike except stopping and dismounting, which I had to execute differently to avoid stretching the calf. After we got home from Thomas’ spring concert, I rested on the couch with my foot in the air. At that point there was still redness where the ice pack had been and there was pain similar to sunburn on the skin. I began to suspect that I had frostbite.
This morning Erik, who claims to have seen cases of frostbite, confirmed. This article says to never ice for more than 20 minutes at a time. The area is still red and feels lumpy in a few areas. I called the advice nurse at my doctor’s office and left a message. I suspect I’ll need to go see my doctor for the frostbite. The calf feels better already and I think I’ll be back on my bike on Monday.
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