the terrible foot tragedy of one year ago

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of The Terrible Tragedy That Befell My Foot!

I am not entirely back to normal: I still have a slight limp that’s probably only detectible if you scrutinize me, and I still can’t run (although that will only be a problem if I’m chased). Most annoyingly, I still can’t wear heels over an inch and a half tall. But this is all improving, just very, very slowly. Which is apparently not uncommon with this most terrible of foot injuries (the dreaded lisfranc fracture).

The lesson to you: Do not fall off of curbs. Do not even go near them.

While I realize this has nothing to do with workplace advice, the anniversary must be commemorated, so here’s a retrospective look back at the foot and its adventures:

November 2, 2011: Ow! (little did I know)
November 4, 2011: diagnosis of three months healing time — hahahahaha!
December 8, 2011: stop caring so much about your dignity, and other lessons
January 9, 2012: the cast comes off, and I think I can walk again (but am wrong)
March 30, 2012: walking!

And of course, the Foot’s own blog:  Oh f—! My foot!  (warning: profane title)

{ 48 comments… read them below }

  1. EngineerGirl*

    Congratualations! You’ll get there. And if you are like most people you will now have the ability to predict incoming storms!
    I have found that both Clarks and Merrell make good shoes that are cute. Or at least cuter than some of those shoes you see advertised to older people. I’ve also found that if you keep the skirt length around the knees (or higher) that flats don’t look too bad. Nice waterproof dress boots with a pair of wool socks are another way to keep the bones warm in the winter.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Yes! I also bought a pair from Naot which are the most comfortable thing I’ve ever owned, and kind of cute too. But I’m getting used to flats, which I didn’t even own a single pair of before this happened!

  2. Mouse*

    Congratulations Alison! You are hysterical and awesome! I love your foot blog as well! Glad to hear that things are good in the foot dept. I broke my foot years ago and the freedom of getting the cast off was awesome…so I can imagine how you are feeling. GREAT NEWS! Now, as you mentioned, avoid all curbs! I’m very happy for you!

  3. ChristineH*

    Oh thank you Alison, you’ve just provided me with a fun weekend activity…re-reading all those posts and the foot blog! Amen on the curb advice…I busted my ankle (one of my many ankle incidents over the years) thanks to a curb in a NYC parking garage. And I’m pretty sure I was in sneakers :/

    I don’t wear super-high heels myself (about 1.5 inches is about all I can handle), so I may have to look into that Naot place. I hope they sell super-tiny sizes! By the way, why are you not able to wear heels?

    P.S. Your posts aren’t showing up in my FB feed anymore. I checked my settings, and it’s set to show them.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Hmmm, you might have to go to the AAM page there (, hover over the Like button, and choose Show in Newsfeed. That should fix it!

      The heels situation: Because I still have a torn ligament that isn’t fully healed yet, I have “midfoot instability.” Higher heels put it in a position where I basically can’t balance correctly. The torn ligament will allegedly heal in time on its own, but it’s taking quite a while.

      1. ChristineH*

        Actually, on the AAM page itself, I’m not seeing anything later than Thursday. It looks like your posts are via RSS Graffiti.

        No biggie…I check this website all the time anyway, but I just wanted you to be aware in case there was a problem.

  4. littlemoose*

    Glad your foot continues to improve, and best wishes on your continued recovery! I agree, the foot blog is quite amusing.

    1. littlemoose*

      P.S. I also received a safety warning from Chrome when I clicked on one of the category tabs on the right. Not sure if it’s my problem or yours, but just FYI.

  5. Sarah G*

    Alison – Glad to hear that there’s been improvement in your recovery! What ended up happening with the “disagreeing doctor” saga you were experiencing?

      1. Sarah G*

        Oh, good, it sounds like you have doctors you trust, which makes all the difference in a situation like this.

  6. MistahFixIt*

    As a tradeperson, injuries like this are why I never, EVER buy safety-boots without a Metatarsal Guard in them. (Basically, the tongue of the boot has a metal plate in it.)

    Of course, I’m not sure how well that would’ve protected you from a nefarious three-inch curb, but it stopped -me- from suffering the same injury when some numbnut dropped a cylinder head on my foot. :P

  7. Not So NewReader*

    Congrats on your healing progress, Alison! Am sorry about the absence of high heels in your life. I have not been wearing high heels for a while now (discomfort level is waaaay too high) and am reading that it is actually healthier not to wear them…. I hope that thought give some consolation for a moment….

  8. W*

    I am glad your foot is healing. Have you tried foot reflexology? Reflexology may help with your gait and any residual pain. It can make a huge difference and will feel awesome to Boot. Every time I have read about your foot I have been wanting to point you in this direction but am trying to stop being someone else’s fixer. But… I can’t help myself. Find a certified one in your area
    here American Reflexology Cert. board-good luck

  9. Ellie H.*

    Your foot blog is so fantastic. You are a really great writer – I mean, this blog is so well written, but because it’s in such a clear and direct, unpretentious and comprehensible style, it’s sometimes easy not to notice the high quality of writing (which I imagine is your intent, but still). Have you ever written any other humor-type pieces?

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Aw, thank you! Let’s see… This is an article I wrote for the Washington Post 17 years ago on etiquette for meat-eaters when around vegetarians. (I was only 22, so do not hold the writing against me.) And this article was about living on my own for the first time and having ridiculous expectations about how it would work. (I was only 19, so the same caution applies.)

      And here’s an embarrassing admission: In my 20s, a friend and I wrote a website giving advice about etiquette in bars and situations where you might be trying to pick someone up (yes, I know), where we answered readers’ questions and everything, but sadly that is no longer online.

  10. Anonymous*

    I believe this whole saga is a demonstration of why “equestrian veterinarian” is what one might term a “second amendment occupation.” :-)

  11. Angela*

    I am SO happy for you. And I totally feel your pain – I am in month 4 after my ankle reconstruction surgery. I am healing well enough that I don’t need any physical therapy – swimming has really helped! I feel stronger every day.

    My ankle surgery was the second major surgery of this year. I also had the vertical sleeve surgery (which is the weight-loss surgery where they remove most of your stomach.) The ankle surgery was MUCH worse! I don’t think people realize how painful it is.

    1. Angela*

      Oh, and I injured my foot in August of 2011, but didn’t have it looked at until May of 2012, because I thought that there was NO way I’d managed to do any permanent damage. So I walked on a broken ankle, with torn ligaments and torn tendons for 9 months. From now on I will always ALWAYS get things checked out right away!

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Wow! I cannot even imagine! I couldn’t even stand on mine when it broke — I tried to stand up and immediately crumbled. Up until then, I thought I’d just had a minor tumble that I was actually laughing about.

  12. Anonymous*

    Glad you are getting better. I love Naots and stilk think occasioanlly of a pair of their sandals I had years ago. I agree with Merrells and Clarks. Easy Spirit has good pumps. Shop Zappos or I saw more Merrell boots there I think I must have.

      1. businesslady*

        yes, I second (or third, counting upthread) the recommendation for Merrells! they’re super comfy, & they have a lot of waterproof options, too–they’re my go-to “stealth snow boots” for days when I have to look professional after trudging across the campus tundra. (I’m also young…ish?–29–& I still think a lot of their styles are super stylish despite being hell of comfortable.)

  13. Jackie*

    I’m glad your foot is better, Alison! I found a great pair of Clarks bendables in March. I believe they are the most comfortable shoes I have had in years and cute too. Uneven pavement is less of a challenge to walk on when I wear these shoes.

  14. Jane*

    Congratultions! I feel for you. I tripped on July 21 and broke both my ankles. On day 3 in the hospital my boss called and demanded to Fedex my laptop and work. Anyway, I was out for 8 weeks (non working for the first 5). 3 moths later I am still using a cane but getting better every day. I had to give in and let people help too. Amazing how our life can change in the blink of an eye (or the slip of a step).

  15. MeganO*

    SO glad to hear your foot and torn ligament are continuing to heal. Walking is the best! Keeping my fingers crossed that you’re walking in heels again before you know it :)

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