Well, there's good news and not so good news. And I'm pretty bummed out at the moment.
I've been taking my NSAIDs and doing my stretching exercises and icing my foot for the last two weeks. The pain in my heel and plantar fascia has been decreasing, but is not gone. I continue to limp a little, not so much from the pain of walking, but in more of a 'protective' move to avoid the pain of walking. I still can't raise up on the balls of my feet on the left foot without a stabbing pain in the heel.
But, it's a LOT better that it was two weeks ago.
Last Friday I had a massage therapist work it over and for a few hours afterwards I walked with no pain and no limp. I have another session scheduled for Wednesday. She said she can have me hiking in two weeks.
Today I had my follow-up visit with my Podiatrist. He was pleased with my progress, but doesn't want me hiking just yet. Since it's too soon following my cortisone shot for another one, he prescribed a series of Prednizone (steroid anti-inflammatory) and now he wants to see me in ANOTHER THREE WEEKS! If I am not limping then, he said he will sign off on my getting back on the trail. I must continue to stretch the PF, Achilles Tendon, and Calf muscle to get all that tightness out of there.
I know I like my Massage Therapist's optimism a little more.
In the meantime, all I can do is dream of getting back on the trail and continuing my AT adventure. And I follow the reports from my hiking friends with great envy as they continue to hike north and get further and further away.
Assuming I get the okay to return to the trail in three+ weeks, my current thinking is to go back to where I left the trail in Glasgow, Va. That's mile 777 northbound. I would then hike to Harper's Ferry, a stretch of a little more than 200 miles. IF I can do that without a PF relapse, then I will fly up to Maine, hike up to Mt. Katahdin and then follow the AT southbound to get to Harper's Ferry. It's called a Flip-Flop - and while not the typical way to do a thru-hike, it is well known as a viable alternative to a more normal south-to-north or north-to-south hike.
Time will tell whether I can pull this off or not. If not, there's always next year!