I don't think I've said anything about this before, but I have bad feet. Or rather, foot. Specifically, my right foot.
This all started about six years ago. I had just gotten back from an orientation trip to UCI and I was utterly exhausted, so I took a nap on the couch. And woke up in the worst pain of my life.
My right foot exploded with agony. It felt like someone had taken a sledgehammer and furiously shattered every last bone in my foot. I couldn't do anything; I couldn't even touch my foot. All I was capable of was holding my leg around the knee and wailing. Kelly ran over, full of concern. Nothing like this had ever happened before. They* tried to touch my foot to examine it and attempt to find out what had happened, but I shrieked and yanked it away before they could get near it.** They was so worried that they very nearly called 911, but then the pain started to pass. A few minutes later, it was like nothing had happened. There were not marks on my foot -- no sign of trauma, no spider bite, nothing that would explain what had just happened. I think we shrugged it off as a fluke and tried to forget about it. Until it happened again.
One podiatrist said I have falling arches and made orthotics for me. Another noted a bone chip near the affected area, but said nothing about my arches. He wanted to do surgery to remove the chip. I consulted yet another podiatrist, who told me the surgery was just to make me feel better but likely would not resolve my problem. No one could convincingly diagnose the issue with my foot.
So I did what I could. I wore supportive shoes with customized orthotics, I avoided heels, I tried to baby my feet. Nothing seemed to help. These attacks have continued on and off since that first one 6 years ago. Sometimes I will go months between attacks, other times I get them several times a week. I've learnt to deal with it and wait it out. Stay calm, massage the foot, try to relax and go back to sleep.
Interestingly, this only ever happens while I am asleep. I have never once had this occur while I was awake. Wearing high heels, especially after wearing nothing but sneakers or lower heels for a while, seems to be a good predictor for an episode.
I had a dream several mornings ago in which my foot hurt horribly. It was so bad that I sought out a friend who would do anything to help me. That friend, for whatever reason, was Gabe. After what felt like hours, I finally found him and pleaded with him to help me. He reluctantly agreed.
I don't know where we found it or if I already had it, but we got a big, curved knife and, without any anesthesia, he began to cut in to my foot to remove the affected portion.
Then I woke up.
Usually, the pain is bad enough to wake me up. I had never before had it actually invade a dream. Especially not to the extent where my response was to hack into my own foot to cut out the broken, poisoned, necrotic tissue.
*Kelly is my sister, but they doesn't identify as female. Nor does they identify as male. Their preferred pronoun is the singular form of "they." This might seem a little awkward, but they are entitled to this and I am attempting to work it into my vocabulary for their sake. They's lucky I love them so much. :) (Side bar to Kelly -- am I using these right? Singular they feels weeeiiird.)
**Pain doesn't usually make me cry. Even when I nearly broke my wrist earlier this year, I didn't cry. When the cat attempted to amputate my finger, and I didn't cry. My normal reaction is "EFFFF..." then I hiss and hold still until the pain passes. I hardly ever shed tears due to physical pain. So when I do cry because I am in pain, that means that I am in absolute agony.