I'm walking through the a shopping centre without a care. All is well with the world. Suddenly with the next footfall I'm writhing in pain. Each footstep is incredibly difficult. I limp across the shopping centre, along a passage, out a door, across a carpark and into the car. As I do I realise that the pain is in the exact parts of my foot that hurt two years ago when I fell and sprained my ankle. It took me months to recover from that injury ... and here it is again out of the blue.
I limp off to see an orthopedic surgeon as last time it was suggested that I may have broken a bone in my foot. He quickly tells me that despite the pain and despite the swelling, there's absolutely nothing wrong with my foot. What I am feeling is referred pain from a problem with the lower back. As strange as it sounds, I come to terms with that.
A few days later I manage to get an appointment to see a brilliant osteopath in Dubai. Upon hearing my story he doubts the accuracy of the diagnosis. The upshot is that he is sure that the pain I am feeling in my foot is a result of injuries to ligaments and tendons. My back is fine. I look down to see that he is wearing a hard plastic boot; the same one he wore when I visited him two months earlier. He fell off his motorbike and fractured several bones when the bike landed on top of him. I figure he knows about foot pain!
So here I am about to set off on a walking tour of Europe with a gammy foot. Or is it a gammy back? I'm going with the foot.