We went to see Dr. Holmes over at Michigan Orthopedics this morning and he was very clear - and it's obvious from the X-ray they took, which Bill has a picture of behind the cut tag on his blog - that Bill has a stress fracture in his middle toe. Interestingly enough, this wasn't the toe that Bill thought was injured. He thought it was his fourth toe. But the area that was most swollen was always between the two toes, and you can see the break and the knitting bone. Based on the healing done so far, the doctor estimated it might be healed to be able to walk on it like normal in no less than 4 weeks to one month, one or two months before Bill can hike again, and about three months before it's fully healed. His advice was ultimately the same as the advice Bill had gotten before, which was to stay off it until it doesn't hurt to use it and use comfort to determine use, but they also gave Bill some fancy inserts so his right foot has a pad under it that redirect pressure farther up the arch to take it off of the injured area. Hopefully that will help him heal faster.
So, we're definitely going to the Grinnell Reunion the first weekend in June. If there's someone going there who can give me a lift back this way, Bill may go on from there to do a road trip so that he doesn't keep going stir-crazy at the house like he has been. By the third week in June he should hopefully be able to hike short distances, and then we'll start seeing if we can't figure out a trail date for him to get back on the AT. I'd really like to see him be able to do that - he's been dreaming about this a long time and it would be great to see his dream of hiking the AT come true despite injury.
This weekend he's going to Trail Days in Damascus, VA, which is a weekend-long AT hiking celebration. I'm hoping it will help renew his determination to get back out there once he's back on his feet. In the meantime, please give him hugs and support, 'cause he's understandably bummed.