Friday, December 23, 2011

Past Deadline: Striving To Be the Rare Uncollapsed

You may have heard I have a sore foot. Possibly I have whined and complained somewhat incessantly about it.

Things are muuuuuuch better than they were. In August, I was basically lame. Now, after physiotherapy fixed a raging case of tendonitis and orthotics are teaching my feet how to be normal, there are lots of times when I can walk pain free.

To quickly recap, I developed a weird pain in my right foot in August. This led me to my doctor, then to a physiotherapist who determined I had a rather nasty case of posterior tibialis tendonitis brought about because the long arch was collapsing onto the tendon. It appears I have “severe biomechanical failure” in both feet, although the left one hasn’t gotten as angry as the right one. Yet.

As interesting as this all sounds (stop yawning), a collapsed foot is much more fun to talk about than it is to walk upon. So you can imagine how much fun that must be!

Anyway, physio helped tremendously and the orthotics are starting to make a difference. Still, the progress is slow. Even though it has been suggested that someday I may be able to get back into running, I am starting to have serious doubts.

At a recent event a couple of us were lamenting how much fun we were having (ha) now that we have entered our forties. One woman reported having hot flashes. I chimed in with the fact I now sport orthotics.

“I am starting to think that collapsed feet don’t actually get better,” I said.

A nurse was standing beside me. “No, no they don’t,” she said matter-of-factly.

Possibly a look passed over my face because she added the word “rarely.”

I have avoided checking Dr. Google on this matter because I am not sure I am ready to hear for certain that the jig is up – that my aspirations to be a prima ballerina are kaput and my dream of being a foot model for anything other than a medical journal is done.

Besides, I should put that week into context.

I am not terribly athletic. I continue to be amazed that I took up running at all. It is hard. I am not a glamorous runner. Sometimes it hurts. (Ironically, it usually wasn’t the feet that were sore, but I now know that the feet are connected to, well, everything.)

Anyway, the best thing about running for me is the fact it clears my head and makes me feel happy. All I need is 5K a couple of times a week to accomplish this. I also love running because I can go when my schedule allows it, which can be tricky.

The fact I haven’t run since July 24 – or even had a decent power walk – makes me cranky.

So on the evening of Nov. 27 I went on a super-fast, long-strided, loud-music-playing, orthotics-wearing, heart-pumping, 2.7K walk.

It felt sooooo good.

Even though I iced my foot as soon as I came home, I paid for it, as I knew I would. I don’t regret it, though. Besides, it was a new and different kind of pain, which was intriguing (when you are obsessed with your foot).

I was still paying for it when I had the conversation with my nurse friend.

I bounced back from that discouragement after chatting with my lovely physiotherapist a week later. I admitted to her that I had probably pushed the boundaries a bit with my mentally-therapeutic-but- pedalianly-abusive power walk.

She was undaunted, however, and has encouraged me to start a walking program – but to ease into it. (Duh.) I am also working harder on my exercises. These include such exciting things as standing on tiptoes while squeezing a small ball between my feet, as well as toe push-ups, which are harder than they might sound.

Most importantly, I am going to try to be more patient. My orthotics guy told me it could take several months before the bad days diminish. I am only about halfway into “several.”

With patience and a lot more toe push-ups, maybe I will be lucky enough to be one of the “rarelys.”

Published in The Perth Courier, Dec. 15/11

No comments: