Tuesday, June 12, 2012

foot doctor and some simple answers

Yesterday was my appointment with the foot doctor.  It couldn't come soon enough, as this business of not running at all is wearing on me.  Right now the only exercise sort of thing I can do is ride the bike - there is too much pain involved in running, walking, or even just standing in an uninterrupted way on my right foot. 

Examination and x-rays determined that the problem is:  I have some arthritis in the top of my foot, in the 4th and 5th ummm I can't remember what those foot bones are called (but I did see the pics of the little jaggedy areas on my bones that are defined as arthritis).  Just for the record, I DO NOT LIKE THE WORD ARTHRITIS.  It makes me feel O-L-D and the young friend who made jokes about me using my walker WILL receive a kick in the shins from my darn old arthritic foot, the next time I see him!  

Nonetheless, I actually find it to be GOOD news.  After all, nothing is broken, nothing is torn, there is no immediate need for any surgery or weeks and weeks of time off the foot.  The doctor was very clear about not wanting to slow down my workout regimen at all.  What she has prescribed thus far:

1.  New running shoes.  I was all, "oh, my shoes are only like 6 months old, I'm sure it's not my shoes."  And she did some calculations based on my workout levels and promptly shot down that notion.  So I gotta do some running shoe shopping after I get paid this Friday.  She says my Mizunos very well may just be broken down enough to make the arthritis pain worse at this point.

2.  Better stretching.  I told her that I DO stretch.  She clarified that a real stretch should last A MINIMUM of 2 minutes - not the few sloppy seconds I take before I go.  She reminded me to stretch both before and after (I'm not so good about stretching after). 

3.  Ice.  She recommends icing after my runs.  That's going to add minutes amidst my morning and I'm not sure how to manage that, but hey...I'm willing to be VERY, VERY good about following orders, as she also mentioned in passing that the day may come when I might need surgery (and I hate the word "surgery" even more than I hate the word "arthritis.")   She also recommends ibuprofen as needed.

4.  No going barefoot, pretty much ever.  (I thought about this later, and realized it kind of means I need to ditch at least 2 of my pairs of shoes, which provide completely zero support - bummer...)

She has orthotic inserts she could sell me for $27 but she actually didn't recommend them yet - she thinks I can probably manage right now just with the tips above (and since she derives zero profit from any of those items, I find her highly credible). Meanwhile she rigged me this little thing out of foam and sticky ace bandage to for temporary support.

I asked her when I can run again - it's been 3 weeks and everything in me is protesting the lack of running.  She gave me this wonderfully easy advice:  if it doesn't hurt, go ahead.  If it hurts, stop.  Uhh.  I can handle that!  So I didn't run this morning, as my foot still does hurt.  I've got my temporary support thing on, and I'll go gently with my foot until it stops hurting me so much, and I guess I'll give that icing business a chance too.  

She expects me to recover soon enough to run the Bix - actually predicted I may be out running again within the next week.  That's pretty nifty! 

And a final note for the day:  all my adult life, my approach to dealing with pain has been to ignore it.  I don't go to the doctor just because "something hurts" - unless it hurts to the point of tears and/or debilitation.  Back when I was married, I went through a couple of years of a foot pain problem that left me hobbling and almost unable to walk for the first 10 steps or so pretty much every time I got off my feet for a little while.  I know others who have had that problem since, and they have gone to the doctor and gotten solutions.  I just gutted through because somehow that seemed right to me.  (On the other hand, when I had gout, I DID go to the doctor, because crying when the sheet touched my toe or screaming when the cat's tail bumped my foot was just too far past my limits.  I shouldn't suffer that problem again, as I only eat meat a couple of times a week and it tends to be the culprit for gout.) 

So my going to the doctor was way out of the box for the "old Karen" on this point.  And I'm telling you:  I could actually FEEL God's gladness and warmth and approval yesterday as I headed out for my appointment.  I'm assuming all that positivity from Him was an encouragement to continue choosing to love my body, as THAT was my motivation for stepping out of my box and into the doc's office. 

It all and always comes back to that central point:  God is teaching me to love my body.  If you didn't know:  God is a good teacher.

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