Lent & Life Updates

It took me days to realize that WordPress ate my last post. The title seemed funnier than intended with no blog entry.

What I had written is that the No Negativity Challenge hasn’t been as challenging as I expected. I’ve been reframing things a lot–I’m sure it’s annoying to some, but it works. I’ve been lowering my expectations at times and putting things into perspective as well as giving up emotional investment in things that I can’t control and that have limited importance to me. Surprisingly, that’s been the most difficult part. I had a series of tech issues that slowed my productivity. I couldn’t control it and in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t matter–I had the opportunity to work from another office or bring in my personal laptop. But it annoyed me. Because, really, how difficult is it to quickly and effectively address a printing and network issue?

On the other hand, I had a significant health issue diagnosed which could compromise my weight loss and certainly changes any plans I had to start training for another race anytime soon. But, I’m kinda okay with it for now.

These are my heels. The highlighter shows where my heel bone should end. The white stuff that breeches that line are heel spurs which are causing me foot pain and aggravating my Achilles tendinitis.

They are big enough to suggest they’ve been around and growing for as long as 2 years. So probably since I started running or maybe even back when I was training for the Breast Cancer 3-Day.

How the heck did this happen? And why am I only figuring it out now?

I’ve intermittently had Achilles tendinitis problems. It flares up,
I treat it as I was originally trained to treat it and it goes away. It flared up when I increased my mileage, so I scaled back and increased slowly. I also stuck to treadmill running since it was easier to be attentive to my form and the surface felt better on my feet.

And then shortly after giving birth to Charlie it came back. This time, I assumed it was just ligament/tendon pain that is pretty common during pregnancy and just afterwards. Hormones can sometimes cause temporary ligament issues. So I waited. When it didn’t go away, I assumed it was because I was still carting around the baby weight. I treated the symptoms (anti-inflammatories, stretching) and just stuck to walking for exercise.

And now my son is 8 and a half months old and on the verge of running around the house himself, yet I am still in pain to the point where it compromises my day to day life. I haven’t been to the gym in months, I haven’t gone on lunchtime walks since early February, I’ve been selective in my shoe choices, I daydream about being to run again, I walk down stairs leaning against the wall and one step at a time–particularly in the morning when the pain is at it worst.

So I sucked it up and made an appointment with a podiatrist at the same medical group where I was treated for my back in 2008. And that’s when I found out I have significant bone spurs. There are two options to treatment:

1. non-surgical

2. surgical

I don’t need to tell you that I’m trying non-surgical first, right? It may not work (it will only treat the tendinitis–not the bone spurs) and it will require an overwhelming amount of patience and time, but it is worth a shot. Here’s the plan:

1. Get fitted for custom orthodics and a heel lift. This will lessen the pressure on the tendon, reducing the inflammation and growth of the bone spur. It will also mean wearing sneakers or open backed shoes or my Dansko clogs which is a shoe fashion limitation just short of tragic. No flip flops, no cute kitten heels, no patent leather flats. Ugh. Plus side: it justifies me purchasing a new pair of Dansko clogs and a clog-appropriate wardrobe for summer (because summer dresses would look frumpy with clogs–I’m thinking some nice light, wide-legged linen pants and blousy tops.)

2. An aggressive schedule of heating, stretching and icing that will take up to an hour twice a day. I’m not worried about finding time to do this at night–I can do it after Charlie goes to bed. Mornings will be more difficult. I may find myself getting up at 5:30/6am just to stretch.

3. Physical therapy: 3x a week for an hour each session. Not sure exactly what this will entail but it’s likely more than the stretching I’m already doing–perhaps massage, ultrasound and stim therapy.

4. No weight bearing exercise. Not even walking for exercise (although normal walking to meetings, around the house, etc. is perfectly acceptable). I can bike, swim and do the elliptical. No stairs, no speed walking, no running and no spinning (at least not out of the saddle stuff, since that would put weight on my achilles tendon). I’m already bored, but hoping it’s an opportunity to improve my swimming for future tris. (See! There’s that reframing!)

The doc says this could take three to six MONTHS which means I may not be able to get back into a running routine until September–and that’s only IF this works. It’s frustrating to say the least. I’m sure we’ll re-assess throughout my treatment plan and if progress isn’t happening, I’ll have to consider surgery. But, this is both feet. I just can’t imagine running around after a VERY active boy after having surgery on both feet.

I’ve got this little guy to keep up with–so it’s time to really buckle down and focus on health.

3 responses to “Lent & Life Updates

  1. I am so sorry to hear about your poor feet! It sounds like you have an aggressive plan for dealing with this situation and I wish you the best of luck. Having just had foot surgery 4 weeks ago, I sympathize. I seriously doubt they would do surgery on both feet at the same time since that would really make you immobile. But will the spurs continue to grow?

    Wishing you painless feet and pretty shoes! xoxoox

  2. 6pm.com for the Dansko clogs. Great prices and some cute options. Hope this non-surgical route is working.

  3. How are you?? I haven’t stopped by in ages to say hello! :D

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