Monday, December 1, 2014

Trying to Stand Firmly

Many years ago I had an accident and tore all the soft tissues in my left foot. It was swollen for months and I limped for a very long time after it was healed. I still do in damp weather. In fact these days I seem to be limping on one foot or another all the time.

At the time, I was sent to be fitted with orthotics and was told that the foot I had not injured was in even worse shape. I have no idea when it got that way, but twisting my ankles was a common occurrence in my youth. I thought no more about that, since that wasn't the foot bothering me at that time.

I wore the orthotics successfully for many years, but eventually the lovely lady who did my fittings retired from the business. I had to search for another place to get them.  I was very disappointed with that first set from the new place. They were flimsy looking, had a look of being unfinished, and they tended to tip me backwards. At my age, you don't want your balance thrown off like that. They remade them, but they still had that same problem so I gave up on them.  For the next several years I managed to get around without them, but then I started having a pain in my right heal. I went to see my doctor. She said I had developed plantar fasciitis in my right foot, sent me in for new orthotics.

The new set worked well for about a year. Then I started to develop a pain in the top of my right foot.  Once again, I was told I had plantar fasciitis, even though the pain wasn't in my heal this time.  A new set of orthotics were made, though the other pair were just a year old.

 It didn't take long before I developed a pain in my left knee. Now, I know that new orthotics often shift your weight enough to make your knees sore, and then your hips, before everything settles down, but in this case the knee kept getting worse until I could hardly get around at all.  It even hurt when I wasn't standing.  I started sleeping with a pillow between my knees just to support it so the pain wouldn't wake me up. 

I got some anti inflams but decided that foot pain wasn't as bad as knee pain and then took the orthotics out of my shoes.  That cured the left knee pain, but then I got a heal pain on the right side again. I got some Dr Scholls cushion heal protectors, but they didn't help. I decided that my feet definitely needed proper support, but since I didn't want a sore knee again, I dug out the old orthotics from the previous year, and put those into my shoes. Well,those made me walk on the outside of the left foot, and they have a lump under the right foot that made it feel like I had a big rock in my shoe. Pretty soon my feet were burning and hurting all the time. 

I wore the darn things to exercise class one day and then couldn't walk for 4 or 5 days after that. I have not been able to return to that class since. I have taken the orthotics out of my shoes again but I'm already starting to have that sore heal. I cannot win. 

I decided I needed to report in for some medical help. Today I got the official word that the orthotics didn't seem to be helping me and that we would have to try another route.  I am being sent for lazer treatments, to make the heal feel better. I wonder what good that will do, if we can't deal with the actual cause of that pain. Won't it just come back, time after time, just like it does when I remove the orthotics?

I don't drive, and have always kept healthy by walking everywhere. If I can't find a way to be able to get around, or do my exercises, I'm setting myself up for diabetes or a stroke. Both of those conditions are in my family.  This problem is suddenly aging me quickly, and I don't like it.

What ever you do, keep your feet, knees and legs healthy, for without them, everything else falls apart too, including your way of life.

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