I don’t remember the exact date when skirmishes with the foot turned into all-out war. One of the ‘major’ skirmishes happened back in 2012, when the main antagonist was Achilles Tendinitis. To make a long story short: I was running for a bus, something felt like it ‘shifted’, and I spent the majority of my shift with my shoe off, my heel on fire, and manning the Electronics counter at Target. Also got written up for “standing around”, but that’s a gripe for another day.
Another happened in June 2013, at a Minnesota Brass rehearsal. Felt my heel and the side of my foot ‘pop’, and there was a 3-alarm blaze in the foot. That sucked because I was already ages behind with field drill; I sat down the last 45 minutes of rehearsal.
Things had calmed down with the foot afterwards, for the most part… then came June 2016.
I spent a good chunk of 215 and 2016 making timed 2-3 mile walks, 2-5 times a week, throughout my neighborhood (see earlier blog posts about them). However, I started developing some intense pain around the ball of my right foot, plus my 2nd toe started becoming really painful. I cut back, then stopped, those walked a few weeks later, got some new shoes from my brother, and waited to see if that pain was just from a shoe issue.
It wasn’t and it didn’t stop.
To add to that fun, the heel started hurting but it was underneath the heel, not the back of the heel. It got to the point where wearing shoes was a problem; walking in the morning was ridiculously painful, and standing and walking at any time was, at best, uncomfortable. I’ve had a high pain tolerance but this got to be too much, so I, in September 2016, set up an appointment with my new general practitioner doctor at the University of Louisville Hospital
The War of the Foot had started.
My doctor referred me to a local Podiatrist in early December. After an examination and a set of X-Rays, he determined that I:
- had a possible torn Plantar Plate tendon (the cause of the pain underneath the ball of my foot)
- had Achilles Tendinitis
- had Plantar Fasciitis – still one of the MOST EVIL ailments around
- had “small but numerous calcaneal and posterior calcaneal spurs”: heel spurs
To turn the tide of all of that mess, he did the following:
- instructed me to get a Budin Toe Splint (for the Plate tear)
- gave me a PAINFUL but helpful Cortisone shot in my heel
- prescribed a 6 day Prednisone pack; he put me on another pack 3 weeks later
- recommended some stretches for the Fasciitis; also recommended that I get a splint or brace
- recommend that I get off of my feet
So, the forces of Good on my side are currently: Dr Ford and his staff; a Toe Splint (which I have to replace – lost it somehow); stretches; and a daytime Heel and Ankle brace. The Toe Splint and medicines have helped greatly with the Plate tear – I haven’t had much pain up there in a few days!
The heel ailments have been more difficult to defeat. There still is an obscene amount of pain. However, it’s not quite as bad in the mornings as before. I owe that to this brace:
This is a Plantar Fasciitis brace that can be worn in the daytime. While expensive ($75, after shipping), it does offer a lot of relief to the bottom of my heel. It is from BioSkin, called a “TriLok Brace.”
It is now late January. It’s not been a pleasant few months; right now, my shoes are a few feet away from my work desk (I’m on lunch) and I’m waiting another hour before taking a generic Tylenol (I cannot take anything else, due to being on Warfarin for life). The Plantar Plate tear is pretty quiet *knocks on wood*; the Achilles Tendinitis is still fighting but not as strong or fierce. The side and bottom of the heel are definitely still firing away, but the brace seems to be working. A 3rd trip to the Podiatrist is likely; Dr. Ford had mentioned that he might set me up for physical therapy if things hadn’t improved greatly. We’ll see. Getting time off to ‘stay off of my feet’ is next to impossible – “my foot hurts pretty bad” isn’t a reason that I think my bosses would let me off for.
The War of the Foot continues.