Monday, June 22, 2015

Adventures in foot surgery

It's been 39 days since I had my foot surgery.  It's time to write the update.

I am not a fan of surgery, but sometimes that is what it takes to fix an issue.  For me, it has been nearly a year since I first started having foot pains I couldn't alleviate.  I tried the exercises.  I tried the cortisone.  I tried ignoring it (that never works by the way).  I even tried a smaller, more confined surgery.  No matter what I tried, it wouldn't go away.

Almost a year.

I couldn't believe it myself, so I went back through my blog posts.  The first post I mentioned my heel pain was July 17, 2014.  In August I had a small surgery to hopefully fix the problem.  It did OK, but was never fully fixed.  I figured it was about 70-80% fixed.  Dr. Foot was wanting 100% and wasn't impressed that we didn't get that. 

I figured I could deal with it.  The random stabbing pains had decreased.  I'm a tough girl and don't complain too much about being uncomfortable.  I really didn't want another surgery.

However, the pains continued and even got worse.  I began to lose track of how often I would get those random stabbing pains.  The first 20-30 steps every morning were excruciating.  I'm sure I looked like I was walking on a floor of nails, because that's what it felt like.  The first steps I took after sitting for any length of time felt just as bad.  My Wednesday morning yoga class was something I looked forward to, but also dreaded because I knew the pain in my foot would effect the quality of my poses.  I kept up with my daily walks because, contrary to logic, it felt better to be moving.

I went back to Dr. Foot a couple times.  He poked (how do they ALWAYS know right where to poke to make it hurt the worst?) and wasn't happy with what he was seeing.  He said I had tarsal tunnel.  The nerve had gotten fat and was trying to go through a slot that was no longer big enough for it.  He said it was like trying to put on a pair of jeans from high school.  It could be done, but it would hurt. 

The final straw was when he did an ultra sound of the bottom of my foot to see what the plantar fascia looked like.  Yup.  I had a really good (or bad, depending on your perspective) case of plantar fasciitis to add to my tarsal tunnel.  My fascia was swollen to 7mm.  That may not sound like much, but then consider that the barrel of a standard ballpoint pen is 8mm in diameter. 

Surgery was done May 14th to release both the nerve and the plantar fascia.  It was an uneventful day and the surgery went well.  Even though I had a later in the day surgery time (1:30pm!!) I survived.  I may have been a bit ornery about being hungry, but my blood sugars played nice.  I ran higher most of the morning (190-200) and didn't drop down into the low 100's until I was be wheeled back for surgery.

I did have a minor set back with an infection that set in at week 3.  An internal dissolving stitch didn't dissolve (there is always at least one that doesn't dissolve for me) and it began it irritate.  It festered and infected the lower part of the incision.  I was given a shot of antibiotics in the backside, a prescription for more antibiotics, and instructions to soak it twice a day.  It took the full 10 days, but the infection, redness, and draining went away.

The random stabbing pains are completely gone. *happy dance*  The excruciating pain with the first 20-30 steps in the morning has decreased to uncomfortable pain for the first 10-15 steps, and keeps improving.  It feels like I'm walking on a wad of sock that has been folded up under my foot, but I have been assured that that feeling will go away.  It is the longest part to heal and will take a couple months.

After all of this I feel confident in saying..


It's been a process to get here.  I've done a few walks to try and recondition myself so I'll be ready for the competition once July starts.  I'm quite a bit slower and am more tired at the end.  I'll get there though.  In that fact, I have full confidence... and determination.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Month 5 - A photo finish, with a twist.

Another month's competition is in the books and this one was CLOSE!!  I'm talking only a few hours.

After such momentum in April I was bound and determined to win May.  Neither one of us had won back to back month's yet, and I wanted to be the first.

Can you say Competitive much? 

I was walking, drinking my water, and doing yard work like a crazy woman.  By the end of the first weekend I was already at 17.48 miles.  The monthly goal was 50.  At that pace it would be a record setting month.

Then I went to my foot doctor appointment on May 6th.  This issue I had been dealing with for what felt like forever, was not improving.  In fact, it was getting worse.  The stabbing pain in my heal was happening more frequently.  To rule out, or confirm, additional issues an ultrasound was done on the same foot.  It showed that the plantar fascia was extremely swollen.  Dr. Foot agreed it was time to fix everything surgically.  There was no way to determine if the fasciitis would improve while the nerve was still constricted.  Since he had to go in to fix the tarsal tunnel (like carpal tunnel, only in the foot) he would fix the fascia at the same time.

Surgery was set for May 14th.

This severely cut into my time to finish the monthly goal of 50 miles.  This took 17 days away from me to get mileage in walking.  I asked Dr. Foot when I would be back up to walking my 2+ miles daily.  He said it would be at least 4-5 weeks.

AHH!!  4-5 WEEKS?!?!  That went halfway into June!  I knew it was for the best, but I was also totally bummed.  I had such momentum going.  I just knew this would set me back.

I had to refocus though.  I had a few days left and I needed to at least hit the goal for May.  I modified my walk path a little and  that consistently gave me another 1/4 mile each day.  I made sure I finished my water each day because I couldn't afford to lose a 1/2 mile.  We had dinner a little later so I could get my time in doing PiYo.  Finally, the Sunday before surgery, hubby and I spent 6 hours doing yard work. 

Sunday evening, May 10th, I sat in the garage for about 45 minutes mentally calculating where I was at.  My total was 48.97 miles.  I needed just a breath over one mile.  Another 32 minutes of yard work.  A trip around the block.  Not much at all, but I was spent.  I knew that I'd be getting a 2.25 mile walk in the next day and thought it would be in time.  I had been chatting with my best friend and I knew approximately where she was, and I felt secure.  There was no way she would be able to catch up to me.

Or so I thought.  Never underestimate the will of a competitive woman.  NEVER.

Monday morning came around, the alarm went off, and I was sore from all the yard work the day before.  I hit snooze.  I knew my walk was early-ish in the morning (10am) and thought I would still be okay and win. 


I was pouring my cup of coffee at 6:45 and I received a text stating "DONE!  50.29" with a picture of the treadmill showing 6 miles.  She literally beat me by 4 hours.  (She ended up reaching 105.93 miles for the month!!)

I went ahead and did my walk that morning.  It was 2.39 miles.  I reached the goal of 50 in record time.  I was proud of that but I was bummed that I couldn't have pushed myself just another 30 minutes the night before.  My husband was shaking his head at us.  He knew we were competitive, but didn't expect us to be quite THAT competitive.

Three days later I had foot surgery.  I will post about that soon.

Here are the totals I was able to achieve for May:

May (goal of 50 miles):
Miles walked: 20.78
Minutes exercised: 1359 = 45.3 miles
Water intake 22/31 days = 3.25 miles
TOTAL: 69.33 miles

June's goal is also 50 miles, but in light of the restrictions I have due to foot surgery, we are not awarding a winner for the month.  We are still doing our best to reach our goals but no prize will be sent.

July, however, has my name all over it.