Back in a Boot

>> Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Two weeks ago (before heading to Mexico last week), I had another podiatrist appointment. I sought out a new podiatrist as I didn't care for the last one I saw. (Here's an old timeline of my pain earlier on in Aug through Nov.)

My current PT recommended him, and she told me to reach out to him first. So (as a way to catch all of you up as well), I sent him this note before we met:

Hi Dr. O-

My PT (Jessie Stevens) said it could be helpful to touch base before meeting with you on Wednesday morning. She's at a loss for my situation. I'm looking for a 8th set of eyes on some foot pain.

Brief story:

I'm a runner and triathlete. I had some pain creeping in on the inside of my left foot in early August. (I had a great 12 months leading up to that with consistent training - I didn't do anything "dumb" to bring this on.) I tried to massage it out but realized something was wrong. I stopped running and sought help. My A.R.T. Doc tried loosening things up, and figured it was no big deal. I saw the Podiatrist Dr. Bobbitt on Oct 1st, and she told me to stretch more and see at PT. (I knew more stretching wasn't the answer because I'm strong and flexible.) Three different PTs (at 2 different orgs) all said I had all the strength and flexibility I needed. I stopped biking in Sept. I tried taking 4+ weeks off from swimming in December (so not swimming, biking, OR running), but that didn't help. I even tried running a bit again in Nov (at Jessie's recommendation), but that hurt it. It didn't set me back because it just always hurts.

I had an MRI on Nov 13th that showed something, but not much. I think you'll be able to see the read on that.

I've had 4 treatments of iontophoresis, acupuncture, tried stretching MORE (at the podiatrist's recommendation), tried stretching LESS (at PT Jessie's recommendation), wore my shoes more, wore my shoes less, wore a "night split" for 6 weeks, tried rigid strapping tape, tried kinesio tape, tried a ibuprofen regimen for 2+ weeks (as "prescribed" by my pharmacist wife: 600-800mg 2-3x each day), iced, heated, and had a steroid shot. I've tried "toe yoga," golf ball rolling my foot, suction cupping techniques, gel heel lifts, metatarsal pads, and got new orthotics from HCMC. Nothing's helped. (Well, the shot felt great for about 48 hours.)

I stopped doing all weight-bearing leg exercises early on, and I try to stay off my feet as much as possible (while stilling trying to have a "normal" life with my boys). Just standing hurts - like when I just stand and cook in the kitchen. Nothing's working. I'm still in pain daily (most moments of every day). Not MAJOR pain, but pain that tells me I can't be running or biking, and pain that keeps me off my feet.

Sorry, that was a bit of a book. Just wanted to give you a little "heads up" for Wednesday morning. Thanks!

He had talked to Jessie and read up on me before we met 2 weeks ago. And he suggested "THE BOOT" for after I got home from Mexico. (I had a boot from when it went on at the end of March in 2016, then came off after 2.5 weeks [cute pics of my boys in that post], and then went back on and off a few weeks later.) So on Monday morning, I woke up and put this on:

Posted with the caption: "I forgot how much I hated 'the boot.' Truly.
But it was time to try something more drastic for my foot pain.
So it’s the boot and some strong drugs for a while."

And a related sidenote:

Seriously, good timing Angela! Thanks!

The "steroid pack" that I was to start when I put on the boot came with a warning: it would really "get me going" and "amp me up." I had to start with 6 pills on Monday, then 5 on Tuesday, on down to 1 pill 6 days later. The directions told me to take them throughout the day, but EVERYONE I talked to (including my pharmacist wife) said to take them more on the front end of the day so I'd have a chance at sleeping that night. Dr. O even said to take them ALL a breakfast if my stomach could handle it. Here's my steroid pack after taking 3 at breakfast on Monday:

Here was my update yesterday morning:

I slept fine! I was just a little "high strung" in the afternoon after taking 3 more pills at lunch.

So YES, there's GOOD NEWS in those last comments. I went to bed on Monday (day 1) with VERY LITTLE PAIN. And I woke up with VERY LITTLE PAIN on Tuesday. During the day yesterday, it felt the best it has since this started in August. Like I said, I don't know if it's the drugs, or the boot immobilizing things, or really trying to be off my feet more, or just being slower and more cautious in the boot that's helping, but SOMETHING seems to be moving in the right direction now!

I'll take the boot for MONTHS if it means I'm running again soon!


Emily W 1:48 PM, January 29, 2020  

What a crazy adventure. I will hope that 8th time's the charm.

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