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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Another {Foot} Opinion

I haven't done a foot update post in quite awhile. Ya know why? Because I was HOPING that I'd be done with foot posts for good. I have mentioned my foot in other posts but it's time for a legit update. I want to keep track of all of this stuff because my foot story has been quite long and pretty complicated at this point and writing it down helps me keep it all straight. It also gives me a place to vent and to record things to reference later.

I'm going to go ahead and admit right now: this won't be the last foot post. Sad but true.

So to catch anyone up to speed who may actually be interested in my foot saga. 1) Randomly hurt my foot A YEAR AGO 2) Finally got a diagnosis 3) Had surgery in APRIL.

Since April I've been slowly healing. In June when I went to Memphis with Casey I finally had that "a-ha" moment where I felt confident to say I was healed. I walked in flip flops a TON on the trip and didn't have ANY pain! YAY!

Then I went to the beach a couple weeks later and pain returned. And it returned in a scary way where I was nervous that I'd injured myself again or messed up my surgery somehow. I went from wearing flip flops and being barefoot to being in my tennis shoes all the time. It was the only way to avoid pain.

I gave it a little time because I thought maybe just a couple weeks of wearing tennis shoes and resting it and being careful would get me back on track, but I was wrong. I finally broke down and went back to my doctor. I saw a different doctor than who did my surgery because he was out that day and she did an x-ray and said I didn't do any damage to my foot. (Whew!) She didn't really say what she thought I had done or why it was in pain but just that I needed some steroid to help. They administered a cortisone shot into my incision and sent me home with an oral steroid. That shot was literally THE most painful thing ever. I told her mid-shot to stop, just stop. I couldn't handle it!!!

I followed her orders with the orals meds but I couldn't tell ANY difference after the shot or even after I did all the medicine. I had a follow up appointment and got to see my usual doctor that day. He said that often he has people who have my surgery and are 100% healed but then he clears them to run a marathon or something and BAM! they are in a ton of pain. He said he thinks I damaged the scar tissue when I was running around on the beach with the kids and all. He had an order put in for a special cream and told me he wanted me to apply that to the area four times a day for 4 months.

Yall can I just say I have some bad luck when it comes to stuff? I assumed I'd have the cream in a few days, maybe a week max. It took over one month to finally get it. And when it arrived? It says I owe $917 for a ONE month supply! Whhhhhhhat? I called and they were super, super shady and told me just to pay $20 and write them a note saying I can't afford the rest and I won't have to pay it. Is that not the strangest thing, ever?


At that point I was just frustrated. I felt very defeated and like 4 months of applying some super mega expensive cream probably won't make a difference in my foot. The company is out in California so the time change is so tricky to get them on the phone and dealing with them for almost 6 weeks to even get the 30 day supply of cream was a mess. I was just over it. And ready for a new perspective. I am NOT saying anything negative, at all, about my doctor. He's so nice and has been so helpful and I appreciate that. But I feel disappointed by my lack of knowledge on my situation, by response times from their office when dealing with my issues, and that my road to full recovery shouldn't be this long or difficult.

This week also marked the one year point from when I first hurt my foot. They say with most things that after the first year it gets easier. But when it comes to an injury, the realization that I've been dealing with this mess for an ENTIRE year just makes me angry and frustrated and super, super discouraged. I talked to Zach in bed the other night and went to sleep with it all on my heart. 

When I woke up the next morning (yesterday) I had a plan of action. First step? New doctor. Mrs. Charlotte helped me and I booked the doctor in town that could get me into his office the quickest. I called yesterday and had an appointment this morning. Pretty dang fast! I felt positive and energized this morning on the way to the appointment. A new, fresh set of eyes were going to see my foot and I felt sure that this would be the beginning to the end of the issue for me. 

I mean I even took a selfie. I never take selfies haha
The doctor today was so nice. So, so nice. I went over a very brief review of my year-long history. I like that he didn't have my records because he didn't walk in already having an idea of what was wrong, ya know? He truly was a fresh set of eyes! 

He did some touching on my foot. (Well actually both feet but when I told him my right foot was basically an awesome massage and that he could just keep on going with that...he stopped hahaha!) He pushed on certain spots and watched my reaction. Yall know me. I'm an EASY read for sure! The area around my incision is still tender. The area where my sesamoid used to be is a tad painful (I assume surgery still healing). My main source of pain is actually under my large toe. 

Basically I have an issue with the tendon on that toe. He said "I'm not going to tell you that you shouldn't have gotten that surgery" Um. So basically that was his way of telling me I shouldn't have gotten it, right? Ugh that was tough to swallow! He explained that the issue I have is very, very similar to a sesamoid issue and often confused for it. Lovely. Based on what I told him regarding my pain he did say he thinks my original issue was a sesamoid problem since it was in that exact location and since he never saw me prior to surgery he can say for sure what was going on at that point. But in looking forward...my issue isn't my foot. It's my toe. Which is kinda ironic b/c that's what I said in the very beginning of all of this!

I went into today's appointment wanting answers. Wanting a plan of action. Wanting a realistic idea of what my expectations should be. I know now what's wrong, the tendon in my big toe. How did I hurt it? He said there is no way to know. And that since I'm a stay at home mom and do majority of my walking at home and because I was always a barefoot type person that it's probably why it got injured (who said being a stay at home mom isn't dangerous?). 

What's the plan of action? He gave me two options today and I chose the aggressive option. I want this DONE. So he numbed me up like crazy time (literally put Novocain or something like it in my big toe to put it to sleep) and injected cortisone into my toe. They also did an ultrasound on it after to help get the medicine where it needs to go. Yall I am SUCH a wuss with needles. I usually have them bring in someone to distract me but he just put this screen up where I couldn't see and then he talked to me while doing it and it worked out fine. We bonded haha

In the time I had to wait for my toe to go to sleep I was by myself in the room and I just got super, super upset. It was one of those moments where I reallllllly didn't want to cry but I literally had no control over it. Legit. This poor doctor probably thought I was a crazy person. I was a HUGE wuss for the needles and shots and stuff (he even said "I usually don't numb patients like this") and then he came in and I was CRYING hahahaha. But I just had an overflow of emotions. This journey has been so tough and so long and so, so frustrating. I was mega embarrassed and apologized like crazy to him and he was very comforting. 

What does the future hold? I really, really appreciated his honesty. I wanted it. While I think optimistic people are awesome, in a doctor I don't want optimism...I want realism! However, sometimes reality sucks. 

He told me he can't promise me that I'll ever be pain free while barefoot or wearing non-supportive shoes. He told me that from now on he wants me to use the "60 second rule." When I wake up in the morning I have 60 seconds to be barefoot then I have to put on my sneakers. Before bed at night? I get another 60 seconds to be shoe free. That's it. 2 minutes a day. I know that for some people that's not a big deal but seriously for me it is. I hate wearing closed toed shoes. I'm a barefoot/flip flop girl. I don't like socks. 

Thankfully, he has a daughter so he "got it" when I was upset about the thought of wearing dang tennis shoes everywhere I go. He told me if I'm going out to dinner or to church or to places where I will be SITTING then I'm okay to wear ballet flats. Anywhere I go where I'm going to be walking though? Sneakers. Goodbye sexi flips at Disney. Goodbye looking cute at Publix for grocery shopping. See ya barefoot on the beach. Hello sneakers.

I told him I'm a rule follower and if he says I need to be in sneakers all the time for another whole year to be healed, I'll do it. He told me he can't promise me that I will ever be healed. (Whew, tears come just having to type that) But he was super nice about it and told me I should NOT feel discouraged and should instead feel encouraged. He said that if I can commit to ALWAYS wearing the shoes around the house that he thinks, with time, I'll be okay wearing other shoes other places. He said he's 90% sure that we can get me pain free. 

He told me from now on I have to be smart about my shoes. I have to be sure to always, always have the sneakers on around the house and to plan accordingly when going out places to have them on when doing walking type activities. He said being a young mom is a LOT on my big toe (no kidding doc!) and that just by wearing good quality sneakers around the house, at all times, I'll notice a big difference.   He also said to be gentle with my toe...don't try to do any stretching exercises etc.

For now the shot should hurt a lot over the weekend and by Monday he said it should start feeling better. I also decided to go ahead and keep the cream and use it for this one month. He said he hasn't ever heard of it really helping anyone, but I figure it won't hurt so why not try? He told me to leave his office and go straight to the shoe store. The tennis shoes I've been wearing around the house are actually from an outlet store I bought back in high school. So, yes, that makes them ten years old (I did get a laugh out of him when I told him that!). He said this certain shoe store in town would give me the BEST shoes. He said for my issues, the cushion is the most important thing and that Asics brand has the best cushion of any sneaker on the market.

I got most of my crying out while at his office but did cry some more when I talked to Zach. Who, by the way, was SO SWEET. He was like "baby, we will go on a date and go shoe shopping and get you as many cute pairs of sneakers as we can find!" Haha. I got to the shoe store (Hibbetts) and it was a hilarious situation. I told them the doctor sent me and the guy was like "okay here are the shoes you need." I asked him where the cute sneakers are and he laughed. When I explained to him my lack of sneaker knowledge he said "do you even own socks or should I add some to your purchase?" I got LUCKY and they had one pair left in my size. AND the good news is I can wear a kids size shoe too so when we go to our shoe shopping spree extravaganza I will at least be able to save some money ;) I also joined the Hibbetts membership club seeing as I'm going to be obviously spending a lot of money there (The guy who gave me the shoes said if I'm wearing them all the time then I'm going to need a new pair every 6 months. Yippie).

 Obviously my next stop is going to be at Target to get some no-show socks...

I am upset to be only 28 years old and to think that "cute shoes" are a thing of the past for me. I've always liked to dress cute. I've never, ever been a t-shirt and cheerleading shorts/yoga pants type of girl. It's just not who I am. To be transparent, I feel UGLY wearing the tennis shoes. It's a LOT of why I gained the 10 lbs I gained these past couple of months (sidenote: I'm on day 6 of the challenge and down 3 lbs whoohoo). I'm also upset that I've spent a year dealing with all of this and feel like I'm no better off than I was a year ago. Even after spending thousands of dollars on surgery. It's frustrating to be following "doctors orders" over and over again without getting results. 

Last night in bible class someone made the comment that we are always adding to our testimony. I have NO CLUE how God will use this situation for His glory. But I believe He will somehow and I have to stay focused on that. I do think that vanity is something I struggle with. Not in the sense that I think I'm super hott or something, but in the sense that I CARE what I look like and want to look my personal best all the time. I don't see it as a negative thing, but maybe it's preventing me from being as close to Him as I need to be? Maybe having to wear sneakers all the time will make me not care as much about my appearance and maybe that's a good thing? Maybe God just wants me to invest in some yoga pants? ;)

There are many, many positives to this situation. At least I'm a stay at home mom and aren't having to rock sneakers in a suit at an office or something every day. At least I'm not athletic and unable to do my athletic activities. At least no one ever takes pictures of feet...so I mean really who will know I'm even wearing them? At least I'm able to walk. I'm able to breathe. I'm not dying. I mean it could all be a LOT worse. Focusing on that helps me feel better about it. Also...I'm gonna be pain free! I mean that's DEF a blessing!!!

I can't think about "forever" with this situation. It upsets me too much. So instead here is how I'm looking at this: I only have a brief time when my body is MINE. Not pregnant. Not nursing. I've spent my ENTIRE "me" time with this foot issue. My goal? To put all the energy and effort I can into taking SUPER amazing care of my foot. Wear the sneakers. Suck it up. Rest when I can. Etc. Be a model patient. Sacrifice the rest of this "me" time. Keep it up throughout my next pregnancy. And while nursing. I mean my body isn't mine when I'm pregnant or nursing anyways so my confidence is already pretty low during those times, wearing sneakers won't make it much worse haha. But when I'm done nursing the next baby well that's my goal time to be DONE with this. Realistically we could be talking about a three year commitment from now. And that's okay. And truly, my long term goal isn't to be out of sneakers completely. I can accept what the doctor said about having to wear them around the house forever. I can accept that. My goal is to not have to wear them at all outside of my home. But I mean, who knows, maybe by the time my foot is healed and I can go without the sneakers I will have fallen in love with the yoga pant/sneaker look ;)

I go back in two weeks to check progress after the shot and after wearing my new fancy shoes around the clock. I'm praying for more positive news for the future! I also plan to ask at my next appointment whether or not wearing the sneakers is helping heal or is it just helping the pain. Because if the sneakers are just for pain management...well I'd rather be in pain when I go out in public than wear the sneakers haha. 

I'm very thankful I decided to get a second opinion and I'm thankful to have more of a plan of action than I have for the past few months!

If ANYONE has ANY insider tips for some CUTE shoes that have GOOD CUSHION let me know!!! I want the insider scoop ;)

4 comments:

  1. Hi, I'm sorry about your foot problems. I wanted to let you know that I have a friend that has major foot issues and she can't go barefoot at all either and was wearing tennis shoes but can now wear some shoes called FitFlops I think when she is out of the house. They are super supportive like a tennis shoe but look like flip flops. Maybe something for you to try. Also the girl on the blog musingsofahousewife.com just went thru trying to find some flats that didn't aggravate her foot injury and she tried tons of shoes and found some flats that can be made with a different insole to help her foot. The post was in the last week or two. I hope that helps. :) I also should mention that my daughter is 21 months old and her name is Britton which is so similar to your daughters. :)

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  2. I am delurking to let you know what I have learned about tennis shoes. I hurt my foot in college and can also wear kids sized shoes. After a year I was still in pain even though I was wearing my tennis shoes ALL the time. My foot doctor lit into me when he found out I had been wearing kids shoes because the support isn't as good and his words...."your foot will never ever heal if you keep wearing bad shoes".


    Just don't want you to waste your money if the shoes won't help.

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  3. Kristen KliethermesOctober 12, 2013 at 9:26 PM

    I am absolutely like you in the shoe aspect. Only I am completely flat-foot and so I hate any closed toe. Yes, that means unless it is snowing, I am in flip flops! Or those really cute suede slippers with the bows on them(I can't remember their darn names!) I am a cheerleader t-shirt/yoga pants wearer, but let me tell you that you could pull it off and look adorable! Also, with yoga pants/capris, you can make them look like "nice" pants and wear them with a dress type outfit!

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  4. :( :( :( I'm really praying that the shoes will help and that you will have COMPLETE healing without them very soon!

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Thank you for sharing your thoughts! Reading your comments makes my day!



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