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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Foot Issues Continue

This morning was a day I've been dreading. I have literally broken down into tears anytime I've even thought about this appointment. 

Just to bring you up to speed...when we last left off with my foot I had a shot in it prior to our Disney trip and it worked GREAT! You can read about my follow-up appointment after Disney here. After that appointment I went on a huge hunt for spring shoes that would give me enough cushion to be comfortable but not be super mega ugly either. I ended up doing a TON of ordering from Zappos. Who were amazing, by the way. I read reviews, got advice, and then ordered over $800 in shoes to do my own try on session at home. I returned them all and then deal hunted and found a good price for the shoes I thought worked best. 


 Britt LOVED trying them all on with me :)
I was very, very surprised to find out that CROCS actually made the most comfortable shoe for my issues. I had assumed I'd be spending over $100 per pair in order to find appropriate support and cushioning. I had assumed I'd be rocking some "old lady" orthopedic shoes. But, instead, Crocs came through :) While they aren't ballet flats that I would ever buy off a shelf...they are much, much better looking than wearing tennis shoes to church and events and such. And were much, much cheaper than I had anticipated (I got them for under $30 each!).  I ordered a couple different colors in the cap toe flat and kadee. The cap toe flat are the best ones as they offer the most cushion, but the kadee works too! I was super surprised how well they fit (I had to get a size smaller than usual) and was surprised by all the reviews from people with foot problems and how they were the best shoes they found! If you have foot issues...check out Crocs for sure :)
For awhile I was still feeling good. I followed drs orders and wore my tennis shoes majority of the time. I will wear them in the car then when I pull up to an event I will change into my Crocs in the car then when I get back in the car I will change back into my tennis shoes. I've become very fast at shoe changing...even with a big pregnant belly in my way ;) 

The first weekend in April (so roughly 6 weeks post-shot) we went to Orlando with Zach's family for the yearly family vacation. Obviously I was going and doing more than I do typically. I did my best at wearing the tennis shoes but did not want to wear them out to eat and such. On one of the full days there we ate out for breakfast at a buffet so I wrote the Crocs. Then I changed back into the tennis shoes and that night we went to a pizza/game place for dinner. I, again, wore the Crocs. Even though we hadn't had an overly busy day and even though I didn't wear the Crocs all day long...my foot hurt. Badly. Badly enough where I ended up crying. Like the kind of tears that I couldn't stop from coming. And it hurt bad enough where I literally couldn't push through it. Which is the worst! I can suffer through pain and keep on going but my pain was bad enough where I just couldn't push through and instead had to sit the whole time and not get to walk around watching the kids play. I was devastated.

I debated moving my foot appointment up but decided to keep it the same because, honestly, I just didn't want to face the news. My hopes had been high after the shot. I had been doing SO well and I just felt totally deflated and completely at a loss. Honestly, this foot had caused me to question my faith in ways that nothing I've ever experienced as done. Even the hurt with my family situation hasn't ever made me question God or feel like I'm losing faith. But this foot sure has! 

In the weeks since that trip my foot is pretty much back to how it was prior to the shot. If I wear the tennis shoes, I'm fine. Unless I do too much and then it hurts, even with the tennis shoes on. If I wear the Crocs at all my foot hurts. Typically if I have pain and go to bed at night I wake up feeling refreshed and pain free at the start of the day. Unless I way overdid it and then the foot will still have lingering pain in the morning. My life revolves around my foot. I try not to walk any extra if I don't have to. I'm 29. I'm about to have my third baby. I can't live like this forever!!! 

This morning I fully expected to lose it in the drs office. I even told the nurse to warn the doctor that he would probably be seeing a crazy hormonal sobbing pregnant patient. I have cried many times leading up to this appointment and am still pretty shocked that I didn't shed a single tear today! I honestly just adore my doctor. It's probably b/c I have some daddy issues and he's the appropriate age range to fit that role? But he just calms me down. I told Mrs. Charlotte if I could go visit him every week I probably would have a LOT higher spirits and better overall attitude about this whole mess! I think God blessed me with this doctor and knew he was who I needed to help me :) 

When he walked in he said "how's everything going?" and I said "everything is awesome...except for my foot." And he said the d word hahaha It was the longest and most thorough appointment I've ever had with him to date. He actually went over my entire chart. Y'all. That thing is a BEAST. We talked about everything from the beginning until now (and yes, I couldn't remember a good bit of it...I mean this all started in Oct 2012!!!). 

Basically he said the most frustrating thing for him is that we don't know the cause of all of this. He said someone with my level of injury usually gets it from pushing a car on their own out of the mud or something. Like a major trauma to the foot. He said he'd expect someone with this injury to tell him that they had jumped off a two story building. Me saying I just randomly started hurting is super, super odd. You know me...randomness is my middle name ;)

My surgery was done to remove my sesamoid. He said it was good to see all the things we tried prior to removing it (I wore that boot forever, I had shots in the foot, I had physical therapy for months...) but that the notes from the doctor when he removed it said it was highly inflamed whereas the notes from the pathologist said it was just mildly inflamed so thats a little concerning. Honestly, my gut says that the sesamoid wasn't the issue and that when the other doctor removed it he just said it was bad to cover his butt. Pretty much all my issue now is actually caused from the sesamoid being removed. Lovely huh?

He went over all my MRI reports and explained to me how my ligament sheath is filled with inflammation. When he gave me the shot last time he focused like ½ of the amount of medicine in my main area of pain. Which is actually under my big toe. The other ½ he divided up into the two other painful areas (both in the ball of my foot area). He said what he thinks needs to happen with the next shot is to put ½ of the medicine in the place where the sesamoid was. Rather than attack the pain, we need to attack the source of it. Then he'll put the other ½ spread out in the other areas. Hopefully by concentrating it in the source the shot will work better this time for a long term healing. 

I was down to do another shot today, but we decided to wait. I have a LOT of stuff this month and am going to be very busy. Plus we are going to the beach which is where I injured my foot after my surgery last time. To give the shot the best chance at helping we are going to wait until early June to get it again and that way I can wear my tennis shoes majority of the time and don't have any major plans to be super busy so my foot can hopefully just HEAL. 

IF I wasn't pregnant he said he'd like to give me an oral medicine to take daily to hopefully help with the pain and to break up that inflammation but that it's not even something he'd feel comfortable with giving me while I'm nursing. I told him I will be nursing for at least an entire year after this baby comes...so we are both hopeful to have this resolved prior to the time period I'd be eligible for meds!

Zach and I have felt like maybe my issue has to do with scar tissue? The doctor completely eased my mind about that which was great news! He said it's def not a scar tissue issue. He said he is very proud of me and how well I've handled this tough situation and all I've been put through with it (again, he just lifted my spirits!) and he hates that he can't tell me for sure a timeline of when it will get better or even if it will for sure get better. He still has tricks up his sleeve to try and he does feel like we will find a solution.

Today we went ahead and had a cast made of my foot. He drew on my foot with a pen and that got trasnfered onto the cast so the people can make a custom insert to help with my issues. I said something to him about how his job is mostly by feeling and he made a "that's what she said" joke haha. Classic ;) The custom insert should be a big help! We only did my "bad" foot (formerly known as my left foot) for now. We may have to do a matching one for my right foot but he hopes that the other inserts I have on that foot will keep it level with my left. Balance is important for sure!


The insert ain't cheap and it ain't covered by insurance (hello $225...) but it lasts for years and it's custom for my needs. He said when I walk it will help keep my area of pain from pressing down as far so I should have less pain while wearing my tennis shoes. AND that by wearing them all the time with the insert it should help me be able to wear my Crocs from time to time with less pain as well. Our goal is for this to be the only insert I need...I plan to be healed before it wears out in a couple years :)

I had him look at my Crocs and he was impressed with the amount of cushion they provide. I asked him about the beach trip coming up and he said to wear my tennis shoes in the soft sand but once I'm down on the hard sand that I need to change out and wear thick flip flops that give me that cushion. He also said to find a thick cushion support for the pool. I asked if I need to replace my shoes since I wear them every day and have had them for awhile now and he said no. He said the shoes I wear are really only about 5% of my issues and that, for now, just to keep wearing those tennis shoes. 

I had a few blog readers point out that I have had a good number of shots at this point and that it's not safe to have so many? I asked him about that and he said it's fine and I do trust him. I told him I got "shot up" quite a bit at my last dr and he said he still feels okay doing another shot but that the healing from it is why he waits every 3 months to give them. 

My new insert should be in around the first of June which is also when I plan to do the shot. Our next plan of action is to have me get another MRI in October. I had one last October and by having one again this October he will have a great comparison of how it's changed over a year. He said if the inflammation is way worse then we may need to discuss surgery options but that it truly is a last resort scenario for him as he doesn't want to open me up again and mess with it. I did ask if he does do surgery can't he give me some more cushion support too? I mean girls get butt implants...surely they can do foot sole implants? He laughed so I take that as a no? haha. 

Overall it was another round of guessing and checking. Trying another new thing (the insert) to see if it helps. Making more plans down the road for more potential solutions. It's a frustrating thing to always be trying something different. It's a roller coaster of emotions dealing with this situation. I get temporary relief only to be brought back down and back into pain again. 

I do feel better knowing that it's not scar tissue and knowing that they are other things that may help rather than just needing surgery. Now I need to go on another shoe hunt for pool shoes and flip flops ;) Any suggestions???

Some friends also suggested that maybe I should see a chiropractor and that it could actually help? I'm not sure how that works with pregnancy and if that's something that could help my issues with my foot? I'm def down to try anything at this point!!! 

Thank y'all for the continued prayers for my healing. And especially thank you for listening to me vent about it. It helps me to sort through it all and I am trying to remain hopeful and faithful that full recovery IS possible for me!

3 comments:

  1. Kristen KliethermesMay 7, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    I have heard nothing but great things about chiropractors. However, everyone I have talked to have said that it is important to make sure they xray you before every appointment. Being pregant could pose a problem with that. But definitely something to look into!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A chiropractor might really be able to help you. Every time I go he has to adjust my foot too because I have been having unexplained pain--it usually has to do with my hips/pelvis/knees being out of whack. Chiropractic care is fine when you are pregnant, actually beneficial even! Some chiropractors do a laser therapy that I've heard works absolute wonders on people feet. I'm all about doing anything I can do naturally before thinking about meds/surgery. Hope you get some relief!
    (Also not even knowing you, it's crazy how anxious I am to know if you're having a boy or girl! Ha!)

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  3. Hi Emily, Wow, so reading your story, I thought you must be talking about me because I've been going through the same thing over the past two years.
    My issue started slowly with pain in the bottom area of my big toe so the first podiatrist I saw suggested it could be the bunion I had starting (barely noticeable but would obviously get worse over time). Since I was out of work at the time, I figured why not get the surgery now and solve the problem asap. So that's what I did in May 2012 and unfortunately that never resolved the issue. A few months post surgery when I was supposed to be in the "healing" phase and feeling less pain, I was still having problems and the pain was under my big toe area. It was nothing I could touch and say, yep, right there, but rather this achey sore feeling when I walked on it.
    My initial doctor recommend removing the screw from the bunionectomy since it was placed where I was feeling pain (and does sometimes hurt people) so I did that which was an in-office procedure. After a few weeks, not only had the pain not subsided but I had gotten a seroma where the screw was removed (even longer story!).
    The podiatrist I started seeing when I moved to DC was sure it was sesamoiditis and so we started with conservative treatment - orthotics w/ dancer's pad for support, PT, cortisone shots, wearing non-stylish "comfort" shoes everyday. Some days were better than others but the pain persisted. Shots helped but after a few weeks the pain returned. So a few months ago we decided to do a fibular sesamoidectomy. I really wanted that to be the problem and that the surgery would take away the pain and I would be all better but three months out and I'm where I was two years ago. I was skeptical because deep down when they manipulated by sesamoids, it never hurt directly like I've read online when other people have commented on it. But what else could it be? My doctor was out of suggestions and this seemed a reasonable explanation (x-ray and MRI found no fracture or necrosis).
    My sesamoid was removed and according to my doctor it was rough and arthritic so obviously not in good shape. My two sesamoids had started to fuse so they had to break through the bone to separate them.
    Last week, after a few weeks of pain on the top of my foot, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with a stress fracture (left side near 3 metatarsal). It appears I've been distributing my weight to the left so much to take the pressure off the right that I've stressed it to the point of fracture.
    All this to say, I hear what you're going through and hope your next phase of treatment is successful. I look forward to your updates and at least know I'm not alone because it can be so frustrating to try, wait and see and realize, no, not this time - try again!

    ReplyDelete

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



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