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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Foot {Best News Yet} Update!

When I last wrote about my foot issues it was not a very positive post. If you're a new reader and have the desire to catch up to speed on my long, long foot saga you can read all the posts here. Or just wanna play a quick catch up then you can read my last foot post, from back in Sept, here. 

My last visit with my dr was in Sept and it was my first visit prior to having Tess. I was basically told that we were at the point of just pain management moving forward. I didn't feel okay accepting that. I started looking and asking around for advice on other options. One thing my dr and I discussed doing was an MRI. I had an MRI on my foot back in Oct of 2013 when I first started seeing this doctor. It was also a year following the beginning of my foot issues. I can't believe that this October will be three years of this! Anyway we discussed having another MRI in October of 2014. See if anything we'd be doing to it during this year made any changes in the foot. 


I decided to wait to get the MRI until the new year. We didn't meet our deductible in 2014 so I thought it'd be smarter to put it off and get it when it would count towards our new deductible for 2015. 

Over Christmas break I went ahead and cleared out my shoe collection. Even though I was still hoping for some type of "cure" to the situation, I was realistic in thinking I'd never probably get to a point of being able to wear heals again. And if I do? Then it means I'll get to go shopping!


There are a handful of times in life where I am in a situation and can truly SEE GOD in it. Like I know He's communicating with me in that very moment. Usually you can look back and say "yup, that was God" but it's rare (for me anyway) to be in the moment and see His hand. This MRI thing God was ALL OVER.

My first attempt at the MRI I went to get it done and it turns out my dr had written down for me to have a CT scan, not an MRI. The CT was about $800 out of my pocket and I freaked because I felt in my gut that he must have made a mistake. I ended up calling his office and having them pull him out of surgery to ask him about it and sure enough, he'd ordered the CT on accident rather than ordering the MRI I was supposed to have done. Of course they couldn't fit me in that day so I made another appointment to come back (once my insurance approved the MRI rather than the CT they had originally approved). 

When I went to the second appointment they didn't have my paperwork. It took awhile for them to get it from the dr office. While I was waiting I just had this nagging feeling. I mean first the CT scan mix up and then paper work problems? Then I sat down to fill out forms and had to sign off saying I wasn't breastfeeding. I told them that I am breastfeeding and they said that I'd have to pump and dump for three days after the MRI. I know that's not a huge deal but I LOVE feeding my baby and wasn't feeling too great about doing something that would cause me to have to dump that liquid gold! So as I'm debating this issue they go to run my credit card to pay for the MRI (which was $2,000 out of our pocket) and the credit card machine didn't work!!! Is that not insane? 

I told them that it was a God thing. I wasn't meant to have an MRI right then. So I left! They probably thought I was NUTS! haha! 

I did catch a glimpse of my paper work and what my dr says is my diagnosis for my foot:

I just really listened to my gut with the MRI and the steps moving forward. I had a LOT of input from others (thanks to the blog...yall are so awesome!) and I just felt like I needed to let God lead the way on this. He was truly telling me to straight up not get that MRI so I listened! And heck Zach was glad that God saved us $2000. ;) 

Something I really think my foot dr who performed my surgery dropped the ball on was post surgery care. I have always thought that I should have done some type of physical therapy. I looked into it some online and found that a LOT of people had success with it in breaking up scar tissue and inflammation, which are my two main issues. 

I called my dr and told them I needed them to write me a prescription for physical therapy. I'm sure they really think I'm a nut job. First I call to tell them I want an MRI. Then I call from the hospital to tell them to pull my dr out of surgery about the CT. Then I call for the missing MRI paperwork. Then I cancel the MRI and call to get physical therapy! Ha!

I went for my first physical therapy visit in early March (March 9th to be exact). I cried at the appointment. So now add them to the list of people who think I'm insane ;) I was at such a low place with my foot and had basically lost hope of improvement and this physical therapist was SO optimistic about my foot future. She felt confident that we could improve on things and it gave me such a renewed sense of hope. I usually just tried not to even think about my foot situation because it made me feel really, really down. I hold a lot of those emotions in and when she was so uplifting about it I just welled up with emotion and appreciation. 


I really appreciate Mrs. Charlotte's support with the physical therapy. It's a big time commitment and is something I can't take the kids with me for. My therapist had me coming twice a week for the first week and then once a week for every week following.

It's about an hour visit each time. We do several different things in the gym area. Walking on a treadmill, pedaling a bike, balancing exercises, stretching exercises, calf raises, and (my least favorite) picking up marbles with my toes and putting them in a basket. We also do some ultrasound stuff, some heating and/or cooling, and dry needling. Y'all. I LOATHE freaking needles. I actually have recently started using essential oils (someday I need to do a post about them) and will inhale one of them (stress away) prior to her coming in with the needles. It helps me BIG TIME to be able to relax.

Post needling

At my first visit I couldn't bend my toe under my foot at all and my flexibility was next to nothing. I had very little movement in my toe area and it was SO PAINFUL when she messed with it. And the needles? OMG I could have died. I cried out in pain! The needles are really cool though because what they do is tell the body to heal the area. Since I've had the injury for so long she said my body has stopped trying to heal it and by needling it it reawakens the injury. Makes sense! 

My current foot dr (who, btw, I haven't seen since that last visit in Sept) was very much about babying my foot. Being gentle with it. Living in tennis shoes. Protecting it. Preventing harm and pain. The physical therapist? She's all about finding that balance. She wants me to test it. To push it. To work through it. And it's working!

I have several exercises that I do at home. Again, lots of stretching type things. I will randomly throughout the day try to do them. Get up on my tip toes, bend my big toe under my foot, mess with my scar tissue while watching tv, etc. I even bought some marbles at the dollar store to work on picking them up with my toes :) I'm a good student!


Britt likes to exercise with Mommy :)



I still wore my tennis shoes 90% of the time when we started out. I was scared to push it too much. Casey and I had a girl's day to Gainesville and I wore my crocs for the day and it did well. I did small steps to wearing my good supportive cuter shoes (aka Crocs) for longer periods of time and more often. 


Each appointment I could really tell a noticeable improvement. Even Zach was impressed and didn't mind the cost one bit because he could tell it was working. My flexibility got WAY better. When she'd put the needles in they would go in smoother (less scar tissue). I wasn't needing to take any ibprophen. I stopped bringing my tennis shoes with me to change into when I left places. I was able to go for longer times in the crocs without lingering pain afterwards. It was all SUCH positive steps in the right direction! I legit didn't tell hardly ANYONE about my improvements. I just kept being scared that it wasn't going to be long lasting. 

Last summer I pulled out some thick soled Skechers Flip Flops that I had bought to wear to Disney on Kye's first visit. I was pregnant with Britt on that trip and wanted a good supportive flip flop for the days at the parks (this was during my pre-foot injury glory days when I could actually wear flip flops to Disney!). They worked great for the trip but weren't super cute or anything so they hung out in the back of my closet until I needed a supportive shoe to wear at the beach and pool last summer and I dragged them out. 

Rockin' the sketchers at MK!

As it started to warm up outside physical therapy was going well and I started to wear the sketchers flip flops more and more often. Y'all. It's currently June 10th. So I'm two days past the 3 month marker of physical therapy. I currently LIVE in those Sketcher's flip flops!!! My tennis shoes, which I used to wear from sun up to sun down daily, now live in my closet. I only wear them when I get on the elliptical or if my foot is bothering me and I feel like I need them. Is that not amazing?!?! I seriously am scared to even post this b/c I am nervous I will jinx myself for saying it "out loud!" Eeeek!

During these months I've been religious about my physical therapy appointments and have been surprised that I've had this many visits and still haven't spent nearly what I would have on that MRI :) I am not focused too much on a long term situation. Maybe someday I'll be completely "healed." Maybe I'll be able to wear any shoes I want and not give a second thought to my foot. But, maybe not. My main focus is on the day to day, and the current situation. And currently? Things are going GREAT with my foot. 

I love that my physical therapist is pushing me to try things and test it out. I decided to get daring one day and pulled my Crocs Sexi Flip (my favorite shoes of all time) out from my closet (no, I couldn't bare to donate them back in December with my other shoes!). They felt great while wearing them...so much so that I kinda got carried away and wore them all day. Bad move. I had the worst pain I've had in a long time and it lingered for several days and really made me get down. I was thankful for the pep talk at my next appointment and put the sexi flips away for awhile. I do plan to test them out at a slower pace down the road though. I ain't giving up on them yet ;) 


Currently I'm still in a shoe all day every day. I do go across the house barefoot from time to time. I typically wear my crocs ballet flats or crocs flip flops. I do find if I wear the crocs flip flops for too long that I may get pain so I try to put back on my sketchers when I remember. My issue with my foot is that it won't hurt at the time, but will have pain later. So I have to be mindful of what I'm wearing and doing with it and be more preventative! If I do have pain then typically wearing my tennis shoes for a day fixes it! I also learned to keep doing stretches and such even when I have pain...those stretches and exercises help even more when I'm hurting! 

My foot injury adventure began in Oct of 2012. I haven't let anyone come close to touching my foot since then. No pedicures. No foot massages. Nothing. I get nervous and uncomfortable and worried someone will hurt me so I just avoid the situation. Well, not anymore!

I've now had TWO pedicures and had ZERO pain!!!


For Mother's Day the kids and Zach got me a massage and when I went to the appointment I told the masseuse about my issues but told her not to be gentle with me (usually when I get a massage I tell them to not mess with that foot at all) and that I'd let her know if I was hurting. Well. NO PAIN! And no pain after either!!! 


My insurance approved for me to have 20 visits to physical therapy. Since I am making such HUGE improvements I talked to the pt and we agreed to spread out my visits. Once the kids stopped going to school childcare would be trickier and I also didn't want to "waste" my 20 visits. We decided to try spreading it out for 3 weeks between visits and to see how I'd do.

I had my first visit yesterday after the 3 week break. During that break I went to the beach twice (including walking barefoot once I got to the hard sand), have been barefoot in my pool, have worn my crocs flip flops many full days, have had the massage, have had lots of walking while shopping and such in non-tennis shoe footwear,  have had two pedicures. And I've only had a couple days of pain and maybe two times of feeling like I needed to wear my tennis shoes!!! 

I could tell I needed the appointment (the days of pain were actually the two days prior to my appointment time) and I was eager to go in. It went GREAT. The needling is still nerve-wracking for me but I can tell they slide in so easily. She's beyond impressed with my flexibility and mobility and the looseness of my foot. I can feel the small beads that are left of scar tissue but it's a MASSIVE change. Sometimes when I rub it I can't even find any scar tissue at all! 

We talked yesterday about my abilities with it. Since injuring it the only type of exercise I've been "cleared" to do is the elliptical or swimming in the pool. Yesterday she told me she thinks I'm ready to go walking. Even try some speed walking and really focus on the steps I take and pushing off on my toe (I'm having to basically relearn how to walk properly because my injury has caused me to put weight on my foot in a funny way to avoid putting it on the painful area). She said she does NOT want me to do any jumping yet but to start off with the walking and see how it goes.

Britt was a baby when my injury happened (she was Tess's age!) so I haven't been on a walk with my kids since then. I've never gone on a walk with Tess. I actually gave my jogging stroller to Casey because I figured I'd never get to use it. Well. I might be having to get that beast back!!!

This morning I was SO PUMPED to take the kids to the neighborhood playground! Kye and Britt played while I walked the track with Tess. I took it EASY and slow and only did three laps. I didn't want to push it too much with it being my first time and especially because we are going on a beach trip tomorrow and I don't want to start off vacation in pain. 

This is a view I NEVER thought I'd get to see!!!



The walk went GREAT. It felt amazing to be pushing my baby in a stroller like it was no big thing :) I had NO PAIN and have continued to have no pain all day (and it's been a busy day running around packing). This is a big moment for me and it's proof to me that I've made long lasting improvements in my foot abilities. I'm overjoyed and just SO thankful. I truly believe God has helped me overcome this obstacle and has guided me to the physical therapy. I know my foot issues may not be some huge big thing, but I believe that He helps us even in situations which may be considered minor to others. It makes my heart so happy that Kye has stopped praying for Mommy's foot. That we consider it a PRAISE and that I'm closer and closer to be able to race him again down the hall each night :) I firmly believe that the "foot future" is only going to continue on a positive path and I'm so, so thankful :) 

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