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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

3 Years: {Final} Foot Update

This month marks the THREE YEAR anniversary of my foot issues. Yeah. Some super awesome anniversary to celebrate right?!?! I know these posts aren't all that exciting but I do love that I have the entire thing written down. It's been amazing to see the way God has been there with me through this and has guided me in how to properly care for my foot. 


Last we left off I wrote this post in June filling everyone in on how God spoke to me louder than He's probably ever spoken to me regarding NOT getting the MRI on my foot and instead going for physical therapy. Man, that was SO huge as physical therapy ended up being THE missing piece of the foot puzzle. 

My insurance covered 20 visits for physical therapy. I started off going once a week and then went down to once every 3 weeks. It was making a HUGE difference for me with my pain. I had exercises to do each day and the difference I was seeing was like night and day. I love that they were all about USING my foot rather than babying it like I'd been doing the past 3 years. 

I really, really hate needles but man the dry needling was legit. I'd get it done on most of my physical therapy visits. The very first time it was SO painful but the longer I went the less inflammation my foot had in it and the less painful it became. I never watched but I did have my physical therapist take this pic for me (ignore my awful pedicure haha). 


Even just going once every three weeks I was still seeing such an improvement. This summer was BUSY and my foot didn't slow me down a bit. I had a BIG set back on the Parker family trip and it really, really scared me but it was also a valuable lesson. The sand is no joke on feet. I have to be SUPER careful and not carry so much and not overdo it when it comes to the beach. When we went on our little family trip in July it did great! No pain or issues at all. 

I have learned that THE crucial key for me is ICE. I have a large bag of frozen vegetables and I ice my foot nightly. On our beach trip I iced it during naps and each night. It really helps minimize the inflammation and we have concluded that my pain is a result of my foot becoming inflamed. Basically...ice is my new bff. 

My foot not only did well at the beach, but it continued to do well following that trip. Casey and I took the kids to Atlanta and did the zoo one day and the aquarium the next. It was a TON of walking. I wore my thick flip flops to start off the zoo day. I paid close attention to how my foot was doing (it's a lot of hills at the zoo plus pushing the stroller ain't no joke). I ended up putting my tennis shoes on about halfway through the day. I didn't have ANY lingering pain that night and was able to wear the thick flip flops the following day to the aquarium without any pain either!



Over Labor Day we went to Disney (posts coming up soooooon!). I did want to try out wearing my thick flip flops. We did one day at the park and stayed from open till close. I KNEW I wouldn't be able to go all day but I wanted to just see how I'd do. I lasted until lunch time which was still pretty good for Disney! I ended up putting on the tennis shoes and even with them I did start having some pain as the day went on. Zach wore a FitBit and we figured out that I walked around 12 miles that day...to only have some pain is pretty awesome! We got home really late that night and I was exhausted but I still stayed up to ice my foot. It made the difference and my foot pain was minimal for the next day! I was even able to wear the thick flip flops for a day filled with walking two days later and was fine!




September was a very busy month and I only went to the physical therapist ONCE. I went following our Disney trip and it def was needed. I can tell when I need a visit and the pain will linger for a few days and nothing I do helps. I def did have some pain after all the walking from Disney and one visit put me right back to feeling good. I went on a girls' trip (again, post to come!) with Casey and Keeli to the beach and didn't even bring my tennis shoes. I did bring the ice and did use it and did great!


I even carried a ton of luggage to the car haha no pain!


After our girls' trip I did have some random bruising under my big toe of my hurt foot. It was sore but not too painful? Very random and I don't know if it was related to my foot issues or not!



I was planning to go back to physical therapy prior to my second Disney trip of the month but I ended up getting strep and couldn't go. I was nervous about how my foot would do but it did great! I wore tennis shoes from the start b/c I didn't want to carry them around with me at the park. I did bring ice but then we didn't have a freezer in our hotel room so I couldn't ice it that night. I popped some ibuprofen and felt fine the next day! 


Following the second Disney trip I felt GOOD going into physical therapy. I hadn't been in a month and had a SUPER busy month and still didn't feel like I "needed" it. We didn't even use needles during my appointment. By that point I was pretty much not doing any of the exercises. I know when I have pain to stretch it but for the most part I just make sure I ice it every night and I'm golden.

At the time of that visit I had used 15 of the 20 visits for the year my insurance would cover. I talked to the physical therapist and she agreed: it was time to say goodbye to regular visits. I'm officially CLEARED from physical therapy!!! I have the visits left if I run into any pain and need to use them but otherwise no more visits for me! CRAZY!!! 

I did good holding back tears when I thanked her for all she has done for me. She doesn't even have a CLUE the game changer she's been in my life. We talked a lot about the future and she said I will probably always need to ice my foot but that the WANTS me to push it more. Try out different shoes. Up my activity levels. Just see how things go and push those boundaries. At this point she is confident that my foot progress has "stuck" meaning I'm not going to suddenly back track to my old issues. That is HUGE! 

The very first thing I wanted to do was race. When my foot injury first happened Kye was around 3 years old and we used to race ALL THE TIME. It broke my heart when I couldn't do that anymore. I've never raced Britt her entire life and she's now almost 4. That very afternoon while we waited for Kye to get off the bus we had our first race :) I beat her the first time around ;) It felt GOOD to run! It was scary b/c I'm so used to holding back and babying my foot. It will take some getting used to for me but it was such a great feeling to be running and laughing with my daughter. It's all I've wanted during this foot ordeal: to be able to play with my children. I'm truly so thankful for God's healing hands!


I've been cleared from physical therapy for about a month now. We've taken one big trip (y'all are just getting all kinds of sneak peaks into future posts in this post huh?) and it was to Stone Mountain. I packed my tennis shoes but didn't wear them and went in the thick flip flops all day at Stone Mountain Park. I was hurting some, but again not bad. That night we were wet and tired and just wanted to SLEEP so I didn't ice it. And I paid for it the next day as I was hurting. I think I can skip icing it if I wear tennis shoes but anything else and the ice is essential. I still wore the flip flops the next day at the Yellow River Game Ranch but I had a good bit of lingering pain in the days following (and I thought "oh great, I just got cleared and now I'm gonna end up back at pt again!" haha). Thankfully doing the exercises I've learned and icing it more often really helped bring back down the pain. I've found that when it does hurt, icing it more often helps big time!



I cleaned out my closet back in December and got rid of 99% of my shoes. And then, of course, my physical therapist tells me to start testing my limits and wearing other shoes haha. She said support is important (at this point I'd be so uncomfortable in a non-supportive shoe anyway!) and that I don't need to wear heals (wedges are fine) or anything that really pushes my toes together. I happened to see a huge sale at Old Navy and scored some keds type shoes for like $3 a pair. 

I'm still wearing my thick flip flops around the house at all times (I will go barefoot from time to time for short increments) but my tennis shoes haven't been worn (other than working out) since the girl's Disney trip which was over a month ago now! Speaking of working out I do still need to alternate days and I will say my worst pain is when I do my elliptical. I'm not sure about future working out situations but I'm sure I will ease into it with time. 

Pretty PUMPED to be wearing shoes that aren't CROCS for a change!!!


The Christmas when I first hurt my foot we didn't know the extent of my injury and Mrs. Charlotte bought me some super cute boots. They have NEVER been worn y'all! I busted them out this last week and they weren't the most comfortable thing but I just iced my foot that night and had ZERO pain the next day! I'm SOOOOOO excited to be back in the land of cute shoes!!! I ordered my first pair of Toms (I feel like they will offer decent support?!?) when they were cheap on Zulily and am hoping to score some black ones for my bday. It's going to be a holiday of shoes for me! I've never been a shoe person but I think I will be now :) 


It's hard for me to believe the journey I've been through for the past three years with my foot. I'm so, so thankful to be sitting here able to write a positive conclusion to this story. I never thought I'd come this far. I thought I'd be stuck wearing tennis shoes all the time or, at best, crocs and uggs. I truly didn't believe I'd ever be able to be active AND be pain free. It's truly a gift from God and I'm so, so grateful. I know it's not something that I will ever be 100% "normal" but I'm totally and completely content with where I'm at now with my foot. I can def handle icing it every night and wearing thick flip flops around my house ;) I'll take that for the rest of my life if it means I can be pain free and ENJOY my babies! 

Thank you to everyone who offered advice and wisdom over these years and especially for the prayers on my behalf. My hope is that this will be the last update on my foot! That the future will only continue to see pain free days and cute shoes filling my closet :) 

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