Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures…

February of this year marked the onset of my plantar fasciitis (PF) which has been referred to many times on this blog and along with that started my relatively sedentary lifestyle (aside from ceramics) that doesn’t include running, walking or really anything that requires being on my feet. This condition is marked by pain in both heels from rising in the morn till retiring at night. Activities that are particularly excruciating are standing in one place for any length of time like doing the dishes, preparing dinner, going to a ceramics opening and squatting to rinse out glaze buckets and such. I have taken the normal route to a certain point that includes special shoes, expensive orthotic inserts and steroid injections into my heels as referred to on this post. I’ve pretty much given up as I’ve heard it all and the only thing left for the podiatrist to do is surgery which I will not do because I believe that post surgery will just be a different kind of chronic foot problem. Anyway that leads me to these…

nightsplints

When I switched doctors and went to my first appointment last Monday, we went through the gamut of personal medical concerns and since he was a general practitioner and I had mostly given up on professional solutions to my PF, I fully planned on not even mentioning my feet. But after he remarked that we had covered a lot of ground, I blurted out… now if I could only fix my plantar fasciitis. He immediately replied… oh, I can take care of that for you. I diplomatically said… well, I’ll listen to your spiel but I’ve heard them all at this point. He interrupted and mumbled what sounded like “nicemints” and after I requested he repeat himself it turned out to be night splints. Although I have seen the commercial version of these (which he adamantly maintained do not work), I had never heard them called that. I was about to dismiss the whole thing (even though he claims an 85% success rate) when he appealed to one of my weak spots… he provided a plausible mental image of why they would work. According to him the tendons/muscles that are injured hurt because they have microscopic tears where they connect to the bone and when you sleep these tendons/muscles are in the relaxed (unstretched) state. While sleeping the healing begins but as soon as your feet hit the floor in the morning that healing is immediately undone because standing up stretches the tendons/muscles out again re-tearing them and the endless loop starts all over. His solution… mold a strip of “air activated” fiberglass that’s inside of a soft cotton sleeve onto the bottom of the foot all the way round to the back of the calf while these muscles/tendons are in their most stretched position. At bedtime put your feet inside of them and wrap the “cast” against the foot and lower leg with ace bandages. So I got them made on Friday and after curing decided to try them last night. An added caveat to the process which the doctor says will or will not work in 2 1/2 to 3 weeks every night is that you cannot put your weight on them (the fiberglass will break) so getting up to go to the bathroom is not an option. I mentioned this to Mom who is also a nurse and she brought home one of those devices that allows you to stay in bed. I wasn’t sure I would actually use it but maybe just unwrap and rewrap the works but when I wrapped them up and found out how long it took, I realized that that wasn’t a viable option either. So here’s what the mummy looked like right before bed…

nightsplints

nightsplints

Since Mom had to get up early and go to work (it’s bug day here and I’m writing this in a hurry), I decided I would go solo downstairs on the couch so if my tossing and turning made a big commotion it wouldn’t wake her. Here’s where the fun starts. The next door neighbors decided to have a party and were on their porch in the balmy 58 degree evening jabbering loudly til who knows how late so this was inhibiting my falling asleep. After an hour or so that seemed like about 6 hours, both my feet were numb and I decided I had wrapped them too tight and I was probably risking a blood clot if they weren’t redone plus the wrapping smooshed my toes together on the left foot forcing the edge of a toenail into the side of the adjacent toe. I finally just undid everything and started over. I settled in, really sleepy now, and felt like the re-wrap was pretty good. I was trying to ignore the cacophony from the porch next door and then… I hear another damn mouse and it’s trying to get into some kind of plastic bag. So dammit now what? Well I decided since the re-wrapping session took so long and I thought I had it done correctly this time that I would crawl to the kitchen and find a mouse trap and set it and crawl back to the couch. It started ok because there’s a rug in front of the couch but when I hit the wood floors, my patellae hurt like hell. So there I crawled and froze at the portal to the kitchen to echo-locate the mouse but just as I stopped, it stopped. Did you ever look up from something you’re doing as if noticing it for the first time and wonder how it ever happened and if you could go back in time a year (or in this case, a week) and tell your younger self that it was what the future held, your younger self simply would not believe it? This was one of those times. After being totally motionless on my hands and knees for about a minute, my kneecaps insisted a return to the couch. My feet went numb again an hour or so later and when I finally drifted off, Mom came down to stick her head out on the porch to tell the neighbors to be quiet. Do my feet feel better this morning… well, no but the grand experiment has about 3 weeks to go and if last night is a litmus, it’s gonna be a fun ride.

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12 Responses to “Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures…”

  1. meredith Says:

    is it okay if I laugh- I know it’s not funny- but I am laughing.
    Best of luck!

  2. Patricia Griffin Says:

    I couldn’t help myself. Laughing. OMG. What a story, and you tell it so well. I do so hope that your feet feel better. It will be less entertaining to your readers, but we’ll make do. Hoping you get some sleep tonight!

  3. Miri Says:

    Oh my! Awesome story. Sometimes real life stories are wackier than fiction. I hope the “nice mints” do work for you.

  4. Melanie Says:

    SO funny! thanks for sharing this!
    and YES! we all had this moment we never saw coming 😉

  5. Donna Says:

    hi
    had to comment…
    the only thing tha really helped my planter fascitis was every night b4 bed i massaged my arches, base of toes, heel area very throughly and deeply….there was almost instantaneous relief….I did it every morning and evening and also did stretching exercises–it took a while but it really helped

    good luck!

  6. kellyTpottery Says:

    Love it, love it. Now all we need is a webcam….

  7. Ben Stark Says:

    Sorry, but that is one funny story! Hope that the feet feel better and the sleep improves!

  8. gary Says:

    F##K!

  9. jenmecca Says:

    Wow..that was a great read. And those heel issues!!! Owwwwww. I have to agree with you on the post surgery thing. I put everything off because I just fear being out of commission for to long. Hang in there. Those fiberglass “things” look pretty cool! jen

  10. ang Says:

    terribly sorry, i chuckled too….all the best for the nxt 3 weeks

  11. Kitty Shepherd Says:

    A very funny read but I know it is not a funny issue, my daughter has the same problems and it is very difficult for her too. I hope it eases up soon.

  12. Jasper Says:

    i like to use tiger balm for body aches but i know your problem is bigger than that…however you could still use it on those places Donna mentioned massaging for maybe a synergistic effect with your nicemints.

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